March 6, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Beth Terry, Week 9


Location:Oakland, California, United States

Name: Beth Terry

Week: 9

Personal Info:

I am the founder of and have been collecting my plastic and attempting to live as plastic-free as possible since June of 2007.

See my previous years’ tallies at:


List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)

1) Plastic grocery/shopping bags — bring my own reusable bags wherever I go

2) Produce stickers — chose produce without stickers

3) Bottled water — carried water in my travel mug and filled up at home and at water fountains.

4) Cheese wrappers. Bought Bellwether Carmody cheese which comes packaging-free


5) Other food packaging – shopped bulk bins for pasta, nuts, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, etc.

Total items collected: 5

Total weight: .2 ounces

Items: Recyclable
1) Straus organic milk bottle cap (See recycling info below)

2) Cap from glass bottle of rosemary essential oil that we use for our vinegar hair rinse. This bottle lasted several years. (See recycling info below)

Caps-n-Cups will accept all plastic caps, no matter what kind of plastic, to downcycle into secondary products. CapsCanDo will accept most plastic caps.

Items: Nonrecyclable
3) Plastic dropper insert from glass bottle of rosemary essential oil.

4-5) Two cocktail straws that came in my Irish coffee when I forgot to specify no straw. Argh. I forget bars put plastic straws in hot drinks because it’s such an insane thing to do.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
In the future, I will get a reusable dropper for essential oils. I believe I can buy essential oils in reusable bottles from Lhasa Karnak herb shop in Berkeley. I may even be able to refill them. Not sure. Will look into it.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?

Stop drinking milk. After watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, the other night, I’m more committed to getting animal products out of my diet.

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Pat Clancy
9 years ago

Beth, you are an inspiration, a consciousness raiser of the 21st Century! I have so far to go but am taking one step at a time — sometimes backwards.