February 7, 2014

Plastic Challenge: chandra, Week 1


I’m curious if it is environmentally better to buy two 24oz glass containers of salsa with metal lids versus one 48oz PETE plastic container with plastic lid.

Location:Santa Cruz, California, United States

Name: chandra

Week: 1

Personal Info:

Conscientious consumer trying to do my part to reduce, reuse and recycle. Plastic generated is from one married couple.

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


Total items collected: 23

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
All of these items are recyclable in my curbside bin provided by the city (except energy bar wrappers)
honey container
spice container
sugar pouch
vitamin bottle
tofu packaging x2
cheese packaging
plastic bag used in shipping merchandise
Builder’s bar wrapper x3 (sent to Terracycle energy bar wrapper brigade)

Items: Nonrecyclable
chips bag
broth box
styrofoam leftover container
tape- 2 wads from a shipped package (clear and duct)
credit and gift cards x3
frozen ravioli container
sesame oil lid
honey container lid
vitamin bottle lid
candy box insert

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
styrofoam leftover container (I generally bring my own reusable container)
I could make my own broth
I could refill the honey and spice containers from bulk bins
I could pay more for vitamins in glass bottles

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

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
tofu, cheese, credit cards

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

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I can still do more (but I’ve done the research and have chosen plastic in some cases where alternatives are significantly more costly).

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