July 23, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Clare Marie, Week 3


Location:, New Zealand

Name: Clare Marie

Week: 3

Personal Info:

Gaining confidence that I really can drastically reduce my plastic waste – and waste in general, through careful purchases, and making it known that this is my goal ..

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

I refused a plastic bag at ‘Save Mart’ (2nd hand clothes chain/shops all throughout New Zealand) and was told “we can’t let you leave the store without a bag” .. This seemed ludicrous as the door was at most 2 meters behind me, so again I insisted that I did not want to take a plastic bag as I was trying to live a Plastic Free / Zero Waste lifestyle, so would either a) just leave it outside the door for them to collect, or b) they could hold my things until I ran out to the car to get my own bag – which I ended up doing ..

As I finally paid for my goods and they packed them into my own (fabric) bag, I was told how they “hate having to give out bags”, but I was so frazzled by then that I didn’t even bother asking the why’s of this rule, but instead said “I’ll know to bring my own bag in next time” – then was floored when they said “We’re actually not supposed to put them in YOUR bag either!” ???

I have already written an email to the company about this, and questioning why a company who states “Our aim is to recycle everything possible” simultaneously promotes (insisting on even) the use of unnecessary plastic packaging .. I just hope they reply in writing instead of a phone-call as I find confrontation very stressful, and much prefer to take the time to pick my words and see they’re coming from a place of conviction v’s emotion ..

Total items collected: 7

Total weight: 37 gram

Items: Recyclable
Carrot top ties – return to market seller
Woven bags – will try using them for scrubbing dishes

Items: Nonrecyclable
Edam cheese packaging
Yoghurt sachet
Udon noodle packaging & ties
(ripped) produce bag
Spice bottle seal

*not plastic but added as my goal is Zero Waste
Broken hair tie
Tea light casings X2

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Yoghurt sachets – already in my cupboard and I believe I still have two more to use up ..

Woven fruit bags – home grown or purchased where not pre-packaged .. One was actually gifted to me when looking after someones child so I have now told parent that I’m aiming to reduce plastic use/waste ..

Produce bag – had been used multiple times to store frozen foods, but was now too torn for further use

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

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Spice bottle seal – I don’t live in an area that they can be purchased in bulk, so my best option is the glass bottles v’s plastic ones ..

Personally I’d love to stop buying the cheese & noodles, however they are requested by my son (& daughter when she’s here), and again there are no alternatives where I live ..

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?

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