June 22, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Ellen Simpson, Week 6


Location:Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Name: Ellen Simpson

Week: 6

Personal Info:

I live with my boyfriend Paul and my two children, ages 10 and 11, in Salem, MA. Paul and I both work during the day, and my two boys are in school. We have a dog and a cat. This plastic tally is for all four of us. If we had plastic waste from snacks/lunches outside of the house, we brought it home.

Ellen Simpson’s personal blog: http://housebehindtheotherhouses.blogspot.com/

Total items: 49

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Salad clamshell (#6)
3 cat food cans and lids
Toothpaste container (not including cap) (01 PETE?)

Items: Nonrecyclable
Milk carton, cap and inner ring
Inner bread bag
Cheese wrapper
Frozen pizza wrapper
Q-tip container
CD that came with new speakers
12 beer/Coke caps (from glass bottles)
Snickers wrapper
4 other lids (1 spaghetti sauce, 1 Starbucks drink, 1 olive oil, 1 unknown)
Toothpaste cap and sticker
4 little plastic bags (maybe these came from the new speakers?)
Hose packaging
Pasta box window
Ace Rewards cards
Clothes tag holders
Plastic-topped toothpick (this was in my son’s room, from I don’t know when)
Little toy piece — I don’t know where this came from because we don’t have a set of these toys
Dog-chewed mechanical pencil
Lid to pen that we no longer have
Eye drop container and wrapper
2 bread tabs
2 fruit stickers

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Salad clamshell — this was a takeout order, and it wasn’t really necessary.
Bread bag and bread tabs — I have already started buying bread without a plastic bag from the bakery near me. This bread was in the freezer before I started the challenge.
Frozen pizza wrapper — we can make pizza. This pizza was in the freezer before I started the challenge.
Pasta box window — I bought pasta in bulk! This window was from pasta bought before I started the challenge.

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?
One-time things like the CD that came with the new speakers.
Eye drop container and wrapper
Fruit stickers
Toothpaste cap — even Tom’s of Maine has plastic caps, and I don’t want to go the baking soda route.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Better planning and time management.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I bought pasta and chocolate chips in bulk this weekend, so they will be my two items.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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