October 26, 2015

Plastic Challenge: Ellen, Week 1


Location:  Sharon, MA, United States

Name: Ellen

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I am a married mother of two children. I work outside the home and my spouse works partly from home and some outside our home.

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

Total items collected: 93

Total weight: 2 lbs, 1.5 ounces

Items: Recyclable
Item description/code #/# of items
Small yogurt cups 5 7
large yogurt container 5 1
small cottage cheese container 5 1
Pellegrino bottles 1 2
peanut butter jar 1 1
mushroom box 1 1
produce tray ? 1
egg carton 1 1
drink cups with lids 5 1
drink cups with lids 1 1
straws ? 2
drink cup lid 3 1
take out container lid 6 2
yogurt cup lid 1 1

These get collected twice/month at the curb and taken to a recycling facility.

Items: Nonrecyclable
Item Description/Quantity
Trident gum packets ? 2
packaging adhesive strip ? 4
lid wrap ? 1
bottle caps 4? 4
contact lense case ? 1
flosser ? 1
bag clasp ? 1
toothbrush head ? 1
toothbrush box ? 1
kefir bottle 2 1
laundry detergent bottle 2 1
drycleaner wrap ? 2
bread/tortilla bags 5
zip lock bags 5
cereal bags 2
chip/snack bags 4
veg/fruit bags 6
toilet paper wrap 1
meat wrappers 6
cheese wrappers 4
popsicle wrappers 2
dental supply wrappers 2
razor cover 1
pet food wrapper 1
candy wrapper 1
frozen food wrappers 5
envelope windows 2
plastic card 1
key chain thingy 1
scrubby sponge 1

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Laundry detergent: I could use soap nuts or powdered detergent in cardboard.

I could buy yogurt in larger containers and portion out my own smaller amounts for kids lunches, etc.

I could buy produce loose and bag it myself in reusable bags.

i could buy toilet paper rolls wrapped in paper.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
GUM! Frozen convenience foods.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Cheese?! Flossers for the kids and dental floss.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Making our own granola instead of buying cereal. Baking our own bread. Making our own milk kefir. Buying fine cheese wrapped in paper.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I already switched to soap nuts for the foreseeable laundry future. This week I vow to give up snacks and chips that come in plastic bags.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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