February 21, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Jen C, Week 3

Jen's plastic waste

Name: Jen C.

Week: 2

Personal Info:

See full description in Jen’s Week 1 Plastic Tally post.

Total items: 53

Total weight: 1 pound, 1.5 ounces

Items: Recyclable
7 milk caps
1 almond milk cap
2 lotion caps
Prescription mouth rinse bottle (#1) & cap
(Caps are recycled at my daughter’s school and #1 bottles can go in curbside pickup)
plastic bags from dry cleaners, Publix, Land’s End and the newspaper
(Bags can be recycled at Publix)
Tom’s of Maine toothpaste tube & cap
(Tom’s will recycle their toothpaste tubes by mail)

Items: Nonrecyclable
Plastic ring on mineral water bottles
plastic rings from milk bottles
bags from Christmas candy
Almond milk spout
Odwalla bar wrapper
Produce wrap
Cereal liner bag
Padded mailing envelope
Clothing tags
Medicine packaging
Bandaids and packaging
Razor blade holders
Face cream pot
2 Keurig cups
Sardine wrapper
Salad dressing lid wrapper
Solid lotion tin wrapper

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Plastic bags – trying to get my husband in the habit of taking reusable bags…
Christmas candy – buy in bulk next year
Almond milk – make my own
Odwalla bar – make my own
Flosser – switching to minimally packaged floss when these run out, for now I am rinsing them off and reusing them.
Salad dressing – make my own
Plastic ring on mineral water bottles – will switch to a brand that doesn’t use plastic
Face cream pot – found a brand packaged in glass

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Some of these things I am willing to give up, but my family is not

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
plastic rings from milk bottles
Produce wrap
Cereal liner bag (rest of family)
Clothing tags
Medicine packaging
Bandaids and packaging
Razor blade holders (at least for my husband)
2 Keurig cups (my only disposable plastic used on my trip – had to have coffee in my room in order to function in the morning)
Sardine wrapper (husband)
Solid lotion tin wrapper

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Stop buying dry-clean only clothes unless no other options exist for that item (for example winter coats and suits)
Hand wash clothes when I can

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Not sure that I will ever be able to go completely plastic-free. I am proud of how little plastic I used on a 2 day business trip.

Please help!
I did buy an all-metal old-fashioned safety razor, but I am not having any luck with it so far. I don’t think I am getting the blade in right, and I’m not sure how to do that without slicing up my fingers.

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