March 20, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Katie M, Week 5

Katie's plastic waste

Name: Katie M

Week: 5

Personal Info:

Read Katie’s full description in her Week 1 Plastic Tally post.

i thought my pile was finally starting to get smaller, but my count was still more than i expected. still weeding out old stuff, but that only accounts for 1/4 of my total. taking the one-step-at-a-time approach, do i don’t get too discouraged.

Total items: 47

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 – coffee cream jug (#2)
4 – packaging from valentine’s gifts from mother-in-law (2x #1, 2x #6 not pictured)

Items: Nonrecyclable
old: 12
1 – vanilla bottle lid (found out a school by me collects these and will take them there now)
1 – vanilla bottle (yes, another one)
1 – frozen corn bag
2 – blood donation stickers (will refuse next time)
1 – frozen waffles inner wrapper
1 – coupon card was slipped into my purchase at a craft fair before the holidays
1 – socks tag (gift)
1 – corner of a bag chocolate chips (given to me for holiday baking)
1 – tortilla style wraps bag
1 – christmas tree tag
1 – wine bottle seal

new: 30
1 – lining inside soda bottle cap
1 – coffee cream lid
1 – coffee bag
1 – boot lace package
2 – cheese package tops
2 – produce bands (assuming these are plastic and not real rubber)
1 – milk seal
1 – honey seal
1 – piece of floss
1 – inner bread bag (am reusing outer bag)
3 – envelope windows
2 – sticker from gifts (one pictured)
1 – fake meat wrapper
4 – produce stickers
3 – sheets of plastic that was snuck into my cheese!
not pictured:
1 – plastic valentine heart with chocolates inside (gift from a loyal customer)
1 – plastic beer cup (went to see a band where they do not allow glass, had a refill in same cup)
1 – condiment cup (hubby got us some fries at event above)
1 – pizza “table”
1 – grocery bag to put in all in

What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
– cheese plastic, was so happy to go the the deli get cheese and the guy slicing puts the plastic film between the slices! by the time i realized what he did it was too late. :(
– vanilla bottle (glass, still had a plastic lid)
– coffee (bought bulk 2 weeks now, but hubby did the shopping this week)

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
– pizza table, our regular place never gives us one so forgot to ask to not use it.
– frozen waffles (make own)
– frozen corn (could do without, still have another bag in freezer)
– donation sticker (refuse)
– coupon card

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
coffee cream

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic waste?
pay closer attention to sneaky deli guys & bag stuffers.

figure out how to refuse gifts gently.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
many of the items this week were one-time or infrequent use and don’t forsee getting again anytime soon:

– valentine’s gifts
– boot laces (first time replacing them in 5+ yr old boots)
– “night out” beer and fries (does not happen very often)
– christmas tree tag (bought from a lot, will go back to the farm next year)

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
even when you are trying, plastic can sneak in.

my mother-in-law loves to shop and buy us stuff (looking through my closets, most of my plastic clutter comes from her ‘generosity’)

it’s hard to be strict about plastic food packaging when you work and depend on others to help with the shopping, especially during bad weather.

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