November 15, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Margaret, Week 15

week 15

Just a comment – most of the waste from this week is because I bought a new cell phone.

Location:Tualatin, Oregon, United States

Name: Margaret

Week: 15

Personal Info:

I live in an apartment with my cat. We’re in a metropolitan area outside the city, that’s not really suburbia, but not really urban.

Margaret’s personal blog:

Total items: 40

Total weight: 11.2 ounces

Items: Recyclable
2 prescription bottles
Supplement bottle
Old phone and charger

Items: Nonrecyclable
Phone related:
Credit card-type thing from which the SIM card was punched out
Molded packaging from car charger
Return label sticker and backing
1 tiny ziploc bag
5 other bags
Protective sticker over screen
8 pockets of air cushion packaging


What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Bag from cookies
2 boxes from underwear
Lid ring seal from ice cream
Backing from a ring
2 lint roller sheets
Window from a bread bag
Wrapper from a tin of mints
2 lid ring seals and foam under-lid seals from supplement bottles
A little piece of plastic with a logo attached to a tag on a dress
Lid from something
Grocery bag for garbage

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?
My new phone was not really essential. It is an extremely helpful tool to stay socially integrated (whether it’s good or bad that my generation uses such tools instead of more face to face contact, it is what it is), and there are intangible benefits to staying connected with things like that. I’m prone to isolating myself, so anything that makes it easy for me to build social connections is important. My old phone, although functional, I had kept for longer than most people keep phones, and my new one, even though used, is current enough that I plan to keep it for longer than the 2-year standard.

I did get a refurbuished phone. Packaging was the same as it would have been on a new one, and new sim card, and I assume the battery and charger are probably new… and wow now that I list these out that’s actually some big components that probably aren’t used. But the bulk of the phone is reused, at least.

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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