December 24, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Margaret, Week 24


Location:Tualatin, Oregon, United States

Name: Margaret

Week: 24

Personal Info:

Margaret’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Will start tracking this next week.

Total items collected: 39

Total weight: 3.0 ounces

Items: Recyclable
Cup and lid from Starbucks
Prescription bottle

Items: Nonrecyclable
3 grocery bags for garbage – from this week and past few weeks that I forgot to include previously
8 produce/bread bags for cat litter – from this week and past few weeks that I forgot to include previously
Straw from Starbucks
Straw from Thai restaurant – it’s really sporadic whether or not they provide a straw. More often than not I’m handed a wrapped straw, which I just set to the side. This time it was already in the drink.
Cheetos bag from Subway – oh my gosh I hadn’t had these in forever! I don’t usually get chips, and I’m reducing my Subway visits in general lately.
Lid from Subway drink
Lid from Burgerville drink
Fruit leather wrapper (using up pre-challenge purchase)
Lid seal ring from coconut milk ice cream
2 torn nylon knee-highs
2 lint roller sheets
2 pieces of tape… from a box of something… I can’t quite remember what it was
3 wrapper seals and 2 underlid seals from 3 supplement bottles
Lid from blemish stick container
Lid seal from glass bottle of ketchup
Lid from a glass supplement bottle
2 produce ties/stickers
Plastic backing and small fastener from a ring
Label backing from a package stamp, for mailing my sister’s birthday present
Frozen pizza wrapper
“Ala carte” carry-out luggage tag from Alaska Airlines – (bright green so the handlers can distinguish them from regular checked baggages) – I’m pretty sure I remember these being paper in the past, I assume they made them plastic coated to be more durable, so I had left it on for a few trips, then went on a flight that didn’t have carry-out so I removed it, and I don’t know why I didn’t just save it to put back on.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
A lot of food related stuff

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?

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?
Subway. If I really need (or feel like I need) a quick dinner (there’s a Subway just across the street from my apartment complex), I’ll only get a sandwich, no drink or chips.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I got about 6 weeks behind on my plastic tallys… I was saving it every week and putting it in a bag, but it was just sitting in my dining room. It wasn’t until I started pulling it out, photographing and itemizing it that it struck me again how much plastic there is. Definitely need to keep reminding myself of what the problem really is; not seeing it makes it easier to ignore it.

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