August 22, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Margaret, Week 6


Location:Tualatin, Oregon, United States

Name: Margaret

Week: 6

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: 44

Total weight: 5 ounces

Items: Recyclable
3 large film bags/packaging – from a salad spinner and stainless steel skillet (disposing of potential-carcinogen-nonstick skillets)
Tortillas package
Tofu package (film cover not recyclable)

Items: Nonrecyclable
Package of cat treats used up – bought when Imogene was sick, to bribe her to start eating again
Raw Revolution snack bar wrapper
2 M&M packages – saw these “movie theater style” packages on sale, and thought “Awesome! Just a cardboard box, no plastic!” Then I open them, and it’s a normal plastic package inside. I don’t get food at the movie theater very often, but isn’t it usually packaged in just a cardboard box?
2 lid rings from – something
1 lid ring from spice bottle
Bubble sheet from a box of See’s candy
Dandies vegan marshmellows package
Cereal box liner
2 potato chips bags – one from Subway, one from a work event lunch
Plastic wrap from sandwich at work event lunch
Plastic knife from work event lunch
3 fruit leather wrappers – using up pre-challenge stash
Label sheet backing – using these labels for anything I mail (which is mostly mailing marketing back to the sender) because I’m using envelopes made from magazine pages without a blank area to address directly
Broken hair elastic
2 Jambu shoe bags
4 lint roller sheets
3 envelope windows
Pull tab to open aseptic container of vegetable broth
Caramel wrapper
Pull thing from frozen juice concentrate container
7 produce stickers and twist ties

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Still need to find a good clothing de-fuzzer to replace the lint roller. I’ll use up the current roller within the next month, so I would like to not buy another one.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Some purchases I don’t think can be found without plastic (salad spinner – with steel outside bowl instead of 100% plastic! – and skillet) – and these are things that I wouldn’t be comfortable buying used, especially a skillet – who knows what’s touched it!

The produce stickers/twist ties are more than I would get if I were shopping at the farmers’ market or organic grocery store, because I’m trying an organic delivery service. I’m choosing to do this so I’m forced to try to fruits and vegetables, which I need to do to eat healthier. I’ve had some initial correspondence about why there is excessive (at least to me, minimal compared to most Americans, I’m sure) “packaging”, and had a good reaction, I’ll continue to push back and try to give ideas. I might look into some CSA alternatives, but for now this seems like the most feasible option. I have requested to not have any plastic bags. They mentioned in their reply that some people complain if, for example, a berry basket spills some berries into the box. They have a note on my order to not use any bags, that I’m ok with thins spilling loose in the box.

Still trying to reduce junk mail to reduce the windows with envelopes I acquire. My goal is to run out of envelopes for scratch paper and be forced to buy a notebook!

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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