February 28, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Pat Clancy, Week 4


Location:Lisle, Illinois, United States

Name: Pat Clancy

Week: 4

Personal Info:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)

Coffee cups and lids, refused twice when I remembered my own mug.
Plastic bags for produce when I brought last week’s to re-use.

Total items collected: 33

Total weight: 7 oz.

Items: Recyclable
1 yogurt tub and lid #5 and #1
1 hummus tub and lid #1 and #1
1 peanut butter jar #1 (lid has no number so it goes in the I don’t know list)

Items: Nonrecyclable
6 bags from frozen broccoli (Whole Foods brand which claims to have 25% less plastic)
1 bag from carrots (I now buy them in bulk but had some left from previous shopping)
1 bag from oranges
1 bag from pita bread
1 bag from frozen chicken breasts (zip lock; I will reuse. In fact, I save these bags all these bags and reuse as much as possible. I also put them in the recycling with grocery bags at the store but I’m not sure what happens to them.)
2 Solo lids #6
1 ziplock from dried cherries
1 ziplock from dried cranberries
1 piece of plastic wrap
1 blister pack from probiotics
7 individual packets from vitamins
1 lid from peanut butter jar
1 plastic strip from a tag
1 plastic film seal from yogurt
1 tear-off strip from bag of dried tomatoes
1 seal strip from Netflix envelope (I use one or two of these a week. I had not been aware that they were plastic until now.)
2 butter containers from carry-out food

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I now buy dried fruit in bulk, bringing my own bags. These were left over from previous shopping. Once a month I cook broccoli for the homeless shelter and use frozen. I could cook fresh broccoli but it takes much more time. If I took time to make yogurt and/or hummus, which I buy every week, that would eliminate the containers. Last shopping trip, I bought peanut and almond butter in glass jars with metal lids (still had a plastic seal). Remember to carry my coffee/tea mug to avoid plastic lids. Find out if sun-dried tomatoes are available in bulk. Buy chicken from the butcher. This week’s chicken was purchased months ago and frozen.

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?
I’m not sure I could give up pita bread as Beth has.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Make more things from scratch. Yogurt, hummus, household cleaners, personal care items.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Buy more things in bulk — dried fruit.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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