March 14, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Pat Clancy, Week 6

Plastic Trash Week 4

Is it better to buy organic produce packaged in plastic or bulk items that are not organic? I am finding that sometimes that is my choice. Yesterday I bought nonorganic onions because I really needed onions and didn’t have time to go to another store. When the farmers market starts up in April this will get easier, but as of now there is only one store – Whole Foods – that has the ideal combination of organic sold without packaging. I am not used to shopping at several different stores. As I do this for longer, I will work out a routine of stopping to shop when I am near the store I need.

Location:Lisle, Illinois, United States

Name: Pat Clancy

Week: 6

Personal Info:

See week 1

Pat Clancy’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
grocery bags, produce bags
Reduced window envelopes by requesting email only from three sources
Plastic packaging for bird seed – purchased at a different store in paper bags

Total items collected: 33

Total weight: 10 oz

Items: Recyclable
1 sardine wrapper #5
3 yogurt cups #5
3 smoothie bottles #6 (see last week’s post about oral surgery)
3 caps from those bottles #1
1 bag from apples
2 newspaper bags (I don’t subscribe but it gets left on my driveway anyway)

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 lid from broken blender jar (marked GPPS but no number)
1 cap from the same lid (marked PE but no number)
2 fruit stickers
1 twist tie from lettuce (Avoiding bags but still get plastic!)
1 prescription bottle (Police dept. collects; do they recycle these?)
1 cap from Tetra pack of soup
1 clear seal strip from ice cream and
1 hard plastic edge from the lid of the ice cream (Son purchased, but I ate some)
1 fork (friend gave me her perishable food when she went out of town)
2 window envelopes
1 sealstrip from mouthwash bottle
4 vitamin packets
4 teabag wrappers
1 mesh onion bag

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Ice cream can be found in all-paper cartons.
Mouthwash – I am going to try out some homemade recipes but will save the plastic bottles to keep it in.
I have unsubscribed from Dr. Weil’s vitamin program and will find replacements in glass bottles.
Look for sardines without an outer plastic wrapper
Find tea bags without plastic in the wrapper

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?
Pita bread, cheese, hummus, yogurt
Yes, I have read Beth’s posts on these items but I am not ready to give up pita bread, have not found a source for bulk cheese yet, and haven’t taken time to make my own hummus or yogurt yet. I am eating less cheese, though.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Shopping at multiple stores, buying some things on line. I ordered Better Than Boullion on line this week. Remembering to bring reusable bags all the time so I can shop when I happen to be near the right store. I don’t want to use too much gas chasing around after plastic-free items.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Juice bottles

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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