April 26, 2015

Plastic Challenge: Reiner Bautista, Week 1

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Living in the food consuming world we do, how do you reduce your plastic intake at the grocery store?
I usually prepare my food for the week and keep them in tupperware containers. I thought I was being smart and sanitary by using up the tupperware until they were worn and throwing them away. Food seems to be where I collect most of my plastic.

Location:  Pittsburg, CA, United States

Name: Reiner Bautista

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I’m a 28 year old community college student at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg. Before my life as a student I was in the Air Force for 8 years. Now my wife and I are just trying to make it in the Bay Area with our 3 year-old daughter.

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
-water bottles
-take home food containers

Total items collected: 56

Total weight: unknown

Items: Recyclable
-1 Liter plastic bottle
-1 Gatoraide 20oz bottle
-1 Coke 20oz bottle
-1 16.9oz water bottle
-9 Clear plastic cups from Jack in the Box
-3 cups from Taco Bell
-14 pastic cup lids

Items: Nonrecyclable
-14 straws
-various plastic packaging from toys

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
My cups. I’ve had to go to fast food because our refrigerator is broken at home. This week we only went out to eat. I thought about postponing my finding but I thought that it would probably be beneficial for me to see how much plastic eating out all the time can produce.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I would be willing to give up going out. I just need to find a way to get a refrigerator to store food.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Water. I try to drink a lot of water but it seems that all of the water I drink comes into contact with some kind of plastic one way or another. I use reusable water bottles, but even they are plastic.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I want to figure out what to do with my own personal plastic. I know only recycling isn’t the answer because not all things that are recycled actually get recycled. Especially in terms of plastic.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Plastic bags for sure. I got one from Dominoes that came with drinks when they delivered, I wish I would have said that I didn’t want it because I would have been plastic bag free this week, but that isn’t how it turned out. I felt bad because it was cold and I knew the delivery driver probably wanted to be out as fast as possible.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
That plastic is a by product of our commercialistic lifestyle. As an American I have to reevaluate my priorities and think about where my plastic ends up.

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