August 19, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Rhiannon, Week 2

Location:Leeds, United Kingdom

Name: Rhiannon

Week: 2

Personal Info:

I’m a postgraduate student living alone.

Rhiannon’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Plastic straws in pubs; plastic carrier bags.

Total items collected: 37

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Through my kerbside collection (1, 2, and 4):
– cooking oil bottle

Through Abel and Cole’s collection system:
– Abel and Cole’s vegetable bag

Through collection points:
– three Tetrapaks
– ink cartridge

Items: Nonrecyclable
– three medication blister packs
– ink cartridge packaging: outer wrapper which claims to be 70% recycled but doesn’t tell me what kind of plastic it is; tray of #5; film lid labelled #7; small tab, not labelled
– 2 Tetrapak seals/tabs
– 1 unused drinks straw
– food packages: dried fruit bag, snack mix, muesli bag, wrapper from Tetrapak 3-pack
– plastic carrier reused for freezing food
– 2 envelope windows
– 3 plastic envelopes in which cards were sold
– wrapper from a new picture frame
– package from a socket bar

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Several of the items above are already replacements; in particular, buying food (e.g. dried fruit) in bigger bags cuts down the wrapping. Some of these items arise from buying things (picture frame, socket bar) new where they might be findable second hand with some more effort. I am in the process of trying to reduce my Tetrapak use, and the apple juice carton in particular could be replaced with concentrate in a glass bottle (only plastic lid).

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Junk mail! Please tell me how. :-)

I don’t usually buy cards (I make them), and this was a one-off.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Medication. Basic foods (rice, for example; muesli) – I can reduce by buying larger sizes but there is no plastic-free alternative.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I am cutting down my printing as far as possible.

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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