June 28, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Rose, Week 8


For a disposable item such as a toothbrush do you think it is better to buy a plastic one or a wooden one even though I would have to get it sent from America – the plastic one was unlikely to have been made in the UK, but it is here already and it was probably shipped rather than flown so would have less carbon impact. Also the wooden one likely took more energy to make? But then the plastic one is made from oil and will not compost unlike the wooden one. It’s a tough one!

Location:York, United Kingdom

Name: Rose

Week: 8

Personal Info:

I am a post-grad student living with two housemates (we only really share cleaning stuff and toilet rolls etc). My boyfriend was with me for the weekend.

Since my first week I have started using my local fruit and veg shop and have also found some scoop shops in York where I have been buying dry products such as museli and pasts from.

Unfortunately this week I decided to clear out my cupboards and emptied lots of plastic packets that I already had into jars which has contributed a lot to this weeks plastic.

However, in terms of buying plastic, its gone down a lot since week 1, due to the scoop shops, the fruit and veg shop and the market and changing to unpackaged soap etc. I have also not bought a plastic wrapped chocolate bar since starting this! Thank goodness for Galaxy, Devine and Rolos! (There are chocolate wrappers in this week but they were a present)

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Plastic carrier bags and plastic bags for fruit – although I need to sort myself out with some reusable ones, or possibly take a box as nectarines aren’t faring well loose in my bike panier!

Total items collected: 25

Total weight: 225g

Items: Recyclable
2 tetrapacks

Items: Nonrecyclable
Old plastic:
plastic wrapping from:
ground almonds, muscovado sugar, semolina, ground almonds, green tea, suet

gift card
belt tag
gravy tub lid
ink cartridge

New plastic:
presumably plastic lined paper cup

plastic food wrapping from:
2x bread, lettuce, cucumber, cheese, kabanos, pasta, muesli

wrapping from flowers

label backs

chocolate box window and wrappers

Oh, and a crisp packet that I forgot to include in the picture!

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Of the new plastic, I have started using a mug at work – I just have to remember to take it to the coffee shop!

I have yet find me a local baker but it’s on my list.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
The labels I guess although they were very useful.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
The milk.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I am trying to be more organised in terms of shopping but it still needs some work!

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Bread is next on my list

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I am pleasantly surprised at how many things I have found plastic free, its just taking the time to find them.

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