May 15, 2016

Plastic Challenge: Susan Fry, Week 1


Any suggestions about how to find out what items are recyclable in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico?

Location:  Tulum, Mexico

Name: Susan Fry

Week: 1

Personal Info:

My husband and I took an early retirement, sold most of our stuff, and moved to Mexico two years ago. We live off-grid in a solar powered home.

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Plastic shopping bags. Water in single-serve bottles.

Total items collected: 70

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
(2) 3L bottles mineral water –symbol, but no #
(1) peanut butter jar— #1
(1) towelette container— #2
(1) 1qt yogurt container— #5
(2) plastic cups—#7

Items: Nonrecyclable
(1) 12 oz plastic bottle (used for honey)
(3) 1L juice boxes—recycle symbol, but no #
(1) 1L milk box
(1) 1/2L cream box
(1) 1/2L coffee mate
(1) expired credit card
(8) produce bags
(4) ziplock bags
(30+) plastic food wrappers/packaging
(4) straws
(1) plastic cap for 5-gallon water bottle

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
produce bags

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
coffee mate
to go boxes

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
(all dairy products seem to come in boxes where we live)

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Making more foods from scratch
Making our own carbonated water machine
Buying in bulk from bins when possible
Looking for food products in glass containers
Using glass for food storage
Making own personal care products

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Plastic drinking straws

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Not much of our plastic trash is recyclable!

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4 years ago

There is milk in glass bottles in some places, you can get it delivered to you. It is expensive but worth it – the milk tastes so much fresher. And instead of plastic straws you could use glass or metal – these can easily be bought off of amazon or another website.