December 5, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Tanya Thorpe, Month 1


Location:Melbourne, Australia

Name: Tanya Thorpe

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I live in a share house with two others and my cat, Pippy. I’m mostly vegetarian and lactose intolerant – so I can only eat small amounts of cheese, but no milk.

Total items: 50

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
This was for the month of november 2011.
1. drink bottle (3) – accidentally caught out without drink bottle in cinema!
2. carton for alfalfa sprouts (5)
3. carton for cherry tomatoes (5)- both these came from my organic veg delivery and I have now changed companies, to one which does not use such boxes.
4. Yogurt tub (not shown) (3)
All these items are recyclable through municipal waste collection on doorstep. Moreland city council has just last month started collecting plastic bags and wrappings and polystyrene! I don’t know what they do with it, so I’m going to visit their depot, where visitors can get a tour.

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 Brown rice packaging
2 Chick pea packaging
3 Pasta packaging
4 tampon wrapper
5 cereal bag
6, 7, 8 wrapping for savory biscuits/ crackers
9, 10, 11 Chocolate wrapping
12, 13, 14, 15 Snack wrapping
16, 17 plastic stickers around asparagus
18, 19, 20, 21 Cling wrap around cheese
22 soy sauce in fish-shaped plastic, accidentally received by sushi server
23, 24 contact lens packaging
25, 26, 27 wrapping around lid of glass bottles of tamari/ponzu/sauces
28 tag connection instruction booklet to item
29, 30, 31, 32 packages from the deli for olives etc, plus their stickers
33, 34, 35, 36 medicine packages for the cat
37, 38, 39, 40, packaging around tofu & tempeh
41, 42, 43, 44 soy milk tetrapak (lids only shown)
45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50 noodle packaging (including those stupid little ties around each bunch of noodles)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I could bulk buy all the dry goods!
I could buy tamari in bulk at the market, and take my own container (but it does cost 4x as much)
I was thinking about making my own soy milk- a friend makes her own tofu and tempeh, but I haven’t decided yet.
I’m going to use the easi-yo to make yogurt- although I eat very little due to lactose intolerance.

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?
Contact lenses. I wear glasses mostly, but I do like to wear contacts for sport and going out on sunny days (I don;t have prescription sun glasses).

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I was surprised how much processed food I had in my stash! I thought I ate less, and I will aim to do so.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Snack wrappings.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I’m so impressed and motivated by others who have taken up the challenge! Thank you.

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