June 1, 2009

Plastic Free L.A. — 52-week tally


Hi all,

Along with Beth I also have a plastic reductionist blog (http://plasticisforever.blogspot.com) and have been saving all (or what I estimate to be about 90-95%) of my plastic waste over the last year. I recently did a tally as the one year anniversary of my “plastic diet” was on June 1st. This is a picture of what I have accumulated in one year!


It comes out to be 446 individual pieces of plastic, which equates to 1.2 piece of plastic consumption per day over a year. The hardest area to reduce for me has been in food related plastic (especially dairy related food) which accounts for 45% of my plastic waste. Here is an inventory of my plastic consumption over the last year.

Food relatedplastic
Plastic caps from glass milk bottles-28
Individual wrappers for bags of tea-20
Cheese wrappers-18
Junk food wrappers (i.e chips, snack packs, protein bars)-15
Little hard candy wrappers (i.e., mints, etc.)-10
Candy wrappers-8
Styrofoam of some food related container type-8
Snack size candy wrappers-6
Bags of some unknown kind-6
Bags cereal comes in-6
Ice-cream sandwich wrappers-5
Plastic packaging from meat-5
Cookie related packaging-4
Yogurt containers-4
Frosting containers-2
Bags of turbinado raw sugar-2
Bags of local pistachios-2
Clear plastic clam shell for take-away food-2
Raw butter wrappers-2
6-pack ring-1
Tofu container-1
Completely unidentifiable/miscellaneous-5

All the rest of my plastic…
Completely miscellaneous clear thin plastic wrapping from products unknown-31
Hard formed plastic that products come in (i.e., LED light bulbs, etc.)-25
Plastic that shrink wraps around a bottle and it’s cap (i.e. on a bottle of salad dressing)-24
Miscellaneous plastic wrappers/bags from buying nails and other construction related things-21
Bags used in packaging of product (i.e. that say ‘this is not a toy’ on them)-19
Miscellaneous cellophane-18
Long thin plastic sleeves (I have no idea what they were from probably Ikea furniture related)-17
Little plastic T-shaped things that clip the price tag to clothing-13
Toiletry related wrappers/packaging (i.e. toilet paper wrapper, medicine)-13
Mailing envelops-12
Plastic wrap that some magazines/journals come in-12
Plastic sleeves some cards come in-9
Plastic packaging from buying curtains/curtain rods (for 5 windows)-9
Bamboo knitting needle plastic sleeves-6
Miscellaneous hard plastic bits/clips-6
Little hangers (maybe related to buying curtains?)-4
Itty-bitty ziploc bags that extra buttons come in on clothes-4
Bubble wrap-3
Printer cartridge related plastic (not the actual cartridge)-3
Plastic sleeves flowers come in-3
Membership cards-2
Oil change sticker for car windshield-2
Plastic that wrapped 3 rolls of paper towels together-1
Plastic that wrapped 4 sponges together-1
Highlighter pen-1
Mechanical pencil-1
Bracelet to enter Go Green Expo-1
Instant heat compress-1
Plastic bag that my new mattress came in-1

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3 Comments on "Plastic Free L.A. — 52-week tally"

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I also live in L.A. which is why I opened your version on the plastic challenge. I know I’m crazy, but I would like to go to/work at? the recycling plant and find out what is really recyclable because my friends and I have vastly different beliefs in this area.
I’m thinking you probably have a definitive list.
What does LA recycle?

Hi. From the L.A. Bureau of Sanitation website: https://www.lacitysan.org/san/faces/home/portal/s-lsh-wwd/s-lsh-wwd-s/s-lsh-wwd-s-r/s-lsh-wwd-s-r-rybb?_adf.ctrl-state=luxx278t5_201&_afrLoop=15026347912462340#!

But please be aware that just because L.A. will collect all these materials, that doesn’t mean they will all actually be recycled. Recycling is a business, and if there is no buyer for materials, they will end up in the landfill anyway. It’s always better to reduce your waste in the first place than to rely on recycling it.

This is really great! Is this new plastic only? I’m assuming this is plastic purchased after you went on the plastic diet. Did you happen to collect the “before” plastic? It would be awesome to see for comparison.