November 11, 2007

Week 21 Results: 13.8 oz of plastic

What a week it was. A terrible oil spill. A Green Festival. I’ll write about both in the next post. For now, here’s the weekly plastic tally:

Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:

  • 6 Refresh Endura single-use eye drop containers (#4 plastic).
  • 1 outer wrapper from a box of Refresh Endura eye drops.
  • 1 cap from a 21-oz bottle of Win High Performance Sport detergent. See below.
  • 1 piece of clear packing tape.
  • 1 plastic wrapper from a Trader Joe’s Chile Lime chicken burger. This is my very last frozen food that was stashed in the refrigerator at work. No more emergency frozen food for me. I’ve got to be really diligent about bringing food for lunch now.
  • 1 skanky old plastic cutting board (#4 plastic). Even though it’s #4 plastic, I don’t think anyone will recycle it, so it goes into plastic purgatory. I’ve got a replacement cutting board, which I’m planning to write about in another post this week. Stay tuned.

Recyclable items used up this week but bought before the project began:

  • 21-oz bottle of Win High Performance Sport detergent (#2 plastic). We still have two more bottles of this detergent to use up. We only use it on athletic wear because it really gets the odors out. Wondering what natural product to switch to when this is gone. This bottle goes into our curbside bin here in Oakland.

And that’s all the old stuff. Now for the new plastic waste.

  • 1 wrapper from a block of Loleta Cheese Company organic sharp white cheddar.
  • 1 small plastic bag from an EBMUD free faucet aerator. It’s always interesting to see the plastic packaging used for these “green” items.
  • 1 plastic cap from a glass bottle of Straus organic milk.
  • 1 bit of plastic from a bunch of organic fair trade bananas.
  • 2 plastic wrappers from a package of organic buffalo meat. I didn’t realize the butcher was going to wrap the meat in plastic inside the coated paper wrapper. I’ll be more careful next time.
  • 1 Culligan water test kit. There were several pieces to the kit, but I’m just counting them all as one. We tested our water to see if we really need to have a water filter in the first place. So far, it turns out there really isn’t any detectable chlorine, which is what I was concerned about. I still have to get the results back on the lead test.

That’s it for the week. The cutting board made up most of the weight. I’d just love to have a week in which all my plastic can fit in the palm of my hand. Could it happen this week coming up? We’ll see.

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har mar

im so excited for thursday! i totally know what im making for your visit too!!

Beth Terry

Hi Judy N. BioBags are a good substitute for plastic. But just be aware that they need heat and the right composting conditions to biodegrade. In a landfill, they won’t compost. So I’d be careful what I use them for.

They are definitely better than plastic because they are not made from oil. We use them for what little garbage we have (which is hardly any at this point) just because I’d rather use something made from organic materials than petroleum-based. But I try to conserve them, since they are not meant for landfill.

terrible person

Hey, the public radio show Marketplace, which had the good taste to interview Beth just a few weeks ago, is doing a series called “Consumed”, all about our consumption patterns and their effects. Several stories on plastic and waste disposal!

Judy N.

Beth, I like the pretty wallpaper. Also, I just got “BioBag” from Andronico’s (University Avenue) in Berkeley. It’s supposed to be 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable. The package says “BioBags are GMO free, certified for use in organic agriculture and CEN certified for restricted use of metals in our vegetable-based inks and dyes.” “Our products meet the ASTM D6400 requirements, which is hte gold standard for compostable plastic.” The package says that Biobags are made from the material “Mater-Bi.” [Whatever that is.] The package also says that “BioBags are shelf stable, just like paper towels, yet biodegrade quickly when exposed… Read more »