January 12, 2009

Year 2, Week 30 Results: 1.9 oz of plastic waste.

Plastic used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:

  • 1 bottle of Gulden’s spicy brown mustard. Wow. We’ve had this one for a long, long time. And as I wrote in my last post, I’m going to replace it with homemade mustard so as to avoid a new bottle. Will post the recipe and photos when it’s done! Oh, and no lid included in the tally because while the container is plastic, its lid is metal. It will go in with my metal recycling.

New plastic waste:

    • Spectrum canola oil pull tab & neck wrapper. The bottle of canola oil is glass. The cap and wrapper are plastic.


    • Frontier Fair Trade Vanilla bottle label. The bottle is glass but the label is totally plastic.


    • Plastic tag hanger from a new set of metal measuring spoons.


    • Bandaid from pricked finger.


  • 4 plastic envelope windows. ING Direct, Safeco Insurance, credit card company, and Financial West Group. I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of removing myself from mailing lists, but these still linger.
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Beth Terry
13 years ago

Hello, Neeraj. That is a very big question. Some of the answers for how I have done it can be found in my list of plastic-free changes to date:



Neeraj Kaushik
13 years ago

How did you manged to bring down the consumption of plastic goods and its quantity? It is really very surprising but appreciable. Keep it up.

14 years ago

Here is my rundown on the documentary: Forever Plastic.

It definatly had a “against plastic” bent to it. There was a plastic egg carton manufacturer marketer whose job it is to “defend plastic”.

The documentary chronicled the problems of recycling plastic. Everything is technically recylable, but there is only a market for certain kinds of plastic so therefore only those kinds are being recycled. Recycling, like all else, boils down to economics.

As far as I could tell, clear plastic has no market and no one is equipped to recycle it. Consumers are complaining to manufacturers who are leaning on municipalities to collect it. Thereby, totally, in my opinion, avoiding the issue of NOT using plastic.

There was a short history of plastic and how during WWII a cheap source was needed and petro was cheap versus plant based plastics which were also considered. And then after WWII, the “throwaway lifestyle” was marketed and now “what do we do with all this plastic that doesn’t go away”.

There were some facts about the recyling logo, which manufacturers use at their distrection and the number is the important thing. Which many people don’t know about.

Here’s another reason to give up meat (not that I have or likely will) but, 1 cow uses about 14 kg of plastic bale wrap a year. There’s a company in Ontario trying to recycle it but there is no market and they aren’t getting any help with that avenue.

It may be up on YouTube eventaully as CBCDoc zone had a link to their Youtube documentries. https://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=CA11FCB2629B9742&gl=CA

They ended with a ecology (i think) student who was running a experiment to see what people believed was recyclable or not. His parting words were (as he mailed some plastic packaging back to manufacturers which has a name in Europe that eludes me) “plastic is here to stay, we need to concicous of it’s use”.

But if my trip to the grocery store was any indication, people aren’t getting that message yet.

14 years ago

To-go ware was also on my Christmas list and now I get to buy it for myself. I even got to use my payapl account so the entire transaction was plastic free (unless you count my computer). Thanks!!

14 years ago

thank you SO much for the to-go ware link for the discount. i’d been thinking about getting a non-plastic lunch container since i just started a job and i want to take my lunch to work.

i got a 3-tier for myself and bought a 2-tier one for my husband’s birthday next month. he’s not into the “eco thing” as much as i am but i’m trying to change his lifestyle bit by bit. ;)

i also spread the word to my sister since she mentioned wanting to take her lunch to work more often and being concerned with using plastic containers.

clearly, you’re making a big difference in our family! now, if only to-go ware made smaller, square, compartmentalized ones for my kids.

Beth Terry
14 years ago

Amy K. — I have seen those sandwich containers, but the shape is just not as perfect as my square, hinged Tupperware. It doesn’t look like it would hold a square sandwich together. And the reason I don’t just wrap up my sandwiches in a cloth napkin, as Chiot’s Run suggests, is that it would get crushed by all my other worldly belongings that I lug around every day in my backpack since I don’t have a car. Still looking and hoping for that perfect sandwich container.

As for a container for liquids, check out my review of Life Without Plastic’s airtight stainless containers:


These containers are spill-proof.

Asrais — please let me know what you think about the show after you watch it.

Condo Blues — I hear you. Please fill out the survey and let them know this is what you need. I believe there is a question about being able to microwave in your container.

Myself, I place my food in a glass bowl that I keep at work for microwaving. But if you need to microwave the food in the same container, this would not work for you.

14 years ago

Perfect timing! Thanks for posting this! I just got one set for myself for Christmas and now I can get another one for my husband to use and store in his car.

Condo Blues
14 years ago

I've been meaning to ask this for quite awhile about the stackable stainless steel lunch containers. I usually heat up leftovers for lunch. What do you do about sticking metal in the microwave? I suppose that you could bring an extra plate for the purpose, but if I'm using a self contained lunch caddy I want all of the items to eat my lunch including silverware, plate, & napkin to be in the 1 lunch caddy. what do you do?

14 years ago

Wow this is great beth. I have wanted to go ware for a long time and with the savings code it is affordable! I can’t wait until it gets here! Normally I just use 1/2 pint mason jars but it is hard to stuff a sandwich in them!

14 years ago

Amy K, how about a pint canning jar? I carry them to work all the time, and I’ve only broken one – it was -5 outside, and when I got to work and set my bag down, the glass just shattered. Other than that, they’ve been pretty good to me – the tempered glass is tough, microwaveable, and no-spill.

Two of the things we often buy (Classico spaghetti sauce and East Wind peanut butter) come in jars that have standard canning-jar-sized lids, so I save those lids to use on my jars when I’m just storing stuff or transporting it.

14 years ago

I will definatly be watching this. I should be able to catch it despite the hockey game conflict. (You don’t argue with a fan).

As for viewing it outside Canada, welcome to my world. I’m not allowed to watch any American TV websites, despite being able to watch the exact same shows on American channels.

14 years ago

I just got back from a 3 week trip to India and these stacked, stainless steel containers were super popular (I also suspect the inspiration for the “to-go ware” line).

Agggggh was planning on buying a few of these containers while in India but decided to wait until the end of the trip so I didn’t have to haul them all around India, then the train was delayed by 5 hours and hence my allotted shopping time eliminated. :( So I’m happy you posted this coupon link b/c I was quite sad about having to pay $20 vs the $3 they charge in India for the exact same product…

Cheap Like Me
14 years ago

This is wonderful … I was just thinking we could use a tiffin or two.

Chiot's Run
14 years ago

I am looking forward to your mustard recipe. I often make my own, it’s so easy! You could start making your own organic ghee to use in place of canola oil (much healthier and no glass or plastic involved). We’ve started using it in everything, it makes the best popcorn!

I’ll have to check out To-Go Ware. We just switched to all glass freezer/storage containers last year. I usually just wrap sandwiches in a cloth napkin. I also just take our metal silverware with us when we’re off on a picnic, then I pack it up and bring it home.

Amy K.
14 years ago

I did find a metal sandwich tin online,

Though I have not ordered one. I am more of a soup or casserole gal, and really need to find non-plastic, minimally-breakable, microwaveable options.

Green Resolutions
14 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing. To-Go Ware was on my Christmas wish list and I didn’t get any. Based on the survey, I look forward to seeing new products from the company!

14 years ago

Awww… I already bought a 2-tier and 3-tier at Green Festival last fall – it think it was a really good deal though, like $40 for both, not sure.