A record of my efforts to live a more sustainable life.

Show Us Your Plastic Challenge - Week 4 - January 3 - January 9, 2010



Recyclable Items (5):
  • 1 orange juice carton with plastic spout and lid
  • 1 package from watermelon -- pre-chopped watermelon is definitely not something I would ever buy myself*
  • 1 honey tub (PP 5)*
  • 1 package from combination lock (cardboard and plastic)
  • 1 popcorn jug (PETE 1) -- a huge jug that lasts many months
Non-Recyclable Items (24):
  • 1 wrap from rutabaga
  • 1 top of dried mangoes bag -- the bag itself will show up later
  • 2 wraps from boxes of tea bags
  • 1 packet from shredded cheese*
  • 1 7-11 candy bag
  • 1 cough medicine bottle -- amazingly not recyclable*
  • 1 Riesens bag*
  • 2 toothpicks with colourful plastic wrap on the ends -- I've been trying to get into the habit of asking them not to give me these (they're from my favourite cafĂ©) but I forgot this time.
  • 1 wrap from toilet paper
  • 1 bread bag
  • 8 mini Laffy Taffy wrappers
  • 1 microwave popcorn wrapper
  • 1 Styrofoam plate
  • 1 piece of Scotch tape from my prescription -- I asked them not to give me the unnecessary paper bag with staple, and they were nice about it, but then they taped the boxes together instead, haha.
  • 1 plastic seal from concentrate juice
Total Items: 29

* These are things I had some of at someone else's house (mostly my boyfriend's) so they aren't pictured, as most of them weren't empty when I left.

Analysis:

This is my first week with less than 30 items! :-)

What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
I need to keep remembering to ask for no toothpicks. (I'm also trying to ask for no napkins. A sandwich just isn't that messy.) I could start buying honey at Bulk Barn, where it's in a plastic container, but I can keep bringing the same one back and refilling it. Once I get my reusable bulk bags I can get 7-11 candy without a plastic bag, and I could buy popcorn kernels in bulk. Toilet paper being individually wrapped is just plain dumb, but I don't control the toilet paper purchases in my house.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
The orange juice carton (at least it's just the spout and lid that are plastic), and I had to buy a combination lock. I've never seen one in a plastic-free package.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
It doesn't seem to be possible to buy bread without a plastic bag. Even the bakery at the end of my street has all the bread bagged before you get there. And I eat a lot of bread. I'll keep looking, though.

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