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How Much Plastic Do You Use?

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:07pm



Beth Terry writes about her goal to become plastic free in her blog, Fake Plastic Fish. She keeps track off every piece of plastic that comes into her home then she graphs her results weekly. She recently asked her readers to keep an inventory of their plastic use for at least one week then send the results to her.

Below is a list of the plastic I collected in one week from a household of 2 adults. I started reducing the plastic waste in my life about 15 months ago. I first read FPF when my son, Joel, sailed on the Alguita to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. At first I was very casual about reducing plastic but as time passed I got more serious about it. I really became more dedicated to the cause after I started my own blog. I feel that I have plateaued lately. Doing this plastic inventory was much more useful than I thought it would be. It helped me see where plastic was sneaking into my house. As a result I plan to start gently bugging the 2 grocery stores where I shop for more bulk choices. I also plan to try to convince my pharmacy to do something about prescription bottles. I wish we could just refill them in the old bottles.

This was a worthwhile activity to do. It helped me evaluate the plastic that I am still using. I know I can eliminate some of it. I recommend you try it yourself!

Plastic Bags:
1 bag from cherries - Buy bulk
4 plastic disposable shopping bags- How did these get in here? I think bag boy wrapped chicken in 2 of them when I was not looking.
1 sandwich size Ziploc bag - Use a glass storage jar
1 bag from whole chicken - Buy chicken at deli and ask for butcher paper wrapping
1 plastic bag for instruction booklets for new washer - Could not control this.
1 plastic bag from dry navy beans - Buy bulk
1 plastic bag from cereal - Buy bulk
1 plastic bag from carrots - Buy bulk
2 plastic bags from crackers that were in a box - What to do??
1 plastic bag from Salmon fillet - I should ask for butcher paper wrapping.

Bottles/containers:
1 mushroom container - Buy bulk
3 scoops from laundry detergent - I wish they did not put these in the boxes.
1 lid from glass milk bottle - What to do??
1 BBQ sauce bottle - Make my own, especially since 100% of the store stuff has high fructose corn syrup in it. I need a recipe.
1 .3 oz bottle for dill weed - I am growing my own and will reuse this bottle.
1 Centrum vitamins bottle and lid - At least buy a large bottle rather than several small ones
1 medium plastic bowl and lid that is worn out - As these wear out, I replace them with glass ones.
2 plastic lids to take-out coffee - I need to bring my own mug.
1 prescription bottle - What to do?
4 plastic containers from blueberry plants - I was surprised that these containers were plastic. They looked like cardboard.

Other:
1 packaging from fresh organic basil - I am growing my own.
2 hotel key/cards - What to do??
packaging from a new Norelco electric shaver for husband
1 nylon tie that washing machine delivery men dropped
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