Plastic reduction challenge 2010

No Plastic WB

Plastic, plastic everywhere…

From food wrappings to drink bottles, razors to shampoo bottles, carrier bags, packaging, car bumpers, flooring, shower curtains, televisions, and on and on and on, plastic is a ubiquitous part of modern life.

It’s also become part of our ocean environment… a floating rubbish dump that stretches from Hawaii to Japan. Bad news for marine life.

This year I am really going to make an effort to reduce the plastics that I buy and use, and to look for and implement alternatives, though I’m under no illusion that I’ll be able to eliminate ALL plastics from my life.

So why am I doing this?

In terms of “short-use” plastics, like soy yogurt pots, fruit & veg trays, etc: Not all of these types of plastics are recyclable (our local council accepts types 1, 2, 5 and 6 for recycling). Non-recyclable plastics end up in the landfill, and I really want to reduce the number of items that I send to the landfill. Even those plastics which are recyclable are using energy and resources to be recycled. Plus there is the danger of chemicals leaching into food and drink from these containers, with all the associated health implications, like cancer.

In terms of “long-use” plastics, like food storage containers, clothes hangers, etc: I’m becoming fed up with how cheap and nasty some of this stuff is, how it breaks and then must be discarded. Plus they’ve got the same recycling issues that short-term plastics have when they become unusable. And the same health risks.

Then there are “hidden” plastics. Did you know that tin cans are lined with plastic, as are Tetra-pak type containers? Tin can linings contain BPA, which has been implicated in a wide range of health problems.

I’ll be looking into alternatives for all types of plastic products that I use, and sharing them on my blog, so stay tuned!

Read more:

Scientists uncover new ocean threat from plastics

Why plastic is the scourge of sea life

Plastic breaks down in ocean — and fast

Plastics component affects intestine

Heart disease risk of chemical used in food and drink containers

Cancer alert over tin can and plastic bottle chemical

4 Comments

  1. The plastic thing has been on my mind for some time now as well–it is crazy when you stop and look around and realize that it is EVERYWHERE! I can’t wait to hear about your plastic alternative discoveries.

  2. Wonderful. Thanks for all the info. We are trying to reduce plastic in our lives as well, although you’re right; it’s so darn insidious!

  3. Hi Felicity,

    I don’t normally participate in these kind of things, but I thought it would be great to learn a bit more about you, so I’ve tagged you for a favourite photo meme. No pressure or obligation to participate, I will understand, though it would be lovely.

    http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-letterbox-part-4.html

  4. What a great idea, Felicity! I find it takes so much awareness on my part to say no to plastic here. I have to constantly remember to tell the clerks/cashiers at different places that I shop “no bag thanks..I have one!” I recently read about a new Samsung phone that is made out of biodegradable corn plastic..I will definitely check that out next time I am in the market for a phone!

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