Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Week 24 Plastic Waste

I have some catching up to do! This doesn't seem like a lot for 4 weeks worth of plastic-- likely missing some windowed envelopes and fruit stickers. Look for larger items in the coming weeks as I clean out my freezer and run out of things like SHAMPOO (this is a big one).

Laundry detergent scoop: Do 'green' brands like Ecover come without the scoop? I will "tide" myself over by buying the small cardboard boxes of detergent at the laundromat until I figure out my options. Will re-use if I can.

Hair clip: It was in the bottom of my bag. It was old and brittle. It broke. Plastic does that. I got it free at a Swapping Party, so easy come, easy landfill, I guess.

Toothpaste: Very excited to finish up this tube and go with Beth Terry's recommendation of Tom's of Maine SLS-free toothpaste. I like it a lot! Cap goes to Aveda, tube to the landfill.

Bag and sticker from EcoDent dental floss: Very little waste, considering. I still have 2 plastic boxes of floss to finish before starting on the EcoDent. Landfill.

More stickers: fruit and from the Tom's of Maine toothpaste box. Landfill.

Debit card: expired. Cut up, then landfill.

Clothing tags: I purchased several new pairs of underwear. Is this less plastic than if I'd bought a bag of Fruit of the Loom undies? Landfill.

Ice cream taster spoon: I went to the trouble of asking for a cone, then a re-usable cup instead of a plastic one. Would I like to taste the hazelnut? Sure! Two seconds later-- D'oh! Landfill.

Ketchup cup: Next time I order yummy french fries at the Beer Garden, I need to ask for ketchup right on the plate.

Energy Kitchen Cup: This one deserves a letter. The surface is covered with paper, so it looks like paper but is actually STYROFOAM. (Granted I should have stuck with my Kleen Kanteen, but got lazy and was craving a soda.) How can a company that is trading on a healthy image feel OK with using so much plastic packaging and service items? I guess "healthy" and "plastic free alternatives" aren't linked in the public imagination. I wonder if that will change with time. Landfill- after I write that letter.


Elizabeth B said...

Hello! I'm new around here. :)

Yes, the Ecover powdered laundry soap comes with a scoop--made out of cardboard! Win! Beth of Fake Plastic Fish covered this one. She's the one who led me to choose Ecover. Also, I really like the company policies; Mrs. Green over at My Zero Waste had a guest post from someone from Ecover. They have a bottle refilling program(me) in the UK. I have refill envy.

Verification word: dogesine. Is that some kind of Papal trigonometry?

The Green Cat said...

I was just about to say what Elizabeth said--Ecover comes with a cardboard scoop. Avoid 7th Generation powdered laundry detergent because they come with a plastic scoop. You might want to go straight for SoapNuts but watch out for the plastic in some of them. Maggie's Soap Nuts come in a plastic bag, but I think Laundry Tree come sans plastic. Check Beth's blog to confirm that--she covered some plastic-free soap nuts recently.

Jen. said...

Just a thought: I've been making my own laundry detergent with equal amounts of washing soda (use twice the amount if using baking soda), borax and a bar of soap, grated very fine in a food processor. A tablespoon of that powder mix works well for 11 pounds of laundry in cold water.

Baking/Washing soda and borax come in cardboard boxes and I use Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Castile soap, which is packaged in paper.