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  • Writer's pictureYi Yu

Plastic Challenge: Yi Yu, Week 1

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

About This Challenge:

As I learn more about living sustainably, I came across the plastic challenge created by Beth Terry and I decided to take the challenge.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Name: Yi Yu (Stephanie)

Week: 1 (2020/10/15-2020/10/21)

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)

bags, bottles, cups, straws…

Total items collected: 24

Total weight: 154g (5.43 oz)

Items: Recyclable

1) Plastic plate - for instant ramen

2) Plastic plate - for chicken

3) Plastic cup - from Starbucks

4) Plastic lid - from Starbucks

5) Plastic cup - from boba shop

6) Plastic straw - from boba shop

7) Plastic lid - from oat milk carton

8) Hygiene/skincare product plastics wraps - from U by Kotex and Starface World

9-11) Plastic bowl lids - two from a ramen restaurant, one from a Vietnamese restaurant

Items: Nonrecyclable

12) Styrofoam container - takeout

13) Plate - for mushroom

14) Bag - for Mission’s tortilla chips

15) Sauce containers - from McDonald’s

16) Unidentifiable plastic wraps

17) Plastic film - for mushroom

18) Plastic film - for chicken

19) Plastic bag - can’t remember where I got it

20) Plastic piece - from the package for brown sugar

21) Plastic bag - from Orion

22) Plastic tea bag - from Twining’s

23-24) Wrappers - both from instant ramen

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?

Cups from Starbucks and the boba stores, plastic straws, takeout containers, and plastic bags for instant ramen.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?

Plastic lid from the oat milk carton, wraps for cosmetics/hygiene products.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?

I could make my own coffee and boba lol. Also, order less takeout and make less instant ramen… However, I feel quite lazy to cook sometimes, so in order to cook less, I can make a larger amount of food each time, store the rest in the fridge, and reheat them when my stomach craves for food. As for pads, I could purchase the reusable cotton ones, but I probably won’t make the purchase until I’ve used up my current box.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?

Starbucks cups and boba straws. I just purchased a stainless-steal boba straw as well as a tumbler.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

There are indeed many kinds of plastics and it was a time-consuming task trying to figure out what is what.

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