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  • Writer's pictureYi Yu

Plastic Challenge: Yi Yu, Week 2

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: 2 (2020/10/22-2020/10/28)

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

bags, bottles, cups, straws… the usuals

Total items collected: 50

Total weight: 464g (16.37 oz)

Items: Recyclable

1) Container - from grass jelly

2) Lid - from grass jelly

3-5) Sauce containers

6-8) Sauce container lids

9) Styrofoam takeout box

10) Soup bowl

11) Soup lid

12) Coffee lid - from Starbucks

13) Coffee lid plug - from Starbucks

14) Plastic bag - for bread

15) Clip - for bread

16) Plastic rim - from NUUN immunity supplement

17) Hair conditioner bottle

18) Hygienic / skincare product wraps - from starface world and U by Kotex

19-25) Bubble wraps - from Amazon, B&H, and Peak Design

26-36) Plastic wraps - from various vendors including Amazon

37-38) Plastic bags - for takeout

39) Plastic mesh bag - for lemons

Items: Nonrecyclable

40-42) Clear package - for Sony lavalier mic

43-45) Package - for instant ramen

46) Package - from Lotte custard cake

47) Plate - for instant ramen

48) Fork

49) Plastic wrap - for straw

50) Unidentifiable plastic film

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

Mesh bag for lemons, sauce containers, coffee lid plug, hair conditioner bottles, and plastic fork.

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

Plastic bag to hold the bread, bubble wrap in deliveries, and wraps for cosmetics/hygiene products.

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

I’ve received many packages this week, which comes with a huge amount of plastic bubble wraps and other clear plastic wraps. How the purchased items will be packed for delivery is not within my control, but I could try to make online orders together, so they come in less packaging.

The tricky part is that you never know when you need or want something from an online store, especially with new products coming out every minute. I guess what really needs change is the urge for instant gratification and the desire to purchase cheap products with poor quality. Simply put, before making a purchase, I should ask myself whether I really need it, how long will I need it, and how long will the product last.

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

Shampoo/hair conditioner bottles. I’ve purchased the shampoo/hair conditioner bars from LUSH to replace the hair care products in plastic bottles.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

The fast lifestyle significantly contributes to the high demand of plastics. When we have little time to cook, clean, shop or do anything related to our personal lives, products wrapped in plastics come into play. Plastics equip products (food, drink, skincare etc.) with the ability to be used at any time regardless of their natural lifespan. We use plastics to freeze or slow down the time of substances that are meant to last for a much shorter time.

Wrote on Oct 31, 2020

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