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  • Writer's pictureYi Yu

Plastic Challenge: Yi Yu, Week 3

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: 3 (2020/10/29-2020/11/04)

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

bags, bottles, cups, straws… the usuals

Total items collected: 24

Total weight: 108g (3.81 oz)

Items: Recyclable

1) Clear plastic bag

2) Red plastic bag

3) Cylinder takeout container from a ramen restaurant

4) Round takeout container lid from a ramen restaurant

5) Square takeout container from a ramen restaurant

6-12) Sauce containers from taco trucks, a ramen restaurant, and McDonald’s

13-17) Sauce container lids

18) Small plastics from hygiene products and McDonald’s

19) Coffee cups from Starbucks and a Thai restaurant

20) Coffee cup lid from Starbucks and a Thai restaurant

21) Boba cup from Tea N Tea

22) Straw

Items: Nonrecyclable

23-24) Instant ramen package bags

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

Nothing else on my list besides the straw.

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

All takeout packages. Under the COVID precaution guidelines, it’s almost impossible to not have plastic containers for takeout.

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

Same old, same old. Cook more, Postmate less.

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

I will not buy drinks or food from Starbucks till the end of this year. Here, I said it. I’ll get a holiday mug from them with all the points I’ve collected and then delete the Starbucks mobile app.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

I’m happy about the drop of plastics use this week, but I know that’s not entirely accurate. I didn’t calculate all the plastics I’ve thrown outside home. Plastics I haven’t put on my list include plastic utensils and plastic food containers. As you can already tell, most of my plastic consumptions are food related.

The problem of a plastic “pandemic” is not merely a problem of individuals’ habits. Corporations are the ones who have produced, distributed, and sold plastics to us. While we’re not solely responsible for plastic pollution, it’s essential that we understand how the habit of using plastics has changed and shaped our lives.

With Joe Biden elected President of the United States and Kamala Harris elected Vice President, the road to a greener planet seems a bit widened, but we must not forget that this is only the beginning of a change. The victory of democracy today will not solve all the problems, but it has proven that we could make a difference when we're united, engaged, and passionate. Saving our planet, let's give it a damn good try.


Wrote on Nov 7, 2020

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