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  • Writer's pictureYi Yu

Plastic Challenge: Yi Yu, Week 6+7

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. It’s worth noting that the purpose of such challenge is to raise awareness on plastic use by observing our own behaviors, not to provoke guilt.

Week 6 (2020/11/19-2020/11/25)

Week 7 (2020/11/26-2020/12/02)

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Name: Yi Yu (Stephanie)

Week: 6+7 (2020/11/19-2020/12/02)

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

One-time use masks, grocery bags, straws, cups… the usuals

Total items collected: 17+17=34

Total weight: 100g (wk.6) + 290g (wk.7) = 390g (13.76 oz)

Items: Recyclable

1) Styrofoam takeout box from Wing Stop

2) Bag strap for bread bag

3) Packages from cosmetic and hygiene product

4-5) Tampons

6) Plastic coffee cup

7) Plastic lid for coffee cup

8-9) Plastic lid for ramen container

10) Milk carton

11) Half-n-half carton

12) Holder for instant ramen

13-14) Air-filled protector for delivery

Items: Nonrecyclable

15) Package for rice noodles

16) Tube from Airborne

17) Styrofoam lid

18-19) Plastic lid from hapi snacks

20-21) Plastic film

22-24) Bag for chips

25) Bag for bread

26-27) Plastic bag

28-29) Ramen container

30) Package for instant ramen

31-32) Plastic bag from photography gears

33) Small plastic

34-35) Plastic wrap from Meiji

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

Perhaps the bread packaging. I used to bake sourdough bread, but I stopped because I failed miserably almost every time. This semester is coming to an end, and it might be a good time to pick that up again.

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

Airborne Vitamin C and rice noodles wrapped in plastics.

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

I probably start to sound like a broken record, but the few changes needed include order less takeout and shop online only when necessary.

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

Multi-surface cleaner in plastic bottles! I ordered a starter cleaning kit from Blueland, and so far, I’m really enjoying it.

Commentary of the Week

I took a short trip to the San Francisco Bay during Thanksgiving, which is the main reason why there wasn’t much plastic waste being included, since the majority of the trash is tossed away. Also, I’m combining week 6 and 7 together because I had quite a busy week, and my body conditions were not at their best. During the short trip, I realized how tough it is to avoid the use of plastics on a trip as I don’t have a choice but to consume products wrapped in plastics. To change this, careful planning is needed. For instance, pre-pack snacks and bottled water, bring my own trash bags to collect plastics, as well as cook if the situation allows.

On the trip, I tried out Philz Coffee for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised by their environmental consciousness. All their coffee cups and lids are from a brand called ECO PRODUCTS, which provides compostable and recyclable utensils. To me, the best part about Philz Coffee is that both hot and cold drinks go into the same kind of cups. This makes composting or recycling much easier since buyers would spend less time in sorting the waste.


Wrote on Dec 3, 2020

Los Angeles

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