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  • Writer's pictureYi Yu

Plastic Perception: Yi Yu, Week 8

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Name: Yi Yu (Stephanie)

Week: 8 (2020/12/03-2020/12/09)

Total weight: 270g (9.52 oz)

Commentary of the Week

Had you been a constant reader of this blog, you will definitely notice the change of my “Plastic Challenge” report. From this week on, I’ll only keep the location, name, week, total weight of my weekly plastic consumption, as well as the commentary section. As I believe I’ve achieved the major goal of Plastic Challenge created by Beth Terry--gaining awareness of my own plastic consumption--I decided to update this weekly plastic documentation to “Plastic Perception”.

Plastic Perception inherits the essential purpose of the Terry’s Plastic Challenge, which is to bring consciousness to one’s usage of plastics in everyday life. However, instead of detailing what plastic I’ve used every week, Plastic Perception aims at analyzing my habit of plastic use and putting such habit into a larger context. A bigger context means anything not under my direct control. It implies asking questions such as “where does this plastic come from”, “how will the plastic be treated after going to the landfill/recycling center”, “how and why was the plastic created in the first place” etc. Also, I’ll include an article, a graphic, a video, or audio which I found thought-provoking, practical or interesting. The attached content will be related to the topic of environmental protections or sustainability.

I’ll start off this new chapter of my blog by stating something obvious: about half of my plastic consumption is food related. The other half consists of mainly deliveries from online shopping. While the product packaging from online stores is made of recyclable plastic, not all packaging for food is. The main cause for disabling food packaging’s recyclability is mixing plastic with other materials. For instance, the Chinese food takeout box cannot be recycled because of the plastic lining on the paper, and the bag for instant ramen is usually made of #5 plastic with an aluminum coating in the inside. This mixture makes it almost impossible to separate the different materials, which makes those packaging indisputably not recyclable. On the other hand, some manufactures strive to make milk/juice cartons recyclable and there are programs that support it in the USA.

To end this week’s commentary, I’ll attach a documentary I’ve watched over the weekend called Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2008). You may watch it on Prime or Bilibili (for Chinese viewers).


Wrote on Dec 12, 2020

Los Angeles

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