Tagged: plastic bags

February plastic challenge!

I can’t believe how fast the month of February have gone by. It feels like it just begun, and here we are, February is over and I’m at the end of my plastic trash challenge.

There is no doubt! I use more plastic than I realised. I have to admit, I’m glad I jumped on the bandwagon together with Every Week Is Green, as it have made me more aware of the type of trash I have and how much.

As I mentioned at the start of this challenge, we have several ways to recycle our stuff, in the area I live. I have always been pretty good at sorting the paper in the paper bin and food scraps in the organic bin, but I have to admit, that unless I have had bigger plastic items, I have not been good at sorting the plastic, and neither have I been good at separating glass and metal tins either.

Well, all that has changed!

I am now much more into separating the stuff. I have a dedicated glass/metal tin container, a plastic trash container (a mason jar for the time being) in addition to my old paper, organic and other trash containers.

While on this challenge, I have noticing that it is just about impossible to avoid plastic in your everyday life, regardless off how much you would like to! For example, I never realised how much of our vegetables and fruit that come wrapped in some sort of plastic. Even paying close attention, I find it almost impossible to find my vegetables and fruits unwrapped. I mean seriously, why the heck do they need to wrap broccoli, red peppers, carrots, ginger, onion, grapes just to mention a few?

In the Stavanger region, where I live, I have not yet found a place where I can buy everyday items without the packaging. There is no “bring your own jars and bags” alternative. Close to where I live I have several food stores, and it seems like they get a lot of their food from the same production line.

We have a few (and I mean only a few – I know of 3 or 4) farmers markets and farm shops around this area, but even there, I find that a lot of their items are wrapped in that darn plastic. Since these places are quite a drive from my everyday haunt, it’s not natural to go there for everyday shopping, even if they might (I’m saying might, because it’s not given) have a couple of more things not already wrapped.

As a lot of other people around, I have my share of plastic items, already stacked in the house! You know, items like storage containers, bowls, hard plastic plates, tumblers, lids, zip-lock bags +++  Having jumped on this “not using to much plastic” bandwagon, does not mean that I will get rid of all my plastic and only use glass or paper going forward. To me that seems a little pointless, as that would just mean that I would throw even more unused plastic out there in the world.

No, what I will be doing is use the heck out of the plastic I already have 🙂 Which among other things means wash and reuse all sorts of plastic bags, so that I can get the most out of them.

For years, I have brought my own shopping bags, but this month I also started bringing bags for fruit and vegetables++, I’m reusing the same bags that the fruit and vegetables came into the house with… I figured, that every little thing helps 🙂

So how did I really do this month?

Total of the month

  • 1 chocolate wrapper
  • 1 baguette wrapper
  • 5 salad bags + all the little bags inside that holds cheese, dressing and stuff
  • 3 cheese bags
  • 3 mashed potato bags
  • 1 puffed rice bag
  • 1 windshield washer fluid refill bag
  • 7 milk carton tops
  • 4 candy wrappers
  • 1 tikka masala spice lid (the glass for the sauce goes into the glass recycle bin)
  • 1 carrot tray (don’t ask, I cant believe they have to wrap carrots)
  • 3 bags for Norwegian “Kakemenn
  • 4 popcorn wrappers
  • Bunch of plastic that covers things like fruit, vegetables, pork chops, fish and a few other necessities
  • 1 plastic box for 500 grams of grapes – unfortunately they come in boxes, no loose grapes here in my stores 😦
  • 56 contact lenses and their storage trays – I use SoftLens daily, and they come in small plastic containers
  • 2 orchid pot (Plants no longer flowering – from my Christmas decoration)
  • 1 orchids info tab
  • 2 Christmas plant pots (Poinsettias no longer flowering)
  • 1 lamp electric wire wrapper (project I will tell you about shortly)
  • 2 magazine wrappers
  • and 2 beef jerky bags – which I have decided I will reuse, as the bags are pretty solid – so ignore the jerky bags from week three photo 🙂

Would you believe that with the exception of the contact lens trays and the flower pots, I managed to wrap all this stuff into the grape box mentioned above 🙂  Check it out, in the picture below!

So what now? Did I learn something?

Yes, absolutely! I have learned that I need to pay more attention. I have found that with a little effort, I can reduce my plastic consumption. It’s not difficult to reuse, and by keeping continuing focus… it might save a plastic bag or ten…

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A plastic trash challenge!

Johanna over at Every week is green, decided in the beginning of February to do a trash challenge, where she keeps track of all the trash she generates through a month.

I thought this was a great idea, and I decided to join her on parts of this challenge, namely the plastic part.

Were I live here in Norway, we have pretty good facilities for recycle. My trash room have separate bins for paper, food waste and general trash. They also pick up plastic once a month, which are collected not in bins but in big plastic bags.

Right next to my local shop (just down the street), there is a big container for glass and metal cans, and you can deliver light bulbs at the store itself. Any big electrical items, can be delivered at any electrical store, paint and stuff is considered special waste and can be delivered either at the fire station or you can bring it to the local recycle centre (which for me is only 4 minutes away). The local recycle centre will take everything you could think off. You pay a small fee and you can toss to your hearts content 😉

So you see, there are great opportunities to recycle if we are mindful!

During my blogging year, I’ve come across a lot of people trying to go plastic free. I’m not quite there, as I do use my plastic containers to store food and stuff, and I do use the occasional plastic wrapper. But at the same time, I also bring my own bags to the stores, both carry bags and bags for fruit and vegetables. And I do try, to keep the amount of plastic that enters my house, to a low volume, with the unfortunate exception of necessities that happen to be wrapped in the darn thing.

But just like Johanna, I’m a bit curious on how much of the stuff I actually go through in a month, so I have decided to keep track of the plastic trash this month.

I started out February 1st, and this is what I went through my first week. It’s turning out to be more plastic than normally (I think) as I went a little crazy on bagged salads (on sale) and had to refill wiper fluid on my car:

  • 1 chocolate wrapper
  • 1 baguette wrapper
  • 3 salad bags
  • 1 mashed potato bag
  • 1 puffed rice bag
  • 1 windshield washer fluid refill bag (which at least uses 63% less plastic than a regular washer fluid container)
  • 2 milk carton tops
  • 14 contact lenses and their storage trays – I use SoftLens daily, and they come in small plastic containers
  • 1 plastic box for 500 grams of grapes – unfortunately they come in boxes, no loose grapes here in my stores 😦
  • Bunch of plastic that covers things like fruit, vegetables, pork chops, fish and a few other necessities

I stored most of it in a mason jar (you can see it empty on the picture) during the week, but pulled it all out to show you the stuff. I repacked it nicely into the grape box, as I’m keeping it there while I start on a new week of mason jar collecting 😉

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