I am taking a break from my Olympic-watching marathon to take inventory of our plastic accrual for this month. To that end, I have a picture to share with you:
Now, this photo is a close-up (and it exposes Bruce’s purchase of double-stuffed Oreo cookies for his writer’s club!), so I will help put it in perspective. This plastic is in a box that is 14″ x 21″ x 6.5″ (roughly) and the plastic is about 13″ high. If you stuff the plastic in the box, you can, of course, compress it to fit in the box. But, that is hardly a comfort to me. My conclusion: too much plastic!
I have begun compiling a list of the companies that manufacture these products. So far, I am up to 21 companies. I am creating a form letter to be sent via e-mail or US mail or the company’s website requesting that they examine their packaging. It will be nearly identical to the letter I posted on my blog before, but this version will have additional data, e.g., the quantity of the product that I consumed in a month as well as the specific product name.
When I first started this project and looked into alternatives, you’ll recall that I located the company, TerraCycle, and discovered that they have a zero separation box that is 12″ x 12″ x 12″ and will cost $48.02. After my discovery, I contacted the company to verify that this was my only option. Even though their website states, “We will respond to any customer service inquiry within 24 hours,” I have not yet heard from them. I will contact them again tonight to see what happens.
Here are some of the things I have noticed so far: most of the plastic packaging is not labeled as recyclable. A limited few have #4 plastic packaging which, I have recently (read MINUTES AGO) discovered, is recyclable at the local Wal-Mart even though it is not accepted by my curbside collection. How did I learn this? There’s a great interactive map on Earth911.com that helps you search by zip code for plastic bags #1 through #7.
Even though my focus is on trying to advocate for changes in packaging from many companies, who have, in some small way, become the BADDIES in my mind, I want to salute one company that jumps to the top of my mind because I believe their products and packaging are making a difference:
Stahlbush Farms: This company offers all organic produce and ALSO bags that are made of a fully recyclable paper. AWESOME!
I will try to think of others. Right now, though, I am leaving because I heard that women’s moguls are on. Gotta dash!