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Thread: Could you live without plastic?

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    Could you live without plastic?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/16/s...ee-living.html

    For Beth Terry, the epiphany came when she read an article about how albatross chicks are being killed by discarded plastics. It was time to banish plastic from her life.

    First, she focused on her kitchen and got rid of the shopping bags, microwaveable Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese, Clif energy bars and the prewashed salads in plastic tubs.

    Then she turned to her bathroom, where she switched to shampoo bars instead of bottles and made her own hair conditioner from apple cider vinegar. Toothpaste without plastic packaging was exceptionally hard to find, so she started making her own with baking soda.

    Sometimes her personal war on plastic created awkward moments. During a vacation to Disneyland in California to run a half-marathon, Ms. Terry and her husband left their reusable cloth bags in the hotel, soon discovering that the local supermarket only had plastic bags. How to carry a bunch of apples, oranges, avocados and melons?
    I read the linked article last month about a woman who decided to try and live without any disposable plastic products. I think most of us know that plastic pollution is a huge global problem and it also is contributing to global warming, but how many of us could live without plastic? I don't think I could, could you?

    After I read the article, I looked around my house and realized that I was surrounded by plastic. In addition to plastic grocery bags and garbage bags, just about everything I buy comes in plastic containers. There's produce containers, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant containers, toothbrushes which are only used for several months, as well as the container that hold dental floss. My husband will only drink water that comes in plastic bottles, and many food products come in plastic containers, including candy. It also looks as if the protective lining on the outside of many things, like bags of dog food and those frozen foods that the women mentioned in the article. I mean the list goes on and on and on. Do we even need to mention the plastic containers that fast food restaurants use, plastic food utensils, take out boxes etc.? You can't even get paper bags in most stores anymore, and very few people cart around reusable bags when they shop. Oh, I forget about laundry detergent and fabric softener containers. Oh my!

    It also made me think of the old movie "The Graduate". I remember the man who told Dustin Hoffman, who played the young grad, that the future was in plastic. I think the movie was made around 1965. We had no idea how much plastic would fuck up the environment.

    I also read that plastic production is expected to increase enormously over the next twenty years. OMG!

    Could any of you live without plastic? Are any of you trying? The woman in the link is doing it but despite her determination, it's been extremely difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/16/s...ee-living.html

    For Beth Terry, the epiphany came when she read an article about how albatross chicks are being killed by discarded plastics. It was time to banish plastic from her life.

    First, she focused on her kitchen and got rid of the shopping bags, microwaveable Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese, Clif energy bars and the prewashed salads in plastic tubs.

    Then she turned to her bathroom, where she switched to shampoo bars instead of bottles and made her own hair conditioner from apple cider vinegar. Toothpaste without plastic packaging was exceptionally hard to find, so she started making her own with baking soda.

    Sometimes her personal war on plastic created awkward moments. During a vacation to Disneyland in California to run a half-marathon, Ms. Terry and her husband left their reusable cloth bags in the hotel, soon discovering that the local supermarket only had plastic bags. How to carry a bunch of apples, oranges, avocados and melons?
    I read the linked article last month about a woman who decided to try and live without any disposable plastic products. I think most of us know that plastic pollution is a huge global problem and it also is contributing to global warming, but how many of us could live without plastic? I don't think I could, could you?

    After I read the article, I looked around my house and realized that I was surrounded by plastic. In addition to plastic grocery bags and garbage bags, just about everything I buy comes in plastic containers. There's produce containers, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant containers, toothbrushes which are only used for several months, as well as the container that hold dental floss. My husband will only drink water that comes in plastic bottles, and many food products come in plastic containers, including candy. It also looks as if the protective lining on the outside of many things, like bags of dog food and those frozen foods that the women mentioned in the article. I mean the list goes on and on and on. Do we even need to mention the plastic containers that fast food restaurants use, plastic food utensils, take out boxes etc.? You can't even get paper bags in most stores anymore, and very few people cart around reusable bags when they shop. Oh, I forget about laundry detergent and fabric softener containers. Oh my!

    It also made me think of the old movie "The Graduate". I remember the man who told Dustin Hoffman, who played the young grad, that the future was in plastic. I think the movie was made around 1965. We had no idea how much plastic would fuck up the environment.

    I also read that plastic production is expected to increase enormously over the next twenty years. OMG!

    Could any of you live without plastic? Are any of you trying? The woman in the link is doing it but despite her determination, it's been extremely difficult.
    I'm making a concerted effort to reduce the use of products that are sold in plastic, for starters. Even so, my community collects plastics for recycling and so I feel...less terrible about using anything in plastic.

    For the most part, we eat lower on the food chain: very little processed foods; very little that is packaged in plastics.

    Unfortunately, some things such as medications come in plastic containers or at a minimum, plastic packaging.

    Things like shampoo and deodorant are harder. Yes, I can use bar shampoo but it doesn't do as nice a job. Apple cider vinegar is not a hair conditioner, but it is a good rinse, which is not the same thing. I find as I get older, my hair is drier and so I actually use conditioner in the largest bottle I can find, which usually lasts about 5-6 months. And recycle bottles, yes.

    Laundry detergent: it's much harder to find something that does not come in plastic. I opt for only brands that do not contain dyes or perfumes and recycle plastic if that's what it came in.

    Some of the things she uses, I've used myself when money was really lean: toothpaste made from baking soda, for example. I still do that sometimes. I use things like baking soda, and vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning. Unfortunately, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide come in plastic but I recycle those containers. I also can purchase vinegar by the gallon, so that does help.

    Hardest for me is eliminating packaging, period. I can buy a lot of things in bulk at the co-op and reduce plastic that way. But to purchase non-consumables such as clothing, books, even, shoes, involves either a trip to the nearest large metropolitan area which is over 100 miles away (but I have more choices/chances of finding things in my size) or trips to malls/stores closer by which are much less likely to carry my size/things I want. Unfortunately, I do more shopping online. I would feel better about that if they didn't come in so many different packages with too much packaging. Or rely on unfair labor practices. Yes, I'm talking about you, Amazon!

    I think the real trick (for me) is to reduce consumption, period. Warmer weather is coming so I can utilize the farmers' markets more in a couple of months, and start growing some stuff on my own. I can purchase a surprising array of meats and eggs and even cheese and some soaps which are locally made and not packaged in plastic. I have an array of bags that I can use to carry purchases. I don't much like living in town but I can walk a lot of places...

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    I don’t see a way of getting rid of the plastic vegetable bags from the grocery. I tried, but they hate when I put wet veggies on the conveyor. I’m not crazy about it either.
    Dwight

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    My town has mandatory recycling, but that doesn't include things like detergent bottles etc. And, from what I've read, there's too much recycled plastic piling up.

    Like Toni, we eat almost all fresh foods, but as TV and credit cards said, other than the grocery store chain Aldi, no store in my area has anything but plastic bags for produce, plus meat and chicken is wrapped in plastic and fresh fish is put in plastic bags too. I'd but more produce at Aldi, but their variety is limited.

    Plus there are condiments and cooking oils that only come in plastic bottles. I wonder how people get around that one.

    Grocery stores all used to offer either plastic or paper bags for produce. I'm getting nostalgic for those days. Even Aldi wraps it's meat in plastic, now that I think about it. They used to put berries in cardboard containers but now most of them are in plastic containers.

    I think the article I linked mentioned that a couple of shampoo companies were starting to offer their products in glass or metal containers. I wonder if you can make walls or walkways from recycled plastic. We have a walking trail in town that's made of recycled tires.

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    https://www.recycleyourplastics.org/...cs-can-become/


    We use plastic bags to carry home groceries. They keep our bread and other food fresh. They even let us carry goldfish home from the pet store.
    Today there are thousands of grocery and retail stores to collect these bags for recycling, including most Target, Walmart, Lowes, Safeway stores and more. And remember that at all these places, we also can recycle lots of the plastic wraps that protect the things we buy (even bubble wrap!).
    What can they become? When they are recycled plastic bags and wraps can made into plastic lumber that is used to make park benches, backyard decks and fences – even playground equipment. They also can be recycled into new plastic bags – and then recycled again. Check out this web site that talks about recycling plastic bags and find out where you can recycle them in your community.
    bottles into shirtBotttles
    Plastic bottles for soft drinks, juice and water are a handy way to conquer thirst …and they don’t shatter if you drop them.
    What can they become? When plastic bottles are recycled they can be made into lots of things: t-shirts, sweaters, fleece jackets, insulation for jackets and sleeping bags, carpeting and more bottles.
    It takes about 10 bottles to make enough plastic fiber to make a cool new t-shirt.
    Well that gives me a little bit of hope. Use old plastic to make new things. Sounds like a possible plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    I read the linked article last month about a woman who decided to try and live without any disposable plastic products. I think most of us know that plastic pollution is a huge global problem and it also is contributing to global warming, but how many of us could live without plastic? I don't think I could, could you?
    Male bovine excrement. What doesn't contribute to global warming in your mind ? Apparently almost everything contributes to global warming these days

    But anyway, no I could not live without plastic nor do I have to. However, I take my own cloth bags to the grocery store to use for fruit and veg, I use my own grocery bags for all my shopping, not just the grocery store but any store. I almost never accept a plastic bag at any store. I use my own utensils for my lunch in the office rather than plastic forks and don't use the Styrofoam cups for coffee, I use my own cup, which happens to be plastic but I've had it for years. When ordering take out I ask that they don't provide utensils either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    I read the linked article last month about a woman who decided to try and live without any disposable plastic products. I think most of us know that plastic pollution is a huge global problem and it also is contributing to global warming, but how many of us could live without plastic? I don't think I could, could you?
    Male bovine excrement. What doesn't contribute to global warming in your mind ? Apparently almost everything contributes to global warming these days

    But anyway, no I could not live without plastic nor do I have to. However, I take my own cloth bags to the grocery store to use for fruit and veg, I use my own grocery bags for all my shopping, not just the grocery store but any store. I almost never accept a plastic bag at any store. I use my own utensils for my lunch in the office rather than plastic forks and don't use the Styrofoam cups for coffee, I use my own cup, which happens to be plastic but I've had it for years. When ordering take out I ask that they don't provide utensils either.
    You sure are doing really good re: reducing reliance on plastics! especially for someone who doesn't seem all that into environmentalism. Kudos!

    I'm glad you brought up bringing bags to the store for produce. That's another way to help reduce plastics use.

    The truth is, being thrifty is a good thing, not just for one's pocketbook but for the planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post

    Male bovine excrement. What doesn't contribute to global warming in your mind ? Apparently almost everything contributes to global warming these days
    Is it necessary to degrade a persons thoughts rather than ask them for evidence to back theirs up?

    As for plastics, what is needed is to make it so that it is much more appealing to those who market plastic products to use other materials Simply removing them from the home may make the person doing it feel better, but unless there is a concerted effort by enough people to get these producers attention and effect their bottom line, nothing will change..
    HE WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS SHOULD SEE TO IT THAT IN THE PROCESS HE DOES NOT BECOME A MONSTER. AND IF YOU GAZE LONG ENOUGH INTO THE ABYSS, THE ABYSS GAZES INTO YOU.

    Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Okay, I didn't make up the evidence that excess plastic contributes to global warming. There are numerous articles about this.

    https://www.envirotech-online.com/ne...-warming/46942

    As if we needed any more reasons to be concerned about the alarming scale of plastic pollution, it has now been discovered that this unbiodegradable substance can contribute to global warming, as well. A study conducted by the University of Hawaii has demonstrated that when plastic is exposed to direct sunlight, it can react to produce the harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) methane and ethylene.
    With global concern about methane emissions already sky high, and environmentalists all over the world already lobbying to limit the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill and our oceans, the new findings represent yet another reason to take action immediately. Only by reining in our production of plastic and ensuring that as much of it as possible is recycled can we limit the deleterious effects of this ubiquitous substance.
    Whether you believe the evidence or not, it's still a good idea to try and limit the usage of plastic. It was only recently when I started to research all of the problems with plastic pollution, that I found numerous articles that gave some evidence that it also may have a negative impact on climate change.

    I'm not a research scientist so I can only look at studies by actual scientists and if there seems to be enough evidence to support the claims, I'll accept them until new evidence reverses those claims.

    I also agree that what we do as individuals will make almost no impact. It's just amazing to me how dependent we've become on disposable plastic items.
    Last edited by southernhybrid; 03-15-2019 at 01:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    You sure are doing really good re: reducing reliance on plastics! especially for someone who doesn't seem all that into environmentalism. Kudos!
    I understand why you said that but there is a difference between looking after the environment and the nonsense of catastrophic climate change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    I'm glad you brought up bringing bags to the store for produce. That's another way to help reduce plastics use.
    I was doing this long before most people and prior to plastic bags being banned. Although, I've only been using cloth bags for my fruit and veg for about a year. And I don't do it because I think it help with "climate change".

    You know, someone should get onto the supermarkets to sell these bags in their store, I had to buy mine online.

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