Puck Flastic

I got the most amazing gift from a friend. It is a ceramic cup, with a silicone lid and it says ‘puck flastic.’ I loved it! It will go and sit proudly on my desk as of next week. Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time know that I have been working towards improving my personal relationship to the planet. Some of the ideas I think have been fabulous others though, I have thought to be a sham.[1] Regardless, I have started to engage with how horrific I am in terms of recycling and other environmental issues.

We are now recycling more at home. As time goes on, I keep trying to divert some from the garbage to the recycling. It is working. Our recycling is way up and the garbage is decreasing. Our ‘zero food waste’ program is working really well. We are not throwing food out and/or wasting it.

Then there is plastic. Saying that plastic is ubiquitous is like saying rain is wet. When you start to take stock of the amount of plastic we consume on a daily basis it is staggering.[2] Instead of looking at national or international numbers, just look at your kitchen. If examining the whole kitchen is too overwhelming, then just look at your refrigerator. Most of the condiments are now in plastic bottles. Meat is wrapped in plastic, deli meats come in little plastic Ziploc bags.  What was wrong with wax-lined butcher paper?

How long do we use things? Not very long is the answer. They are meant to be disposable and like good little consumers we dispose of them, one way or another. Even if we recycle the plastic, how much energy is used in this process? The thing about plastic is that it is forever. It does not break down in landfills and there is really nothing that can be done with it once it is made.

What have I done about this? Well, not much yet. I am trying to re-use things like Ziploc bags. I am trying to make sure all plastic goes into the recycling bin. I am looking for alternatives to products in plastic. I carry water in my car with me so that I will never, ever have to buy a bottle of water.

I am curious what some of you are doing about recycling and plastic. What are your thoughts? What changes have you made?

[1] Check back on the ‘Our Green Year’ series of blog posts. There are several posts in the category. Here is the link.

[2] I am not going to bother to pull stats to try to illustrate the problem. If you want them they are everywhere on the internet.