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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 10:09 AM
Original message
A life without plastics?
A writer tries not using or buying plastic for a week. It's not easy. Diapers are involved.

By Trine Tsouderos | Tribune reporter
December 27, 2008

Amid a recent flurry of worrisome reports about plastic, a simple question came up: Could we live without it?

Could my typical familya mom, a dad, a 3-year-old girl and a 7-month-old boyput aside the very material of American lives, the products that greet us after birth in the diapers we wear and ushers us out at death in the body bags we are zipped into?

Could we break this addiction?

I decided to try. For one week, I pledged to buy no new plastic and to keep the kids away from it as much as possible.

It meant putting away the plastic kids' utensils and plates and princess sippy cups and pacifiers. It meant bringing our own bags to stores and forgoing Dunkin' Donuts coffee and fun-size candies. It meant cooking more and relying less on food that comes frozen in plastic bags.

So daunting did it seem that on the day before I started, I binged like a dieter snarfing cookies. Two Target bags to pick up dog poop. Fruit snacks out of plastic bags. Gatorade and Vitaminwater from plastic bottles. The clothes at Macy's came on plastic hangers, and when the clerk offered a plastic bag to take them away, I said, "Yes!"

more:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-plas...
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sabbat hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. If you are not going to use plastics
then you better not drive a car, use mass transit, use your computer, use your can opener, etc etc.
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GreenEyedLefty Donating Member (708 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. I like George Carlin's take on plastics
He said that maybe people were put here to make plastic, since the earth couldn't create it itself.
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deminatl Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
3. it would be almost impossible to live without plastics
i work at a plastic recycling plant. and you would be amazed at how many things have plastic in them
from cars to lottery scratch offs to computers etc
but here is an interesting site about it
http://www.knowplastic.blogspot.com/
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eagertolearn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. Even if we concentrated on not eating anything with or from plastic
that would be a start. I have relatives who have done this for years. You can't find a plastic anything in their house (other than the non food items like those mentioned above). My hardest thing to give up would be baggies..they are so convenient. It's like when you first learned about organic food and how overwhelming it was to think about eliminating all the chemicals from our foods. I started with milk and cheese and then fruit and vegies, grains and meats and still working on everything else. Everyone laughed at me when I started talking about this 15 years ago and now their all saying "do you know the chemicals in our food cause this and that?"(and many are doctors who are finally figuring this stuff out). I have not worked on plastics but maybe that will be my New Years resolution (may be easier than the exercise and diet promise!).
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sagetea Donating Member (471 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Plastic baggies were very hard for me too, I found out
about waxed paper baggies on line, and asked my local health food store if they would carry them.
They do and it has opened up a whole new area for them. People around are actually buying them.
The product is Natural Value t/m, unbleached natural waxed paper bags.
non-toxic, ground water safe, landfill safe, fire safe!
That's sounds like a commercial, doesn't it? lol!!

I love them, I also use my own bags while grocery shopping, saving glass jars for storage, is good too.
My next hurdle is gallon sized plastic bags!!! I do wash and reuse, but I'd like to eliminate them out.
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eagertolearn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-28-08 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Thanks. I think our local health food store might be able to order those if I ask. n/a
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. Plastic is the Most Recyclable Material There Is
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
7. Probably not at the level we live at now but there was very little plastic
when I was little. I was born in 1941. We lived much more simply.
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. A reporter in the UK did this earlier in the year - for a month.
She also had a tot in diapers. Kept a running diary in BBC magazine:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7508321.stm

Go about halfway down the page and click on the small link that says 'the month starts here' to follow her story.

Very interesting.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. Meh, for the last 3 years my wife and I have been slowly getting rid of all things
plastic in our home. we are roughly 85% there. (we still use computers and watch TV) and what plastic we do get it in the form of the damn cellophane wrappers (which aren't cellophane anymore)that we recycle.

It's tough but do-able. Many times there are cloth, wood or metal alternatives, if not, just do without.
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Citizen Number 9 Donating Member (878 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
11. We're not having our morning hate against plastic now, are we?
For whatever drawbacks plastics might have, their benefits far, far outweigh the negatives.
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Not Sure Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
12. I recently bought a cylinder of Quaker Oats
to make oatmeal cookies for Christmas. The cylinder had a plastic safety wrapper around the top where you open the package. Stamped on the plastic was a notice that the plastic itself was made from corn. I wonder how many plastic substitutes could be made from organic materials like corn rather than petrochem.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Unintended negative consequence
You should probably be aware that corn based plastics need to be recycled separately from regular plastics.
"PLA, or corn plastic, is made with Midwestern corn, not Middle East oil. Its production releases fewer toxic substances than making petroleum plastic and uses less energy, spewing an estimated two-thirds less greenhouse gas. And corn plastic can be composted, incinerated or recycled, its manufacturer says, offering "the most alternatives" of any plastic to landfilling.

Even so, Oregon's recycling pros are awfully down on it.

Why? ..."


http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2008/10...
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