Too Much Plastic – where does it all hide?


Let us walk through a typical day and notice where plastic will show up in our lives. It's amazing how much plastic runs our lives. Plastic is important but it is way too prevalent.

Where it shows up in a typical day:

We get up in the morning, stumble to the bathroom to brush our teeth with a plastic toothbrush, and squeeze toothpaste out of a non-recyclable plastic toothpaste container. Then, we go to the restroom and potentially use wet wipes out of a plastic container. To finish the routine, we jump in the shower and wash our hair, pouring shampoo and conditioner out of plastic bottles, and wash our body with a plastic scrubby and pouring body wash out of a plastic bottle.

Then we head to the kitchen to eat breakfast, pour cereal out of a box with a non-recyclable plastic bag inside, and then pour milk or a milk alternative out of a plastic container or box with a plastic pour spout. If not cereal that morning, it could be bacon or sausage out of a plastic wrapping, potatoes out of a plastic burlap bag, and eggs out of a styrofoam container. Bonus: most people have plastic spatulas to use when cooking.

As we continue getting ready for the day, we use a plastic comb or brush. If you are a female, there might be plastic clips to do our hair. Then we grab a few plastic bottles of water before leaving the house for work. Sometimes we take food with us and build a lunch box with leftovers from last night in a plastic food container or make a sandwich and place it in a single-use plastic sandwich bag with a few slices of fruit or vegetables to go with it, also placed in a single-use plastic bag. You can't forget the yogurt cup or pudding cup that, yup, comes in plastic too.

Or say we don't take our lunch for the day and order take out instead. We order food from our favorite place and everything comes in non-recyclable styrofoam with plastic lids. You can't forget all the little plastic containers to get our favorite sauce to pour over our meal and the plastic silverware that they always throw in the bag, if we need it or not. Oh, wait I said bag-- yes everything comes in a plastic bag too.

Then after work, we go shopping at the grocery store to get food for our families. We get an assortment of fruits and vegetables which all get put in their own individual see-through plastic bags before getting put into larger plastic bags at checkout. The cashier or bagger wants to make sure that they don't make any of your bags too heavy so they put only 2 or 3 items in each bag, leaving us with about 30-40 plastic bags when we get home with all of our groceries.

We can't forget laundry, so we carry our dirty laundry to the washing machine in a plastic hamper and then pour detergent out of a plastic bottle. If we use fabric softener, yup, many of those are plastic too. (Side note: I am not a fan of fabric softener as they are made from chemicals).

Now think through your days. Have I missed any plastic that you can think of in your day to day life? I'm sure I have. Comment where you have found plastic in your life and list any possible solutions you might have found, we are all in this together. Thank you in advance for any insight you have.

I have been thinking about this for many years now and have some solutions in the next blog that I have found to work well and some that I am still getting used to, but the key is that I am trying.

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