A week without plastic?

Lämmchen

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Could you live a week without using plastic?
 

vince284

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I couldn't go 5 seconds without plastic. Is there something more specific? Plastic bags, bottles, storage containers? It would be tough to get through a grocery store unless the butcher would wrap your meat in paper. Milk and orange juice would be tough, they could be bought in the carton or glass bottle, but the cap is plastic. And fruits and veggies would be sold in little wooden boxes. It would be very tough, I would be sitting on the floor right now, the wheels on my office chair are plastic.
 

tango

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This sort of thing just highlights how easy it is to point fingers at the individual when usually the individual has little choice in the matter.

The things we use long term are often made of plastic. The keyboard I'm using to type this is made of plastic. I don't know that I'd want to be dealing with a keyboard made of bones. A focus on single-use plastic might be more useful and certainly there are some things that the consumer can do to avoid single-use plastics. We can use paper bags for groceries (chains like Aldi and Lidl have been promoting this for years) but if you buy produce the options are usually to either buy it shrink-wrapped (in plastic) or pick out individual items and put them in - you guessed it - a plastic bag. You could leave them loose in the bottom of a cart and hope they don't get crushed but that's hugely undesirable for anything that doesn't have a removable skin because you never know what else has been in the cart beforehand.

I remember as a child I'd go to the local store and buy 4oz of candy. It would be weighed out loose and put into a paper bag. If I didn't eat it before it got sticky it would stick to the bag and be ruined. Places like that are harder to find - now each individual sweet is wrapped, then the appropriate quantity is put in a plastic bag, which is then put inside a cardboard box and of course the box is wrapped in plastic. The only way to avoid the plastic is to not make the purchase at all.

I suspect that going a week without using any plastic at all would be intensely difficult even if you were to live like the Amish.
 

vince284

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I grocery shop at a store that is very conscious of the single-use plastic so they have very little in plastic (comparably speaking) other than the meats that are already shrink wrapped and in the cooler. However, if I go to the butcher or the fishmonger (which I always do), they will wrap in paper. But the cheese-monger will wrap everything in plastic. They also promote bringing in my own grocery bags and even give me 10 cents back for each bag. But still, there is so much plastic being used in the store. We'd all have to go back to Civil War days at the same time or maybe as late as WWI. I bring my lunch in glass, yes it's heavy, but I don't like heating up my food in plastic.
 

Albion

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It would be nearly impossible to live without plastic. Not if we do not intend to retreat to some primitive age in which much of what we enjoy today and that makes life easier and more rewarding would not be available. But as with so much else in life, the problem is not an either-or matter.

Some excessive and unnecessary use of plastic could be cut back, but of course the usual political extremists would never settle for that.

In the name of conservation or out of their neo-pagan religious ideas, they would insist that there be no plastic parts in automobiles or even the ability to manufacture plastic while they still jetted around the lecture circuit, using private planes but while drinking their colas out of cardboard cups instead of plastic ones.

On balance, I'd rather clean the beaches of discarded plastic bottles than live in the totalitarian society of those people's dreams..
 
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Lämmchen

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What about people who live off grid? Could they live without plastic?
 

tango

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What about people who live off grid? Could they live without plastic?
In theory you could keep horses, feed them hay from grass you grew yourself, use their manure to fertlise your own crops and plow with wood and metal tools. You'd have to live totally off-grid - if you generate your own electricity using a wooden waterwheel you'll probably find the power sockets are still made of plastic, and power cables are sheathed in plastic. You could go back to 1940s wiring sheathed in cloth but that seems hugely undesirable.

If you could do without running water (you'd probably struggle to find a pump that didn't use at least some plastic) and get water from a well using an old fashioned chain and bucket you could cut out a lot of plastic there. But then if you don't mind a few leaks you can probably get away with using mains water but not use plastic gaskets in your pipework anywhere.

I can't help thinking the focus really needs to be more on whether something is an efficient use of resources than an all-encompassing "plastic bad" mentality, whatever the ecomentalists like to prattle on about today.
 

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As long as it doesn't rain when I'm bringing groceries to the car
 

Claraviolet

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I don't think so
Plastic is used for almost everything.......including baskets, pens etc. So, I don't think it's possible for me
 

Lämmchen

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I can't get by without my Tupperware LOL
 

tango

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For storing food I prefer to use glass containers, simply because glass doesn't leach into anything warm the way plastics can over time. They cost more to buy but I find them a nicer product to work with. I've never emptied leftovers out of a glass container, seen markings around the level the leftovers had reached and ended up wondering whether it will ever come off the plastic, or whether some of the plastic ended up in the food.
 

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I went shopping for my weekly groceries today. Pretty much all of the food you buy from a supermarket is packaged and wrapped in plastic. We'll find plastics in almost anything even our modern devices, such as Laptops, Smart Phones and televisions!

It would be impossible.
 
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