They live the Bible for a year. They live on $1,500 for a year. They cook from the Julia Child cookbook for a year. Get ready to hear about one family, one year, two hundred fifty pounds of plastic (yes, this is where we start being REAL!).
The Garcias of Phoenix, Ariz. did everything they could to eliminate plastic from their lives. Jesse and Kim and their young kids skipped plastic bags at the supermarket and opted out on plastic water bottles.
Every piece of plastic that made their way into their house, they saved (where, I don’t know – I get irate just dealing with a month’s worth of yogurt cups and empty milk cartons waiting for the recycling truck to make its rounds). In the end, they had two hundred fifty pounds.
That’s my three-year-old times eight! That’s the more meat than you get from your average side of beef. It’s disgusting. But not all that surprising (we fill an average of five milk crates with plastic recyclables each month. What’s actually worst about all of this is that the Garcias were only able to recycle twenty five percent of the entire pile – the rest went into the landfill. And remember, this is a family trying to CUT BACK on plastics.
The problem is, not every “numbered” plastic is recycled in ever area. The “chasing arrows” at the bottom of a plastic container don’t necessarily mean they’re recyclable. And as the economy slumps, so does demand for recyclables – which means haulers don’t want to take them off your hands.
Which means the only option is to do what the Garcias have done from the beginning – attempt to reduce consumption. But is it feasible? What percentage does plastic represent in your garbage can or your recycling bin?