Behold our plastic shame


After a week of collecting all of our plastic waste in a pile in the kitchen, we are thoroughly ashamed of ourselves. Here’s our summary.

The details:

  • There are four of us: 2 adults, 1 child (9), 1 baby (5 months)
  • All of my plastic waste is included. Baby Jupiter’s disposable diapers were not included because I didn’t really want them hanging around. He averages 3 disposables/night (cloth during the day), so we can safely add 21 diapers to our tally. Mr. Legume presumably had additional waste that ended its life at his office and is not included here. Bug brought home all the plastic that was sent to school in his lunch box, so that’s included… but he spent 2 days at his dad’s place and I can’t be held accountable for that household’s waste too, so that’s not included.
  • We collected for 7 full days.

The Reuse pile:

That’s 3 large Amazon Fresh plastic bags, 4 produce bags, and 2 Ziplock sandwich bags. These can all easily be reused. They can also be reduced through discontinuing use of Amazon Fresh (I’ve selected their “less packaging” delivery option, but still receive at least 4 plastic bags per order), our new reusable produce bags, and more consistent use of our cloth sandwich bags.

The recycle pile:

That’s 7 takeout containers (from dinners over the weekend); 2 juice jugs (sans lids, which are too small to be recycled in Seattle); 1 salsa container; 1 sour cream container and lid; several produce bags (I cleaned out the fridge) that could be reused if I didn’t already have so many; 1 scones container; 1 fruit container, and lid.

Reduction here comes down primarily on the use of fewer conveniences (take out, pre-cut fruit, pre-made salsa) and using our new reusable produce bags.

And the trash pile:

That’s 2 plastic-windowed envelopes (the paper part of the envelopes will be recycled); 1 baby carrots bag; 1 frozen dinner wrapper; 1 cereal bag; 1 ravioli container; 1 tube of diaper rash cream; 1 bag of rice chips; the top to a plastic-lined bag of tortilla chips; various small plastic lids; 1 hotdog package (Mr. Legume was out of town for part of the week, and Bug and I upped our convenience food intake); multiple fruit snack wrappers (from Bug’s school lunch); 3 red twist-tie type things from Amazon Fresh orders; interior bag from box of crackers; 2 produce bags tied around meat trays (to keep the stench of rotting meat from filling the house); 2 packages of string cheese, plus several wrappers from the individual cheeses; 1 bag of Doritos (another thing I blame on Mr. Legume: he goes out of town, baby Jupiter screams uncontrollably for 2 days, I need comfort food); 1 wrapper for cheddar cheese; 2 gum package wrappers; interior bag for box of freezer waffles.
Reduction here again comes down to using fewer convenience foods. Finding less heavily packaged options for Bug’s school lunch foods will help too.
The VAST majority of our plastic waste is food related. The grocery store shall become my new battlefield!

1 Comment

Filed under Environment, food, Plastic Free February

One response to “Behold our plastic shame

  1. No shame! Just education. You’re very brave to take this challenge. Would you consider posting your results with other challenge participants at

    You might get good feedback from others participating this month.

    Also, the Plastic-free Guide can help you think of alternatives:

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