Thursday, June 24, 2010

Week Three Plastic Tally and the Problem of Stealth Plastic

Did you miss us?  My last day of school was yesterday; Peter's was two days before that.  Every year, it's the same thing: achingly hard work to begin and end the school year, and achingly hard work to end it.  And every year, I forget just how hard it's going to be.

Maybe that's for the best.  I don't know.

In any case, tired or not, we did our weekly weigh-in and photograph on Sunday, as usual.  This week was a bit discouraging: 14 oz.  That's because we did a bit more unpacking--we moved last summer, but (did I mention the part where teaching school is a lot of work?) we're still emptying out and breaking down boxes, especially of the last minute stuff.

One box of last minute stuff contained a very old pair of my flip-flops.  Needless to say, I am not in the market to buy more of them, so I was very happy to find these... until I tried to put them on.  The plastic, brittle with age, simply snapped, and 8 oz. of non-recyclable plastic joined the pile for this week.

Other items of note this week: if you look closely, you can see the brown rectangle of a plastic frame from the lid on a half-gallon of ice cream.

Why do they feel the need to package ice cream in so much plastic these days?  Half the brands have plastic film that goes over the ice cream; the other half seem to have these stupid little plastic rims for removable lids.  We'll be looking for ice cream that does not come in plastic packaging... though, meanwhile, we had some left over from before the beginning of our Plastic fast this June, and we finished it off this week.

A lot of the light little bags are left over from before the fast, too... though some are a category of plastic I'm starting to think of as "stealth plastic"--where someone packages a snack food in paper or something meant to look like paper, generally in keeping with some implication that the food is "all natural" or old fashioned somehow.

The packaging turns out to be a cheat, is the bottom line.  I've seen cheese packaged in plastic that had been printed to look like waxed paper, for instance!  More commonly, once you get inside the paper package, there's a shiny silver mylar wrapper.  It's not foil--it's plastic.

Feh.

I've taken to peeling away the paper on these, and adding them to the pile.  Needless to say, I find this quite annoying, and I avoid such products whenever I find them.

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