5A- Plastic Challenge; Rian Hoyle, Edmonton AB

Environment   Oct 28, 2018 by Rian Hoyle

I did this challenge over three days and recorded not only my plastic use but all trash, it turns out to be quite shocking how quickly our waste adds up. I didn’t choose to adjust my lifestyle for this challenge because I wanted results I can use as a basis if I do this again in the future.

Day one, Thursday October 24: I used a straw to drink my pop because the metal hurts my teeth, normally I use a reusable straw however there were no clean ones so I was forced to use a single use straw. Then I made my lunch for Friday which I emptied a single serve yogurt container into my tupperware, this produced the metallic lid and plastic cup. The lid was thrown away but I washed the yogurt container and straw so only one item will end up in the landfill.

Day two, Friday October 25: I had a juice box for breakfast but I saved the straw and wrapper to recycle at home. After school I went to Mcdonald’s with some friends and I got a Mcpicks Meal which left me with quite a bit of trash compared to what I could recycle. I brought home everything to then assess and clean what I was able to, for recycle I salvage the cup, lid, & straw. Some paper items able to be recycled were the receipt, straw wrapper, & unused napkins this meant everything else (fry holder, burger wrapper, & bag) went into the trash. This day saw much more in the landfill but still less than what I recycled.

Day three, Saturday October 26: I got a package in the mail which luckily is recyclable since the envelope is plastic. Everything else was garbage waste which consisted of a chocolate bar wrapper and taquito bag from 7/11 making the final day the worst day in the landfill to recycling ratio.

I didn’t need to go to Mcdonald’s during this challenge since that was the largest amount of garbage production. Practically all waste I produced was avoidable besides the yogurt, envelope, & taquito bag since there is no way around factory packaging which is definitely an obstacle everyone doing this challenge would face. I think I was quite successful in producing less landfill waste than recycling waste and taking the time to avoid putting recyclables into the trash, utilizing multi-use containers and bags can cut down significant amounts of waste. It would be incredibly difficult to completely remove plastic out of your life but it is possible with dedication and the correct tools. Everyone has a voice and ideas that only ar shared through perseverance which most lack, I believe if everyone shared this quality, our environmental thoughts whether it be removing plastics from your life or to only travel on foot would be achieved and the world would be a lot cleaner.


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