Plastic Reality

Plastic surrounds us everywhere. We all use plastic in our daily lives whether we know it or not. Starting my plastic journal I felt fairly confident that the number of plastic items I used would be moderately average. I try my best to use sustainable items like a hydro flask instead of plastic water bottles, or cloth bags instead of plastic ones. However, once I started my day I knew the number would be much higher than I anticipated. Many of my everyday items I used were plastic and I didn’t even know it.

As the day went on the number of plastic items I came in contact with grew tremendously. Many of the items I used were all disposable like masks, silverware, cups and plates. On top of that, I only listed things once. I didn’t repeat them. I used many disposable plastic items multiple times throughout the day and they weren’t even included in my total number. In total I touched about 30 plastic items, but if I counted everything that repeated the number would have been much higher.

I think that this number is a fair representation of how much plastic I touch in a day – except for the fact that I didn’t repeat items. Everyday is different but most of the items I ended up using, I use on a daily basis. This journal was a complete eye opener for me. As I said before I thought my number would be on the lower side, but in turn it was much higher than I thought. So many of the items I used everyday are made of plastic and I never even realized.

When it comes to recycling I try my best to recycle whenever I can. However, living in the dorms makes that much more difficult. I have yet to find a recycling bin on the floor of my dorm, which is a problem. At home I make a conscious effort to recycle but it’s much harder here. I definitely agree with Beth Terry’s quote “Guilt is not encouraged.” but after completing this journal it’s hard not to feel guilty about all of the plastic I encounter. This is because I know most of it can be replaced with something more sustainable. 


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