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My plastic free life...What to use for garbage bags? What to do with my spent DVDs and CDs?

Jan 21, 2011 by Shirley Thompson | Story Popularity: 4

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Okay, so I'm obsessed with keeping plastic out of the garbage. We've been pretty good about not bringing any new plastic home. In 3 weeks, only 3 plastic bags and 2 poke containers made it into the house via house guests and my partner, who I still haven't gotten 100% compliance from. But there's the existing plastic in the house, and the plastic that gets generated by my work that keeps me awake at night.

Six months ago, I moved in with my partner, who was Mr. Disposable Plastic. I've been weaning him off plastic bags, but all our garbage goes into plastic garbage bags. As a diligent composter, recycler and someone who used to use only paper grocery bags for garbage, I find this more or less horrifying.

When I stopped bringing home plastic grocery bags, I had to immediately come up with an alternative for picking up dog poop when we walked the dog. I found a product called Bio Bag...a plastic bag made from corn that contains no Polyethylene and which breaks down in a landfill in the same amount of time as an apple core.

I THINK BioBag also makes Kitchen trash bags, so I'm going to splurge on these at Whole Foods this week...does anyone know the cheapest source for them on Oahu? I found them on amazon.com, but they do not ship them to Hawaii.

My work-related plastic has a solution, I think. I'm a video editor, and personally, I have stopped using DVDs and CDs and use only rewritable discs and flash drives for work files. But, like it or not, I end up throwing away about 4-5 CDs or DVDs a month that other people send me with media I need for work. However, instead of just tossing them in the trash, I send them to a company that I can highly recommend called Greendisk, greendisk.com.

For $6.95 they will take up to 20 pounds of your electronic waste and dispose of it in a secure, eco-friendly way. They'll take additional pounds for .30 cents per pound. They refurbish what they can and recycle the rest and NONE of it ends up in a landfill. I save up my old disks, old phones and small electronics, and once a year, I ship them a box at the cheapest media mail rate. Great company.

The biggest lesson for me so far has been this: if you don't buy or bring home the plastic thing in the first place, you don't have to worry about how to dispose of it later. Say no to plastic bags...don't even take them to be nice, or because they already bagged the stuff without asking you. Even Mr. Disposable, who I love dearly, is getting the strict no plastic party line from me. Hopefully he will come around.



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  1. Jen Homcy says:

    I used to use the Bio Bag doggie bags, but the heat of my large dog's poo would always make the bags decompose really fast. Next thing I know, poo is falling out of the bag... hitting me on the leg... then I have nothing else to pick it up with... aarrgghhh!

    I have also use the biobag trash bags. They are a bit fragile and can't handle weight, anything that may tear it, and again... food waste... so be sure to compost your food waste and not put it in the bio-bag. Also... World Centric (Styrophobia) has its own version of these bags. You can get them on island at Diamond Head Distributers. It in Warehouse C on the West Mauka corner of the warehouses on Dillingham just before Middle Street (and after Marukai).

    These guys also retail all compostable plates, cups, utensils, and more.

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