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How much effort do you put into limiting your use of plastic?

More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are floating in our oceans right now, and thousands more are being added every second, especially with the single-use nature the pandemic has caused. By the year 2050, it is said that every seabird will be eating plastic. Plastic is already found in the bellies of almost every seabird today.

On a daily basis, do you try to limit your use of plastic? Is it something you think about or not at all?

Please tell us in the poll below. If you have eliminated plastic (or tried to as best as you can), tell us what you use as alternatives in the comments. Thanks!

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Janet Newman
2 months ago

I’m no longer getting the link to the polls. They stopped 3 days ago. 😢

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Janet Newman

Sorry you’re having issues with the polls, Janet. Here’s what Jessica, one of our IT folks, mentioned awhile ago that it might be (I don’t know anything about this sort of thing): “Sometimes script blockers and ad blockers interfere with our polls since they are from a 3rd party site. If you have one of these, try and turn it off and see if that fixes the issue.” If that doesn’t work, please reply to this comment and I’ll pursue it further. Good luck! And have a good night. 🙂 –Diane

Jeff Craig
2 months ago

Until manufacturers are required to pay for recycling (like we used to do with soda bottles back before they passed it off to the consumers. You should watch this clip (and if you have Netflix, watch the whole episode of ‘Adam Ruins Everything’, the entire series is great and has accurate data!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw5kme5Q_Yo&feature=emb_rel_end

Norway recycles darn near everything and we have the capability to as well – but there isn’t (enough) money in it.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/02/a-pocket-history-of-bottle-recycling/273575/

Debbie
2 months ago

We no longer use shampoo, conditioner, liquid hand soap or laundry soap that comes in plastic. Cuts down on weight and space in the RV also.

miairhead
2 months ago

Everything comes in Plastic almost, Recycle as much as I can. Almost impossible to avoid Plastic. Aluminum is important too, 90% save energy to recycle the new.

KellyR
2 months ago

There are so many commodities that do not need to be wrapped in plastic, which irritates me, but I cannot get it without the plastic. Grrrrr. Too much ends up in the waterways and oceans, so I do not think our recycling programs work very well. We figured out how to make so many things out of that black gunk that comes out of the ground. Only some plastics can now be recycled. Why can’t we just melt ALL plastics together into square yard cubes and then store them in the abandoned salt mines until science figures out how to, then again, separate the different polymers back into oil or different plastics. They figured it out once when it came to making oil into all this stuff we use now. Surely someone can figure out a reverse procedure. Store it all until the next generation can re-mine it.

John Koenig
2 months ago

Although “recycling” is an admirable goal, it often DOESN’T work. From what I’ve read, A single small piece of non-recyclable material will cause the ENTIRE lot to be considered garbage. There have been recent TV specials / show segments showing that material people EXPECT to be recycled, simply ISN’T. Until somebody figures out a VIABLE fix, much of what people are led to believe is being recycled, is just NOT being recycled. Right now, much of what the public believes is being recycled is just “pie in the sky”.

NOTE: I’ve been RVing since 2010 and became a Full Timer in 2018. VERY few RV parks have ANY system set up to facilitate recycling (and I always ask about recycling when I check in).

Gary
2 months ago
Reply to  John Koenig

I also have found that very few RV parks have a recycling program.

Bill Coady
2 months ago

We also subscribe and pay for Ridwell to take plastic that our recycle service won’t. Stuff like plastic bags, plastic wrapping, etc. They (Ridwell) only collects material that they have a responsible way to recycle. Here is link to their site. May not be available everywhere Ridwell

Tom
2 months ago

We limit our plastic use at home. I won’t buy fruit and vegetables that are prepackaged in plastics. We recycle our plastic at home and on the road, if needed we will store them till we get to a place that has recycling.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tom
DW/ND
2 months ago

We recycle everything possible! Many pounds of plastic a week! I have to take all of it to recycle bins on our grocery store parking lot, which is 14 miles away – so we combine with shopping. The store also takes plastic bags back.

When traveling – we bring it all home, including aluminum, plastic and cardboard stuff, if the park or whatever does not have bins. I just turned in 4 yrs. of aluminum cans to our recycling center yesterday – I got a check for $96.32! ($.75 a pound!) which goes to our great grandsons education account – now from alum. = $454.00! (I also crush all cans and store and haul-in in original boxes). The boxes are also recycled.

I have no problem with buying stuff in plastic – The reuse of that otherwise landfill fill is all around us in constructive ways – like park benches and a myriad of other “stuff”. It is a big business. (now what are you going to do with all those batteries?)

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  DW/ND

Great job, D and J! Too bad that are a lot more conscientious recyclers like you folks! Take care. 😀 –Diane

Michael Galvin, PhD
2 months ago

Tests have shown that some bottled water is not better–and sometimes worse–than tap water. We have a filter under the sink and run that water into Brita filter pitcher and pour that water into bottles. Better water at 10% of the cost.

Zeet
2 months ago

We stopped buying water in bottles and keep a couple of refillables each for day trips plus a Brita for when in the coach. We use cloth and reusable bags for shopping and silicone containers rather than food storage bags when possible. We also use the laundry detergent sheets, a bit more expensive but no plastic and less weight. Other than that its almost impossible unless you go to a specialty earth friendly store which are usually only in big cities which we haven’t ever done as we full time travel usually away from cities. I always keep recycling separate so when a campground has recycling we do, but lots don’t. This is an issue the manufacturers need to solve, they need to stop using so much plastic.

Neal Davis
2 months ago

We recycle at ball games (3-5 games/year), but no where else usually. As noted already, few (any?) campgrounds have recycling. Our rural area’s garbage service recycles on a very limited basis, which precludes us.

Christine
2 months ago

We are somewhat conscious about avoiding buying plastic. What frustrates me, as a full-timer, is the lack of recycling programs at the vast majority of RV parks.

Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Christine

I guess it is different in the NW. I can’t remember a NW RV park without recycling in the past few years. I’m sure there are, but likely in the minority.

Roger Marble
2 months ago

The other part of the question is: Do you recycle the plastic you do get if it is possible to do so? Our local grocery store accepts the plastic bags and our county recycle program accepts certain types of plastic bottles depending on the Plastic code,

Pat Daubenmier
2 months ago

Hard to not buy things packaged in plastic but am diligent about recycling even on the road. Hope the recycling companies are as diligent as I. I hear much of it may not actually be recycled.

Irvin Kanode
2 months ago
Reply to  Pat Daubenmier

Much of it isn’t recycled since China stopped accepting it. If your local recycling doesn’t make use carefully separate things most of it isn’t being recycled. Especially if they let you mix newspaper with plastic. Food waste contaminates the paper. It takes a lot of water to wash all the plastic, glass, and aluminum cans–that’s expensive, uses energy, and generates its own waste.

Where I live (with mixed recycling) the only things that truly get recycled are cardboard and aluminum cans. When I visited my daughter in Brooklyn, everyone had three or four containers and inspectors that spot checked them. The collection trucks also rejected containers that weren’t properly sorted.

Leslie Schofield
2 months ago

While traveling we find it very difficult to recycle plastic. We use as little as possible at home and traveling. At home we recycle all packaging and all other ‘pliable’ such as Saran Wrap thru Ridwell. They pick up twice a month and all is recycled and used by local organizations. Love it.

Ace
2 months ago

We try to recycle every piece of plastic that we get. I refuse to buy small bottles of water and small soda bottles. I also use large, heavy duty bags and a soft side cooler bag for grocery shopping. If I do not have them with me, I always take paper sacks instead of plastic when the store offers the choice.

Marty
2 months ago

We recycle twice as much as the garbage we produce for the garbage collector.

Rolling Coal
2 months ago

Plastic is not the problem, it’s people. Plastic does not litter, people do. Too many selfish, stupid people with a me first, don’t tell me what to do attitude. Train people to deal with their trash responsibly and we won’t have environmental issues.

Spike
2 months ago
Reply to  Rolling Coal

You took the words right out of my mouth! And it’s not just individuals but municipalities, etc around the world who send garbage to be dumped in oceans.

Bob p
2 months ago
Reply to  Rolling Coal

If you do what your name implies you are one of the worst polluters.

Larry Lee
2 months ago

Plastic contamination of our environment went to the top of my “do not buy” list when I learned of the plastic island floating in the Pacific ocean. I quit being concerned about buying plastic items when I discovered that they can be recycled. Now we recycle plastics numbers 1-7, paper, cardboard, glass, metal and lots more. I was part of the commitee that boosted our campground recycle system to a full stream system. This reduced our cost of trash disposal too. We also have a team that dismantles cast off large unrepairable items into separate recycleable components, especially metal. Until the manufactuers stop using plastic, our only realistic option is to recycle it along with lots of other items.

Crowman
2 months ago
Reply to  Larry Lee

90 percent of that plastic island floating in the Pacific ocean is from China. Filthy people that throw everything in the rivers that go out to sea. Not saying we’re perfect but compared to China’s garbage we are.

Les
2 months ago
Reply to  Crowman

Someone please correct me, but I believe the US sends most of our recycling to China…

TIM MCRAE
2 months ago
Reply to  Les

We used to until it was discovered that after we paid them to take it, they just dumped it in the ocean!

Gary
2 months ago
Reply to  Larry Lee

1 – 5 and 7 are recyclable. 6, styrofoam, is usually not.

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