Four Pounds Project – Extension #2: Packaging Waste

First there was the main Four Pounds of Cheese Project in which participants photographed a week’s worth of discarded food items. Then I went a step further and also photographed inedible but still food-like waste that same week. Here is the last installment: food packaging that was discarded for a full week in our household.

Anything recyclable in these photos was recycled, such as all of the cardboard boxes, the recyclable plastics, etc. However, much of what’s here is not recyclable. Furthermore, recycling takes a lot of energy, from the carbon footprint of collecting and transporting the materials to the actual recycling processes themselves. Rebleaching paper is hardly an eco-friendly venture; neither is melting down plastics and metal to be reformed. Yes, these things mean less new resources are used, but never trick yourself into thinking that recyclable waste isn’t waste. It is waste, just a slightly improved version.

Note that some photos contain egg shells and other items that were already counted in the inedible waste photos. Also, the rocket cookies weren’t wasted; they were all eaten, but I was getting pressed for time so took photos of the parchment paper while some cookies were still cooling on it.

Also note that the main part of the plastic tub for the zucchini sticks actually ended up being reused instead; it is currently holding a bunch of cookie cutters with no other place to live. But the top plastic did get thrown out.

Here then are twenty-two photos of a week’s worth of packaging waste:

Food Packaging Waste 1






















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4 Responses to Four Pounds Project – Extension #2: Packaging Waste

  1. It's pretty overwhelming when you see it all in one place! Thanks for sharing this "gallery" of photos. And you're so right about the energy needed to recycle. Alas, packaging *is,* so we must all do the best that we can.

    PS I want a rocket cookie. 🙂

  2. gwynridenhour says:

    Thanks very much for this post! For me, this is as big an issue as food waste. It's very frustrating. Not sure of the answers, but there has got to be a better way….

  3. Mary says:

    You have really given this some serious thought and put me to shame. I'm relatively new to your blog and don't comment often. I am, however, a regular reader and just wanted you to know how much I appreciate what you do here. My time here is always well spent. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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