Plastic Free

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beth Terry talks about how to limit your plastic footprint. Her book Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too provides personal anecdotes, stats about the environmental and health problems related to plastic, and personal solutions and tips on how to limit how much plastic you use every day.


Beth Terry

Comments [17]

TheGreenCat from Manhattan

For folks who want more info, Beth answers a lot of questions about her reduction of plastic on her blog Her book is also a great resource (and the NYPL does have copies of it). Great segment. Thanks for having Beth on your show Leonard!

Oct. 29 2012 12:31 PM

I have been recycling my glass pasta sauce,jelly and condiment jars to use for leftover/food storage instead of the usual Rubbermaid plastic cubes or other disposable storage containers. Other folks I know store food
(lefttovers, etc) in Mason/Ball canning jars, inexpensive,readily available and safe even from Goodwill after a good washing and sterilization. Too bad there aren't more size options.

Can people even fathom that babies-newborns, even- used glass baby bottles?
And that milk was delivered in glass bottles? Then it was the paper carton to protect the milk from light exposure. Plastic for milk= not good!
Back we go!

Oct. 25 2012 01:58 PM
Henry from Manhattan

It's fantastic what they make from plastic.

I just wanted to say that.

Oct. 25 2012 01:05 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I keep seeing plastics in the recycling bins that the city doesn't recycle. I'd like to see signs in building recycling areas telling people to take plastic bags to supermarkets & #5 plastics to Whole Foods, which collects them for Preserve to make into recycled products.

And NYC will start recycling all hard plastics in 2014! It'll get a lot simpler then, but meanwhile, any plastics that could be recycled elsewhere (or can't be recycled anywhere) should be kept out of buildings' recycling bins.

Oct. 25 2012 01:03 PM
Christine from Westchester

It IS so hard to get away from plastic. I was at a UN sponsored event on sustainability this week. I couldn't believe they were giving out bottled water> not too sustainable. And there were no recycle bins. Argh! I do my best to take and use my own bags. And wine comes in bottles. More wine. Less yogurt.

Oct. 25 2012 01:01 PM
tom LI

Plastic is here to stay. If we're lucky we will soon be building more than decks and picnic tables out of plastic "wood".

Plastic is not the villain - its how we dispose of it, its the lack of real recycling alternatives.

Oct. 25 2012 01:01 PM
JJ from NJ Trash Capital

There is a great film called Bag It. It goes into all plastics and their effects. Also, concerned NY'ers should see

To deal with all this plastic packaging we need to adopt a system like Germany's. All manufacturers have to pay for each piece of packaging they put into the system. This encourages waste reduction at the production point. And they pay more for material like plastics than the more recyclable paper so their system encourages more recyclable material to be used for packaging.

Oct. 25 2012 01:00 PM
Simon from Manhattan

Love this segment. Well done.

Oct. 25 2012 12:59 PM
Anne from Brooklyn

Can you ask the guest how she gets around purchasing foods packaged in plastic? Yogurt, cheese, etc.. Does she make her own yogurt instead? Actually... yogurt makers are plastic too! Help!

Oct. 25 2012 12:57 PM
Bronacos from Brooklyn

I love my Bambu fork & knife set - sustainably made from bamboo, complete with cork protective cover. They also have a cute spook, ideal for kids!

Oct. 25 2012 12:56 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I try very hard to cut down on plastic. I especially don't like it in the kitchen. I find that glass preserves things much better than plastic and doesn't add any aftertaste or chemicals (except for lead crystal, which I don't use). But I do use reusable untensils and if I'm forced to use plastic utensils, I wash and reuse them. I also carry reusable shopping bags with me so I can shop at any time without getting plastic bags. It's interesting, though, that cashiers are still stunned when I tell them that I don't want a bag and that they can put my purchases in the bags I've brought along. I also try to recycle every possible bit of plastic I can.

This plastic-free existence is definitely an uphill battle.

Oct. 25 2012 12:56 PM
Amy from Manhattan

There are now many (if not enough yet) products made of recycled plastic, like toothbrushes, razors, & tableware. Does Ms. Terry make an exception for those?

I use used or recycled plastic when I can, & I reuse plastic bags (& then recycle them at supermarkets).

Oct. 25 2012 12:56 PM
steve from Midtown

Question: Which beverage bottle is less harmful, can or plastic?

Oct. 25 2012 12:54 PM
dan k from park slope

my prediction is that the garbage patch will soon be seen as a valuable resource for companies who can use it to create energy by incinerating it

Oct. 25 2012 12:51 PM
Capper from NYC

Why don't more states require stores to eliminate plastic bags? They should tax those that use the plastic bags rather than taking a reusable bag from home.

Oct. 25 2012 12:51 PM
John Weber from nj

Can the guest comment on plastic bag bans. They are happening everywhere but not in NYC.

And what does she think about the fact that the Queens Library gives out a plastic bag to every patron who takes out a book, CD, or DVD. This is all taxpayer funded.

Oct. 25 2012 12:50 PM

I work in civil engineering and put on waders to work in our streams. The amount of plastics that are washing into our watercourses, mixing in with the bottom of them and the rest washing into the ocean is staggering.

Oct. 25 2012 10:37 AM

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