Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 101 - That's a Wrap

Giving Up Plastic Wrap

How many times have I posted about the overuse of plastic? About a million times? Oh, eight? Well, it should be more. Some plastics are great and very useful (think medical equipment, reusable tupperware or coffee mugs) but a lot of plastic is just plain unnecessary. Take for example, Saran wrap.

Saran wrap is a single use item - it is disposable but non-biodegradable plastic made from a non-renewable resource. It is the epitome of what I am trying to eliminate from my home.

When Saran wrap was originally invented in the 1950's, it was made from PVC, the most toxic of plastic compounds. In 1994, Saran introduced a safer alternative made from LDPE and dubbed it "Premium Saran". However, the LDPE wrap does not possess the same barrier qualities to oxygen that PVC does, which makes the new "Premium Saran" a lower quality plastic wrap, as it is not as useful in protecting from spoilage or flavor loss. So why bother? BTW, most caterers and professional food processors still use the PVC version of Saran.

I will be using neither version of Saran from here on out. I grew up on good ol' aluminum foil-wrapped leftovers and I shall return to it. Should I need a plastic covering for something, I will take one of the myriad of plastic bread bags I have saved up, slice it open and secure it with a rubber band. Although, I don't know why I would ever need to do that when I have such a lovely collection of reusable containers.


For each roll of Saran I don't buy, I am saving 50 feet of PVC plastic, as well as a cardboard box and cardboard tube. I didn't use a ton of it in the past -- maybe two or three rolls per year, but that means I can save 150 feet of the toxic film.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

I don't think it will bother me much at all. In fact, I'm looking forward to not having the fight with the damn stuff anymore! Why the hell does it stick to you, the box, the counter and everything else, but never stays stuck to the bowl?


Heather said...

We've been using aluminum foil since we saw Plastic Ocean, and we haven't missed it at all.

gregra&gar said...

With a plethora of plastic bags and reusable containers, why can't you do away with wraps of any kind?

vera said...

We haven't used Saran Wrap since near the beginning of the year...there is just no need for it! :-)

Joel said...

One step forward...

Aluminum smelting is an extremely energy intensive process. Moreover, comparable amounts of aluminum (for food preservation) are heavier than plastic for shipping and transportation purposes.

Not sure if you're doing that much good with this change, is what I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

I thought aluminum shavings were suspected of contributing to autism. Anyway, I just ordered a roll of Diamant Film ( Hopefully it will work as well as Saran Wrap.