Plastic Pledge Fail I: Greg vs. the Toilet Paper

Posted: November 12, 2012 in In My Life, Tools and Tips
Tags: , , , , , , ,

One of the biggest challenges with my 90-day pledge off buying plastic products is finding everyday products that aren’t packaged in plastic. I wrote previously about my effort to deal with toiletries and hygiene products such as toothpaste and shampoo.

And that’s going well: Three weeks into the pledge, and I’ve shifted entirely to using baking soda for toothpaste. For hair, I’m using a combination of baking soda and water for shampoo and an apple cider vinegar solution for conditioner. I can’t recommend this enough—the result is healthier hair, fewer chemicals down the drain, and money saved. There’s extensive documentation on how to make the transition, so I won’t go into detail here. Give it a try!

But that’s not what I’m writing about today. I’m writing today with a confession:

I purchased plastic.

It wasn’t my fault, though! In my search for a solution for purchasing toilet paper that wasn’t wrapped up in plastic, I found Beth Terry’s post on The site suggests buying boxes of Seventh Generation toilet paper, which when purchased in bulk come without plastic wrapping. I’ve been buying Seventh Generation for several years now, so it wasn’t a big stretch to buy a big box of toilet paper online.

Unfortunately, to my dismay, the previous link on Beth’s site connected me to a vendor on Amazon that was selling toilet paper in boxes that contained plastic air-bubble wrap.

The good news is that Beth has since updated the post with a new link, so in the future, I’ll be able to order plastic-free toilet paper. I just have about fifty rolls to go through first…

I suppose the one consolation is that the vendor selling the Seventh Generation toilet paper did encourage reuse of the boxes. And I set aside the plastic air-bubble wrap to use for future packages. Now I just have to figure out how to package up boxes without using tape.

I guess this Christmas I’ll be using brown paper packages tied up in string.

  1. Kittychix says:

    All that extra yarn Meris has will go to good use…you could even wrap present in fabric scraps, and save a tree or two :p

  2. princessartemis says:

    Masking tape for packages you don’t intend to ship? Gummed paper shipping tape w/o fiberglass for shipping?

    • That might work! The real issue would be finding paper shipping tape or masking tape that doesn’t come in plastic packaging. It’s amazing the kind of stuff they’ll wrap in plastic for no particular purpose.

  3. Robin Avni says:

    My favorite so far. What’s a guy to do! Guess you could buy individual rolls in the store as well…but not sure even they even sell them anymore. But I do have a solution for your holiday taping dilemma: Japanese Washi Tape made with rice paper. They also have colored string for tying packages, too.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Robin. That stuff is way cool. I will just need to find somewhere it’s sold locally, since if it’s shipped, it’ll probably come with some plastic. Buying stuff online is a real challenge!

  4. Whew. Greg, I was worried that the new link I put up led you to the air bubble toilet paper. My order from that link came sans plastic… except for the tape on the box, of course.

    I use water-activated paper shipping tape that came without plastic. I bought it at a stationary store. I think you just have to look for it.

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Terry! I’ll be doing some gift-wrapping this weekend, so maybe I’ll head down to the stationery store and check out some this weekend. Discovered today that Christmas shopping without plastic is really hard 🙂

  5. By the way, just wanted to let you know I added this blog to my blog roll. You’re in Washington state, right? The plastic-free bloggers are organized alphabetically by state. Beth

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