June 8, 2009: Day 2
To-Go Cup, Lid and Straw
My devoted friend and roommate (who works at Peet’s and thus gets free drinks) decided to surprise me this morning at work with an iced tea even though I told her I didn’t want anything. And so a clear plastic cup was added to my list out of love.
Soy Yogurt Container
I’ve found that since I went vegan, I buy more products that come in unsustainable packaging. I guess this is because there are fewer vegan choices, and so I can’t be as picky about what things are wrapped in. This is an example: I used to buy Saint Benoit yogurt, which comes in returnable ceramic or glass containers. But then I gave up dairy, and went without yogurt for a while because the soy yogurt I had tried in the past was putrid. One day though, I saw that Wildwood made yogurt which they were promoting as ‘the only soy yogurt made in a non-dairy plant,’ and I appreciated that fact (read: ‘I am a sucker for well-aimed marketing’) and tried it, and it was actually really tasty. Of course, I save all my yogurt containers, but I haven’t really found a good use for them, (and how many can I really accumulate before I have to start recycling them?) so I’m adding this to the list.
 I think it’s strange that certain foods come in certain containers, for apparently no reason. I mean, when I say ‘yogurt container,’ you not only picture a plastic tub, but you know its proportions. Whether it’s single-serving or family size, you know it’s a tall tub, not a short squat tub like the kind margarine comes in. Does the yogurt industry as a whole endorse a packaging “look” so that their product will be immediately recognizable to consumers? (And, if so, is Yoplait a pariah?)
 As it applies to plastic, what is commonly known as ‘recycling’ is not a whole lot better than throwing it out. Plastic containers are not recycled into new packaging, they are downcycled into things like plastic lumber and parking lot bumpers, which themselves are not recyclable. If you thought the chasing arrows symbol on the bottom of plastic containers actually meant something, read “Seven Misconceptions About Plastic.”