Recently, quite out-of-the-blue, we contrived a surprisingly chic garbage can. In the course of moving apartments, we had found 6-gallon bottle of “emergency” water stowed away in the back of a closet. It was housed in a rectangular black plastic crate . When we pulled the bottle out, the box suddenly looked wonderfully Bauhausian, a perfectly-designed garbage can for our needs. It fits under the new sink cabinet in the renovated apartment, has a low profile, and holds a good amount, and looks fine when sitting out on the kitchen floor during serious cooking sessions (visitors have actually admire it. Where did you get that cool garbage can?).
When we went to photograph it, we became conscious of a dilemma: we line our garbage can with a plastic bag (below). What else could we use? We’re wondering what a viable nonplastic way to deal with garbage is if you live in a city and are unable to compost and haul other stuff to the dump. New York City’s recycling bags are even made of plastic.
The famous scene from the 1977 film The Graduate came to mind. (Video link here.)
Who knew then of the impact plastics would have on our planet and lives? Now we’re trying to find ways to live without them.
Although we’ve written about alternatives to plastic bags for storing food, (and recommend Ambatalia’s recent post: How to Store Fruits and Vegetables: Tips and Tricks to Extend the Life of Your Produce Without Plastic) we’re not sure what our options are when it comes to garbage. Most of the people we know use recycled plastic garbage bags OR plastic grocery bags, an ersatz recyling method of dubious value. Unconsumption recently mentioned a new word for it: ‘noncycling’.
The issues are far from simple: compostable garbage bags are often made from corn (a commodity) or produce gases and waste that are questionable (and we’re not even talking about how much they cost). Paper seems to us to be a more viable alternative, as it composes easily and is recyclable, though we understand there can be high energy costs…
Got any ideas?
Related posts: making art out of a ‘wasteland’ via vik muniz
how to destroy and dispose of a hard drive
m&m wrapper dress (garbage is opportunity)
real life is messy
embroidered plastic bag (garbage into art/fashion)
what bottle caps can be: el anatsui’s liquid mosaicsx