Plastic in Daily Life – Birthday Party edition

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I was at a birthday party a few days ago. In a kid’s party – getting away from plastic is hard. First, is the ubiquitous Flex – because it’s cheap, light, quick-to-customize and the kid is super excited in seeing his/her face on it, it is de rigueur decoration at a party (or any event, for that matter). Next are the balloons – I read that regular balloons (not Mylar) biodegrade. I’m going to bury some/ put them in the compost to see if that is indeed true.

We buried some biodegradable plastic two years, and have been checking periodically ever since – it’s still pristine under the ground!

The cutlery was metal, and the plates were ceramic, so there was no waste there. The napkins were paper, and biodegradable. The cake came in a waxed paper box, which is tricky to dispose off. But the biggest footprint came in the return gifts. Plastic toys, crayons, a metal pencil box set wrapped in cellophane and with a single use plastic insert, the sharpener made of plastic and wrapped in cellophane, a plastic ball, and a bubble blower. Some of these have a long enough life that recycling concerns can fade into the background, but what do we do with the oodles of single use plastic?

What do time-starved parents, working within a budget of money and time, buy for excited kids? Am I the only one sensing entrepreneurial opportunity?

 

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