Plastic Cap

Plastic Cap!

What is the Plastic Cap Challenge?

Have you ever heard of a salary cap?  It’s a simple idea that’s often practiced in professional sports to alleviate the cost of overspending.  The idea is that there is a set amount of money that can be spent, and if you go over the allotment there is a tax imposed.  For example lets say there is a $10.00 salary cap, if I want something that will cost me $11.00, then I pay the $10.00 I am allowed to spend, but for the $1.00 that goes over the cap I must pay $2.00.  The extra $1.00 is the tax I owe for going over the cap.

For the month of February theDIHEDRAL has complied to slightly reduce the weight of our carbon footprint by avoiding the purchase of any new plastic.  In other words our Plastic Cap is set at zero.  Just like the salary cap scenario laid out above anytime we go over the cap, a tax will be imposed.  We have agreed to pay a $1.00 plastic tax for every new item we purchase that is composed of plastic. The taxes that we collect will then be donated to (Access Fund– A non-profit designed to protect access to public lands).  This way if we succeed then we’ve done something positive.  And if we fail, then we do something positive as well…win win.

The Plastic Cap is the collective brainchild of theDIHEDRAL and a few of our climbing buddies1 It all started one day when we were just sitting around talking after a climbing session. The topic was originally inspired after watching an impassioned “Insta-rant” by a fellow climber and outdoor enthusiast Devin Whitney Arnold (@littledevv).

One person’s rant turned into a twenty-person challenge, and we’re hoping with your help that number can grow even larger.  We’re realistic enough to know that this challenge won’t change the world, but it can raise awareness, and it can change a mentality.  Best of all, we’re in this together!

So, if you want to follow our progress, we’ll be using the hashtag #plasticcap on our social media outlets, but we want to follow your progress as well, so if this idea intrigues you, let us know what obstacles you face, and how you progress by commenting below or spreading #plasticcap on social media.  Feel free to tag us and let us know whom you’ve brought into the challenge , and which organizations your plastic tax will go to if any? (my family is already sick of me imposing this on them)

My biggest obstacles are definitely going to be food. I eat Greek yogurt like I’m an ancient god sucking down ambrosia 5.3 ounces at a time. I drink soymilk like soybeans have nipples (I thought soymilk would be fine until I noticed that Plastic Cap).  And I eat packaged frozen veggies like a vegetarian in The North Pole.  Literally almost everything I eat comes packaged in plastic! What ever will I eat this month?  Who knows? But I promise to keep you posted along the way!  I’m armed with my Nalgene, a flock of cloth grocery bags, and for the times when I can’t avoid plastic I have a wallet filled with enough dollar bills to satiate a carnie working the ring toss!

Yep we’re ditching the straws, the grocery bags, the plastic cups, and anything else that comes in plastic.

SO, let’s go…let’s impose a Plastic Cap, and see where it takes us!

Carrot (Co-writer)

  1. Joel, Lauren, and Katie, you guys are the best!
  • How many earths would if take if everyone lived like you?  Find out here! (2.5 earths for me)
  • If you’re interested in finding out more about Access Fund click here.


19 Replies to “Plastic Cap”

  1. Brilliant idea.
    Can’t wait to get home and involve my family. Our backpacking at present, seem to have accumulated a lot of plastic to get rid of.
    Will be interesting to see how we get on. Best of Luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is such a great idea. I’ll be following along and keep taking those baby steps to reduce my dependency on plastics. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great idea. We recycle and compost everything. We generate about one large garbage container per year. That is dog feces in recyclable bags. The rest is recycled or turned into compost. It takes lots of time. We have containers with foldable stainless steel straws. In many places in Europe they are using strong straws made out of pasta. Congratulations on doing something wonderful for our planet. God bless you for coming up with this challenge. Love 💕 Joni


      1. I don’t think so. I believe we can’t educate people too much about the damage we are doing to our planet. I certainly won’t get bored. I say bravo!! Hugs Joni

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Question: What about items that are reusable plastic? Wondering how I could get my family on board. (And yes, I will have to be ready to pay a tax for all the yogurt and unsweetened strawberry applesauce I eat for my lunches…)


    1. Yeah we tax ourselves on reusable plastic as well, but the good news is that once purchased they save the tax money on every reuse. But please modify the idea in any way the works for you and your family and friends. The only goal is to help with awareness, and perhaps do a little good.

      I was just on-line looking at applesauce making directions, I eat it all the time too!



  5. I’ve been very cognizant of plastic for a long time and have been working to reduce consumption of it, so a few things to look for that you might not know/think of. Tetrapacks (that your soy milk probably comes in) are part plastic (in addition to the cap). Paper cups are lined in plastic. Any paper product that will hold liquid has a plastic lining. Tea bags are typically made of plastic (again, paper wouldn’t hold up in a cup of water), though there are one or two companies that allegedly don’t. (I don’t remember — I just use loose leaf and skip the whole ordeal.)

    Nylon, rayon, spandex, etc. clothes are made of plastic. Fleece will actually melt in extreme temps.

    And, just out of curiosity, if you need to buy a toothbrush, for example, does that incur a $1 tax or $2? (Since the item is plastic and so is the packaging.) And if you buy something plastic second-hand, does that count against you?

    I’ve never done it, but it’s supposedly pretty easy to make yogurt in an Instant Pot, if you have one. Nut and soy milks aren’t too hard with a high-power blender and some cheesecloth.

    This is a great idea! I’m definitely in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is great info thank you for it!!! It is so frustrating when something like a bamboo toothbrush is wrapped in plastic, but to answer your question, I just do a $1 for any object with with plastic, so a plastic item wrapped in plastic is still just $1. I was looking at some food blogs that give directions for making yogurt, and I am no chef, or anything remotely close, but I really think you’re right, the directions for yogurt in a Instant Pot don’t look that difficult. And the $1 tax on the pot is way better than the $30 tax for a month of yogurts. Thank you for all the ideas, and for tagging along, I’m really excited to hear how well we all do!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a fantastic way to look at it. We’ve had people tell us that it’s a waste of time, but I like to think that you are right, small steps are still steps!

      Liked by 1 person

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