My husband, who doesn't care at all if he uses plastic or not, actually bought quite the gadget which all things considered is very good at reducing plastic. He bought the iPod touch for work as a alternative to a blackberry. It came in a small cardboard container with a carboard lid with no Cellophane and no huge hard plastic case, although it did have plastic bin and lid inside the cardboard box. The lid is recyclable, and the box is so sturdy it could be reused. Also, the information packet was wrapped in a paper envelope, rather than plastic. The machine itself is mainly made of metal, with few plastic parts. It is about 3"x4"x1/2", and has a touch screen which eliminates a plastic pen.
As he played with it over a week, he realized there were many things this little gadget can do. It works as a calendar, so he can keep track of appointments, and it can link up to other people's calendars as well. It can hold telephone numbers and addresses. It can function as an iPod, downloading enough music to last days with no repeats. If you downloaded directly off the Internet, which it can receive via wireless, you could reduce your use of plastic in CDs to zero. It also can be used as a PC, so you can check your e-mail, surf the net, and use word processing for notes. It could replace laptops for many, which would further reduce the use of plastic.
I was very impressed, and that does not happen with technology often. Apparently there is a version which also serves as a cell phone. Now I would not go throwing out a perfectly good laptop, Sirius radio or Blackberry to buy this. However, if I were in the market for one of these, I would certainly consider this. I think multi-tasking technology could help a lot of people reduce their usage of plastic and other materials without giving up the things they need.
Here is a link to the Ipod touch: