5 Things You Didn’t Know Were Made with Plastic
Whether you want to completely cut out items that are made with plastic, or you simply want to do your bit to help the environment, or even just want to compost/recycle your waste instead of sending it to landfill, you’re probably reading this to know more about plastic waste.
Why it’s Important to Reduce our Use of Items that are made with Plastic
Plastic is rather tenacious in the environment. It is packed with toxins, you can’t really recycle it and it causes harm to wildlife. This is particularly the case with birds, mammals and sea life.
Plastic is everywhere you turn. Though you will find it in many obvious places, you may not realise how often it sneaks into our packaging in ways we don’t consider. Most of us want to do what we can to avoid plastic where possible, but this isn’t always easy. Here are five things you probably didn’t know where made with plastic!
Yup, you read that right. Chewing gum is made of plastic. It’s not something manufacturers tend to share with their consumers, which is why you don’t always see an ingredients list on the packaging. The reason for this is because they consider these ingredients to be “trade secrets”. This is why you will often see generic terms such as “gum base”. It makes it difficult to know exactly what it is people are chewing! However, what we do know is that most gum bases contain Polyethylene. This is a plastic that is used to make bottles and carrier bags.
Some of us are becoming more aware that the clothes we wear are made of plastic. However, this knowledge is not as common as it should be. Any clothing that is made from man-made fibres are made from plastic. These fibres consist of microfibre fleece, acrylic, polyester and nylon. Each time you wash these materials, microplastics are released into our waterways as the fabric sheds. For the man-made materials you already own, don’t panic! There are many products coming out on the market to help prevent these materials from being washed away.
Disposable Coffee Cups
I know what you’re probably thinking: “But, these are made from paper. Surely these are okay?” Well, not quite. Disposable coffee cups are lined with plastic, making them difficult to recycle. If you would like to find an alternative, there are so many to choose from! I would say that KeepCup is the top choice, but the list is truly unlimited.
Yup, just like disposable coffee cups, aluminium cans contain plastic. To prevent the drink from corroding with the can, each one is lined with a plastic resin. Without this lining, which is usually made from epoxy, a can of coke would corrode in just three days!
If you think most tea bags are made from filter paper, you are not wrong. However, you may be surprised to find that they are heat sealed using Polyethylene. This kind of plastic will not biodegrade quickly enough in your compost bin. Though you can find plastic-free teas, they come in plastic packaging, which kind of defeats the objective. Loose-leaf is the best alternative if you wish to ditch the plastic completely! There are many independent sellers who specialise in loose-leaf teas, but you may also find some tinned options in your local supermarket.
Did You know any of these were made with Plastic?
It can be daunting to learn these things if you were convinced otherwise. However, it is good to be aware of these things when educating yourself on ways to reduce plastic. The more you learn about where you can find plastic, the more you can discover ways to avoid it and encourage companies to provide better packaging solutions.