The world produces 300 to 400 million tons of plastic each year. Not even half of this plastic is ever recycled. Actually only around 10% of it really gets a new life. Everything else goes to the bottom of rivers, oceans and seas or straight into the soil to contaminate and kill animals and everything else around us.
You can find plastic in pretty much anything, if you look around you right now, odds are that there will be at least five items made of plastic. However, sometimes you can find it even in places where you can’t see it, and where it is completely not needed. Here are five surprising items that you didn’t know contain plastic:
- Chewing gum - Bizzare, right? Well, chewing gum is a piece of plastic that has artificial color and flavoring added to it. And, does it ever decompose properly? Nope. It stays here and it is in fact the second most common type of litter worldwide, next to the winning cigarette butts (which also contain plastic!). Throwing gum on the street can be dangerous especially for birds. They often confuse it with something edible and consume it, which ultimately kills them. So, if you are into chewing gum, at least make sure to dispose of it in a safer place. Maybe you can consider switching to mints, though, if you miss that feeling of fresh breath
- Jar lids - One of the most common things we all do when we want to reduce waste is ditch the plastic containers and replace them with glass jars. But the lid of a glass jar often contains a thin layer of nothing else but...plastic. Be careful when you are choosing jar lids, and make sure you eliminate this issue. Go green!
- Disposable tampons and pads - Out of everything on the list, this is probably the scariest one. Yup. Tampons and pads do contain plastic (among other toxic things you will also find in them). In fact, one disposable menstrual pad can contain as much plastic as 4 plastic bags. Plastic itself contains a chemical called BPA (short for Bisphenol-A). Being exposed to BPA can cause health complications that affect the nervous system (yes, you will be surprised), as well as fertility. Why would anyone want this near their body. Switch to a healthier alternative. Start using cloth pads and menstrual cups.
- Disposable wipes - Do we wipe our face with plastic every day? Yes, we do. In fact, the plastic in disposable wipes is hard to degrade, and when we don’t properly dispose of them we create a major global issue.
- Beads in toothpaste and soap - those little things that feel nice when you scrub on your skin? Plastic. If you enjoy scrubs, try to use ones that are 100% organic, they are so easy to make even at home. Sugar, a little bit of honey and olive oil and you have yourself a plastic-free scrub!
While it is impossible to fully exterminate plastic from the planet, it is definitely possible to reduce the use and production of plastic. Join our movement in creating a toxin-free, eco-friendly environment for everyone. Start by switching to cloth bags for shopping, use cups instead of tampons, and try cloth pads instead of disposable pads. You’d be surprised how much these higher quality products can make a difference in your life - and the life of Mother Earth!