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6 Common Items Containing Hidden Plastics - Some Are Shocking!

Leave no footprint behind this Plastic-Free July and be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

If you’ve been toying with the idea about going zero waste, the time is now! This month is Plastic Free July - a great time to look at ways to actively reduce your plastic consumption.

Plastic Free July is a global movement that has helped millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution by reducing or eliminating their use of single-use plastic during the month of July, and beyond.

While we all know that we should take our green bags to the supermarket, refuse plastic containers and avoid groceries wrapped in plastic, there are a few everyday items that you wouldn’t expect to contain plastic. We were definitely surprised by a couple of these!

#1 Chewing Gum

While gum used to be a natural substance, when demand increased in the late 1900’s, resin supply from trees fell short. As a result, manufacturers started using synthetic materials such as polyethylene and rubber in it’s place. This is terrible for both the environment and our bodies. However, you don’t have to quit the gum habit just yet as there are a few companies in the market that have started to produce all natural, vegan alternatives. Check out Honest Gum or True Gum for a plastic-free option.

#2 Takeaway Coffee Cups

You may want to think twice about ordering that takeaway coffee as most paper coffee cups are lined with plastic which makes them impossible to recycle. While the plastic helps to keep it sturdy so liquids don’t spill out, it’s super easy to make that coffee run eco-friendly simply by bringing your own tumbler or mug. We love the range from Porter Green – whoever said sustainability can’t be sexy was doing it wrong!

#3 Toothpaste & Oral Hygiene Products

Likewise, many toothpastes and teeth whitening products also contain plastic due to the microbeads in them. While these beads are supposed to help polish your teeth, consuming plastic is definitely something we’d rather avoid. Toothbrushes/floss and many of the other tools we use on our teeth are usually made from plastic as well. In good news, there are many eco-friendly brands out there that will have your pearly whites looking fresher than ever with a cost to the environment. We’re loving Gem Products for the most aesthetic range of oral hygiene products along with Grants of Australia.

#4 Kitchen Sponges/Cloths

The humble kitchen sponge can be a bit of a confusing one as you wouldn’t expect it to be made from plastics, right? It’s something we wouldn’t think twice about but most conventional sponges are made from two types of plastic – the softer, yellow side is usually made from polyester whilst the rougher, green side from polyurethane. Safe to say that none of it can be recycled, therefore we would recommend a biodegradable alternative such as Good Change which have an entire range of zero waste products.

#5 Teabags

To increase durability and slow the disintegration process, many tea bags are actually made with plastic. For all you tea lovers out there, don’t fret, there are some easy swaps that you can make to avoid any unnecessary plastics. The best solution, buy tea leaves in bulk and use a metal strainer for that afternoon cuppa. Otherwise brands like Pukka and Little Wilding Co are great, plastic-free, sustainable options.

#6 Salt

This one may come as a surprise but the salt we use on our food everyday contains a substantial amount of microplastics. Reason being, salt comes from the sea and our oceans are unfortunately widespread in our oceans. This is primarily due to particles from washing detergents, face scrubs, soaps and even clothing fibres going down our drains. Not to mention, the majority of salt products from major retailers are stored in plastic shakers.

This one is definitely much harder to combat as it does require change from the root of the cause by reducing overall plastic consumption, going zero waste and cleaning up our beaches. Some small steps in the meantime could include purchasing salt from health food stores where you can take your own jars/containers to minimise packaging waste. The Source and Naked Foods are good options and have mutliple locations around Australia.

This month as part of our pledge toward Plastic Free July, the Bodhi team will be heading to a few of our local parks and harbour areas to do a rubbish clean-up. Check out our socials to see what we got up to. A reminder that we’re all in this together and team work paves the way for a plastic-free world!


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