By now, everyone knows that plastic is terrible for our environment. The infiltration of this harmful material in our everyday lives penetrates much deeper, making it challenging to avoid pollutants that will remain on our planet for centuries. There are specific plastic items that we know to avoid, such as plastic bottles, bags, and coffee cups – but what about other things?
So, in an effort to make yourself aware of everyday items that contain microplastics and what you can do about this consumption, read on!
First on our list is aluminum drinks cans. These cans are lined with a plastic resin, with the coating being needed to prevent the liquid from corroding the can’s aluminum material. While many drink cans are recyclable, they are certainly not free of plastic.
Microplastics don’t stop at being in your drink’s can – they are also sometimes in the liquid itself. Indeed, beer could contain traces of microplastic fragments due to tap water contamination. While it’s still unclear whether there are risks to human health by exposing yourself to microplastics in this way, it’s certainly something to be aware of the next time you go out for a pint.
Next time you need a new pair of leggings, jumper, fleece, top, or other items of clothing, think carefully about what materials you are buying. Polyester, acrylic, spandex, nylon, and polyamide materials can shed hundreds of thousands of microfibres each time you wash them. After all, microfibres are challenging to filter out once they are in water, causing them to end up in tap water in many different countries.
Even items as simple as salt and pepper grinders contain plastic. To approach this differently, try searching for sustainable items which only use eco-friendly materials.
It’s always worth being aware of the negative impact of sunscreen. Besides containing chemicals that can harm our environment, sunscreen could also have plastic in it. Not covered by bans placed on the use of microbeads in some cosmetic items, some sunscreen brands still include microplastic ingredients. These include polyacrylate and polyethylene.
So, what can you start doing about it?
Now that you are more aware of the everyday items you use that contain microplastics, perhaps it’s worth delving deeper into what you can actually do about this problem.
The most obvious thing to do at this stage is to only opt for eco-friendly, natural items at shops. There are plenty of kind, sustainable brands out there that are waiting for you on the shelves. These items are less likely to contain harmful microplastics since they usually involve manufacturing processes that keep their environmental impact in mind.
Do your research
The following step to take is to do your research into different companies. Many companies claim to be eco-friendly but may still involve processes that allow microplastics to enter their products. Looking at company websites is a fantastic way to find out what each brand stands for and its environmental views.
You can learn many things from this article, including the fact that microplastic pollution may be a bigger problem than you first anticipated. You may not have known that plastic weaves itself into so many items beyond the obvious ones, like plastic bags and bottles. Thus, this is a colossal problem that everyone needs to tackle to create change.
Next, it’s apparent that businesspeople and marketers could potentially benefit from boycotting the use of microplastics and other plastic materials. By swapping out plastic packaging for cardboard or other recyclable, sustainable materials, companies may be able to attract a more extensive consumer base. After all, many customers have started to boycott shops that use harmful materials and support kinder companies instead.
Finally, it’s evident that any individual shopper has the power to make a difference in our world. Microplastic pollution is vast, but it can only be tackled head-on if each individual decides to modify what everyday items they buy.