5 Ways Plastic is Hiding in Your Daily Routine

It’s great to say no to a plastic bottle of water, or use your tote bag instead of a plastic bag. But some plastics are less obvious, making them harder to avoid. In this post we are going to talk about five places that plastic is hiding in your daily life. 

1- Wake up and smell the plastic. Disposable coffee pods have become one of the most popular ways for people to make their favorite drink since its so easy and convenient. But these pods are wasteful from start to finish; they require valuable fossil fuels and energy to create only to be used once and thrown out. But don’t despair, coffee lovers have so many options to brew more sustainably at home! There’s the zero waste french press, traditional paper coffee filters, and even reusable coffee pods for drinkers on the go! 

2- You may think that tea is more sustainable than coffee, but did you know that most tea bags are made of plastic? While some brands use natural materials like wood and vegetable fibers to produce their tea bags, most other brands use tea bags that are lined with plastic. They use thermoplastics like PVC, polypropylene, or even nylon (Yes nylon! Like your leggings!) which is harmful to the environment and our health.

We understand that in today’s busy world, it’s not always practical to use loose-leaf tea. Sometimes we just need the convenience that tea bags offer. The best way to cut the plastic from your tea is to do your research and choose brands that don’t. We suggest Clipper, Pukka, and Tea Pigs. 

3- You just finished a great meal and now you feel like you need a little freshening up. So you dig in your purse to find your packet of chewing gum, toss a piece in your mouth, and enjoy the burst of refreshing flavor. 

But..let me ask you this - When was the last time you read the ingredients on the back? Most chewing and bubble gum brands use something called Gum Base as the base ingredient to give gum its elastic properties. But what exactly is it?

Gum Base is actually an umbrella term that covers 46 different chemicals approved by the FDA. It could range from natural waxes like beeswax and natural rubber, to petroleum derived polymers like paraffin and petroleum waxes, to polyethylene which is used in packaging materials. The chemically plastiky flavor is masked with sweeteners and flavorings, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be chewing on some mystery ingredient - especially if it could be a type of plastic! 

So if you feel that way too, don’t worry. There are several all-natural gums out there that are not only plastic-free but biodegradable too! Our favorites are Simply Gum, Chewsy and PUR.

4- Cotton balls and cotton rounds are household staples for many of us. They are so useful in beauty routines, nail care, and almost anything else you can think to use them for! They are designed to be hypoallergenic and soft enough to be used on your skin as well as to carry toners, oils and ointments. And it says it right there in the name, “COTTON rounds” so they are made of cotton, right?  

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Many brands use non-biodegradable materials that are synthetic and petroleum based to make their cotton rounds more durable, lint free, or have an exfoliating effect which is rough on sensitive areas (e.g. eyes). Not only that, real 100% cotton rounds require a lot of water to be produced and are single-use, making them more wasteful than they seem. 

You can make this household staple sustainable by getting in the habit of using reusable cotton face wipes and rounds

5- Glitter is a mixture of tiny plastic and aluminum fragments. And if you’ve used glitter, you know that it gets all over the place! Those tiny fragments enter and disrupt the environment, and take about a thousand years to biodegrade. 

Luckily for those of us who can’t live without a little glitter in our lives, there’s biodegradable options! We can still sparkle with biodegradable options like those we offer at Ao. 

By taking these small steps together, we can make a big impact in our world. To shop the plastic-free products mentioned in this list, see the links below. 

Reusable Coffee Capsules

Simply Gum

Reusable Face Wipes & Full Set

Reusable Cotton Pads

Biodegradable Glitter - it's on sale!


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