You can find plastic everywhere. As a thin layer it’s wrapped around food, it carries your purchases and is a lightweight alternative to glass bottles. Besides these visible applications of plastic there’s also hidden plastic in some items you might not think of now.
For example, gum. Human beings love gum. Nothing wrong with that. But what do you say when we tell you there’s plastic in your normal chewing gum? Surprised? You’re not the only one. According to a study from Iceland 85% of people didn’t know that there’s plastic in chewing gums. Considering that chewing gum is the second most common form of waste worldwide, it is not surprising that the micro plastic it contains ends up in nature and thus has a negative impact on the environment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your refreshing gum anymore. There’s a variety of organic chewing gums that contain only natural ingredients.
Tea bags and coffee filters on the other hand contain plastic to maintain the shape when in contact with hot water. An alternative is to use loose herbs with a basket infuser, reusable cotton filters for coffee or a french press.
Another product that might surprise the one or the other is baking parchment. It already delivers vast amounts of waste since it’s a disposable. Adding to that the non-stick coating is achieved with the use of plastic (silicone). But what can be used instead of baking paper? The best and most natural method is to use fat. For example, coconut fat, butter, rapeseed oil and many more. You could also buy a baking sheet out of glass or a baking stone for bread and pizza. But be careful with baking sheet alternatives like silicone baking mats or PFTE-coated (Teflon) fiber glass fabrics. Silicone for example is very harmful to the environment when disposed and if of poor quality even harmful to health. Similar to silicone, PFTE-coated fabric releases toxic fumes above a temperature of 200 degrees and when disposed in incinerators.
Besides these hidden plastics there's a ton of products where you can avoid plastic.
Alternatives to plastic
|Cosmetic||Organic cosmetic in glass bottles or paper packages|
|Makeup-remover pads and wet wipes||Reusable Cotton Pads|
|Liquid Soap||Bars of soap|
|Shampoo and Shower gel||Shampoo bars, or shampoo and shower gel in glasses|
|Peelings||DIY coffee or organic peeling|
|Toothpaste||Toothpaste in a glass jar|
|Menstrual products||Organic products, or menstrual cup|
|Sun cream||Organic sun cream in plastic free container|
|Cleaning Products||Powders packed in recyclable containers|
|Plastic bags||Organic cotton bag|
|Plastic Wrapped food||Zero-Waste Shops
Food in glass or paper packages
|Deep freeze packaging||Paper, stainless steel containers|
Baking sheet out of glass
PFTE-coated fiber glass fabric
|Plastic foil||Beeswax coated cloth (perfect for a DIY session!)|
|Plastic Packaging||Stainless steel and glass containers|
|Plastic bottles||Glass or stainless steel bottles|
|Gum||Organic chewing gum|
|Tea bags||Basket infusers, tea balls and stick infusers|
|Coffee filters||Reusable coffee filter, French press|
|Disposables- coffee cups||Reusable coffee cup|
|Disposables- plates and cutlery||Palm leaf/bamboo plates and cutlery, or you use your normal tableware, ...|
Help us get this list full! You can text us your helpful alternatives via our Instagram account: @sons_of_aloha
The name can be deceiving. Although some types of bio-plastics are made at least in part from renewable raw materials such as sugar cane, plastics made from renewable raw materials are not automatically compostable. Bio-PET, for example, has the same chemical structure as conventional plastic. Adding to that the production of agroplastics is energy-intensive and in some cases requires valuable arable land.
Here you need to make sure that it is 100% bamboo. There is no danger from pure, untreated bamboo - for example as a cutting board, straws or coffee cup. But attention! There are also products which are a mix of the plastic melamine resin and bamboo powder.
Above a temperature of 70 degrees, melamine resin releases harmful substances and is therefor bad for your health. These products mostly have a matte surface, are dyed or have a print.
I hope we could give you some new alternatives that you didn't know of yet.
To a happy plastic-reduced future!