I read about these products from The Green Routine and while they are not all plastic, they are closely related since they are made from petroleum. 1. Paper cups – They are made from paper but coated with polyolefin, a wax derived from oil. This made me wonder about wax paper and wax paper sandwich bags which I use instead of plastic wrap and plastic bags. I will try to find out about this. 2. Candles – They are also made of polyolefin wax. Try using candles made of beeswax or soy instead. 3. Wax covering of fruits and vegetables – This is sprayed on the fruits and vegetables to make them look healthy and shiny. The wax is a petroleum product. I do not need this kind of treatment to make me buy the food item. This is another reason for shopping at your local farmers’ market. 4. Reusable shopping bags – Some are made of polyester which is the same chemical as plastic called PET, as seen in disposable drink bottles. Some of mine are polyester but I plan on using the heck out of them and then disposing of them properly. Then I will replace them with bags made of canvas or some other sustainable material. 5. Detergent – What? The surfactant that helps detergent get material wet or makes water attracted to it is often a petroleum product. I checked my Seventh Generation detergent and it contains coconut surfactant. Method is another brand that does not use petroleum based surfactants. 6. Paint - House paint that is made of acrylic latex is derived from oil. 7. Polyester – Polyester clothing is the same plastic as bottles made of PET or PETE. When possible, use natural fabrics such as silk, linen, wool, cotton, or bamboo. go a step further and try to use organic natural fabrics. 8. Foil packaging – Some food items are packaged in bags made of Mylar that is actually thinly stretched PET plastic. It is then bonded to a thin coat of metal, usually aluminum. Chips are often packaged in Mylar.
On another topic: I have been reading a great book by Diane MacEachern called Big Green Purse, subtitled “Use Your Spending Power To Create a Cleaner, Greener World”. It is aimed at the family shopper, which is usually a woman. I know, not all shoppers are female, but women spend 85 cents out of every dollar. This book has great suggestions about how we can use our spending power to change the way manufacturers make their products. It suggests lifestyle changes, recommends eco-friendly products and suggest resources for more information. Click on the Big Green Purse website that adds to the ideas in the book. I am going to rely heavily on it for my next few blog postings as I write about beauty and personal-care products. This blog is mostly about ways to reduce our use of plastic, so have you looked at the beauty products aisle lately? Solid plastic!! (As are many other aisles in the grocery store or drug store) Stay tuned.
Nice article. It really is shocking how prevalent petroleum based products are in most modern products. This toxic substance is effectively absorbed through the skin, scalp and mouth and which, over time, accumulate in the body’s organs and tissues leading to a lowered immune system and susceptibilty to illness ands disease.
Best to buy these products from ethical companies!