Plastic was fantastic. But that was before. In the days of the saucy songs of Elmer and his band, and the recklessness of the pleasures of unlimited consumption. A golden age during which oil invaded our daily lives, and not just the tanks of our cars.
1. Chewing gum
Before the advent of petrochemicals, chewing gum was made from tree sap or resin, or even beeswax. Today, and since the end of World War II, they contain polymer, a petrochemical substance also used to make rubber in tires!
2. The tea bags
The detox side of the tea bag will mop up! The latter is thus mostly composed of nylon or polypropylene, synthetic substances which would release a multitude of microparticles under the effect of heat! It’s well thought out anyway, isn’t it? To avoid polluting your esophagus, go for loose tea! And too bad if it is a little more difficult to prepare.
3. Your mattress
We are not going to lie to each other, the mattresses on which we spend almost half of our life, are mainly made of materials from petrochemicals. Even latex, normally extracted from so-called “rubber” trees, is increasingly of synthetic origin. As for the foam that fills mattresses and pillows, it is also made of polyurethane from holy petrochemicals.
While there are sponges in their natural state that do the job perfectly, Man once decided that he would go faster to make them on his own in his corner, using petroleum and more particularly polyurethane. Composed of a synthetic foam baked in a mold, these sponges undergo a coloring – like granny – to match the tastes of consumers. Problem, these sponges are a hassle to recycle, even more if they are equipped with a scraper face, anything but ecological.
5. Your sunglasses glasses
Sunglasses may be classy, and you too, their lenses are actually mostly (over 90% of sales) plastic. To avoid freaking consumers out, we call them “organic” eyeglass lenses. It is true that it sounds better than “plastoc spectacle lenses”! The advantage of the polycarbonate from which they are made is that it is extremely strong, while withstanding high temperatures. Note that there are mineral glass sunglasses available, but they cost more. So it’s up to you!
6. Your toothpaste
Petrochemicals are everywhere, including when we think we are taking care of our hygiene. Most toothpastes thus contain synthetic sweeteners, alcoholic mineral oils and polymers derived from petroleum heated to around 400 ° C! In addition to polluting your mouth, the plastic microbeads and nanoparticles in toothpaste are too small to be filtered out during wastewater treatment. At least we’re sure the fish will have fresh breath! And it’s already not bad.
7. Cardboard glasses
Gone are the days of plastic glasses that are super polluting for the environment, make way for cardboard glasses … Except that the latter are mostly covered with a plastic film capable of releasing particles in contact with hot water (also works with mulled wine). The good news, however, is that this plastic membrane does not prevent cardboard glass from being recycled. We were hot !
8. Bottles of mineral water
In Europe, it was estimated in 2019 at 25%, the percentage of plastic water bottles that were recycled. Insufficient with regard to the environmental consequences of this invisible pollution, especially for those who do not want to see, starting with us, consumers. Bottled water would thus have an impact on ecosystems 1,400 times greater than tap water. Enough to make the planet drink a cup.
9. Your clothes
Fleece jacket, swimsuit, t-shirt… without knowing it, you have become a model for the oil industry! The fault is nylon and especially polyester which is nothing other than a petroleum derivative made with toxic chemicals, which pollute the air, soil and water.
10. Egg cartons
While these boxes protect the eggs from breakage, they are far from protecting the environment. They are indeed made from polystyrene from petroleum in which micro air bubbles are blown to absorb shocks. Alternatives do exist, however, with packaging designed from molded or recycled paper that is much less polluting.