There is more plastic hiding in the walls of your home than you think. Find out where! Click on everything that looks suspicious. On your marks, get set, go!
It's a very rare case when you find clothing made of pure cotton or pure wool. Often clothes contain synthetic fibers such as polyester, polyacrylics, polyamide or viscose. Sportswear is where you are most likely to find synthetic materials. We can ingest fine particles into our bodies through our skin. More than 90% of adults living in industrial countries have blood that is chronically contaminated with BPA, as demonstrated in the article The practical problem child. Recycled cotton or organic cotton, for example, fare much better. We'll show you how to avoid plastic in these nine tips.
Pillow filling and padding are often made from plastic. More specifically: plastic fibers made from polyurethane. These fibers are also frequently found in mattresses. This primarily becomes a problem when we replace these pillows, mattresses and sofas with new ones and dispose of the old ones. According to Friends of the Earth in Germany, these items are difficult to dispose of and expensive to burn. That's why it's best to use plastic-free, environmentally friendly materials for pillows as well as for upholstery and mattresses.
It's hard to believe, but shoes are in seventh place when it comes to items that release the most microplastics into the environment in Germany. According to a current study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology in Oberhausen, shoe wear-and-tear during walking produces 100 grams of microplastic per person per year.
In Germany, numerous cosmetics products by well-known manufacturers still contain microplastics. This has already been banned in countries like the USA, the UK, Canada and Sweden for health and environmental protection reasons. Luckily, there is an app you can use to easily find out which products in the supermarket contain microplastics: Code-Check. With this app you simply take a photo of the barcode and the app will show you all the product's healthy and hazardous substances, including microplastics, in a matter of seconds. Try it out in your own bathroom!
Since when are cans made of plastic, you may be asking yourself. Of course, in reality cans are made of metal. But then the next logical question is, why don't cans rust. And this is where the magic word comes into play: plastics. The inside of cans is coated with epoxy resins, which may contain the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). This is a substance that works like a hormone in the human body and is a suspected possible trigger of cancer and infertility. Find out more about the health risks of plastic in the article The practical problem child.
Fabrics that contain plastic fibers, which is often the case with sportswear and fleece pullovers, become a true microplastics catapult during regular washing processes. The German Environmental Agency found out that 2,000 particles are released into the environment when a regular load of laundry is washed. Those who think that pure cotton is much better for the environment than synthetic fabrics are mistaken. In fact, unbelievable amounts of pesticides and valuable drinking water are used in cotton production. Recycled cotton or organic cotton, for example, are a better choice. As a rule, remember that you should not blindly follow every fashion trend and remember: quality over quantity!
Of the approximately 330,000 metric tons of microplastics that end up in the environment every year in Germany alone, the lion's share belongs to car tire wear: about one-third, which translates into a gigantic 110,000 metric tons. This was discovered by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology in Oberhausen. This microplastic gathers in fine dust in the air we breathe or is washed into the sewer system by rain. Scientists are already working on developing environmentally friendly tires, for example made from dandelions. Although it won't hurt any of us to slow down a bit. After all, experiencing the environment on foot is much more intense and promotes good health.