Believe it or not, there is a lot of plastic hidden in plain sight. One item in particular might shock you — chewing gum!
A key ingredient in most chewing gums is polyvinyl acetate (plastic) which is also used in the production of glue, plastic bags, and bottles. Ick!
Plastic is the ingredient that makes chewing gum... chewy, and you will find it listed in the ingredients list as gum base.
How much plastic are we consuming?
The problem with plastic
Plastic never breaks down, it only ever breaks up into tiny little pieces known as microplastics. Plastic can take over 400 years to break up.
Plastic is also incredibly resources intensive to make. Plastic production has a huge carbon footprint and is manufactured using massive amounts of oil or natural gas and energy. On average, the initial production process produces about 6kg of CO2 per 1kg of plastic. It takes 700ml of water to produce a 350ml plastic water bottle - the ones available in every supermarket around the world.
How do we consume plastic?
We consume plastic in the form of microplastics - small particles of plastic - that are found all around us in everyday life. Such as in our drinking water - tap and bottled - in seafood and fish, clothing textiles and personal care products.
We ingest microplastics through food and drink. When we wash clothing made from synthetic materials such as acrylic or polyester just one load of laundry can generate up to 1 million microplastic fibres into the environment through wastewater.
Plastic in plain sight
Things we use every day that you didn’t know contain plastic
Tips on reducing microplastic consumption in our everyday life
- Drink filtered tap water
- Don’t microwave food in plastic containers
- Use plastic-free cosmetics, laundry and beauty products
- Reduce or eliminate seafood and meat from your diet
- Use loose-leaf tea instead of tea bags
- Buy clothing made from natural textiles like hemp instead of synthetic textiles like polyester
- Install a filter in your washing machine that filters microplastics
- Air dry your clothes instead of using a dryer
How are we part of the solution?
Collective actions make a big difference. Swapping out gum for a plastic-free option is an easy win, so is switching to a shampoo bar instead of a bottle.
Our products are proudly plastic-free! Our growing range of highly concentrated and long-lasting, plastic-free, products now has over 80 products in the range.
Ethique is also regenerative climate-positive company.
Since 2010, you have helped us to save over 20 million single-use plastic bottles from landfills and our next goal is half a billion bottles by 2030.
There’s no denying that corporations play an important role in tackling the plastic pollution problem. If you’re ready to flex your purchasing power and your voice, send big corporations an email to let them know you’ve made the switch to another product that’s more ethical/sustainable.