We are (almost) all working on it and we are constantly reminded of it. Plastic is bad. And we at Elicious have been convinced for a long time that we do not want to use plastic for our products, our packaging and our shipping packaging.
Therefore traditionally made delicious soap in shampoo and conditioner bars that make you happy. If you use it every day, you can easily save dozens of plastic bottles a year. And if we do that together, there is already a very good start to get rid of single-use plastics.
Our products are natural and are used for your personal care, which is why we do not want to offer the products 'naked'. We want to keep it nice and clean and fresh. Rice paper is a valuable solution for us.
Do we even know why plastic is so common and widely accepted? That was of course the ease of use supported by considerable marketing activities by the producers. We all know the sandwich bags and garbage bags, but there is so much more. Liquid shampoo and body wash in plastic bottles is nice, but look further to reduce your personal carbon footprint. There is a lot in our household that deserves some extra attention and where everyone could make a difference. Even though you might not think so.
Plastics can be found in many cosmetic products, where it is used, for example, as an abrasive (in toothpaste or shower gel). Examples of all products in which plastic can be/have been processed:
- Toothpaste: microplastics used as abrasives in the actual toothpaste
- Lipstick, eyeshadow and make-up powders: plastic parts as a cost-effective binder
- Mascara: almost every mascara contains microplastic parts to add volume and make it waterproof
- Nail polish: plastic makes the nail polish more viscous and more resistant
- Peelings: the plastic takes over the abrasive function on the skin
- Wet Wipes: Conventional wet wipes contain a proportion of plastic (usually polyester) to ensure tear resistance
- Sunscreen: liquid polymers provide shine and suppleness
- Shower gels & shampoos: microplastic as an abrasive to open the pores, among other things
Plastic is not only in the packaging; there is also a lot of plastic in foods, both for the flexibility of the texture and for a longer shelf life. An overview:
- Beer: the "purity control". To ensure that the beer stays clear for as long as possible, many breweries use plastic polyvinylpolypyrrolidone
- Tins: The inside has a hidden layer of plastic to protect the metal. The same goes for metal closures on glass bottles
- Coffee filters: many coffee filters have plastic to make them more tear-resistant
- Tea bags: in most cases these contain polypropylene to seal the bags nicely, so that the tea does not fall out. The same goes for coffee pads. Check if yours are sustainable
- Coffee cups: this is one of the trickiest. While the coffee itself is ideal for the composter, the cups are still often made of aluminum with a plastic layer
- TetraPak: the popular beverage packaging contains a thin layer of plastic. So this goes in the "orange bin" and does not belong to the old paper
- Chewing gum: the chewing mass of normal chewing gum is made of synthetic polymers to make it nice and elastic, so that it does not break into pieces
- Frozen packaging: this also contains a thin layer of plastic to better protect the product against, for example, dehydration
You can find plastic in many common household products, even where you'd least expect it:
- Colored markers and pencils: a thin layer of plastic in the marker provides the breakage resistance
- Detergents: many of these contain water-soluble synthetic polymers and microplastics to prevent discoloration, among other things
- Cleaning agents: liquid plastics ensure that stubborn dirt is removed by friction during cleaning
- Baking paper: plastic is the reason why the "baking paper" does not stick to the baking sheet
- Cigarette filters: smoking is not only harmful to the lungs, the cigarette filters are full of plastic that remains in the environment for years
- Sanitary pads: the front and back are largely made of plastic
- Pillows: In many cases, cheap polyurethane has replaced the down
The 5 Rs
Enough to think about and take action. The 5 Rs (English terms) are now quite well known, but let's list them here:
- Refuse = Refuse: Learn to say “no” to promotional items, toys, plastic bags, straws, or whatever is offered to you
- Reduce: Let go of all the things we don't really use or need in the house
- Reuse = Reuse: replace disposable items for reusable items, replace paper towels with washable cleaning wipes, replace sandwich bags with jars or boxes, go to the supermarket with your shopping bag, but also take a cotton bread bag , vegetable and fruit nets in bulk bags along
- Recycle: avoid materials that are not recyclable
- Rotting: composting is wonderful when it can be done, the last resort before landfill
Do we achieve the zero waste lifestyle with this? Probably not, but it's a start and you'll see it's the opposite of what people think. It will give you a richer life, a simpler life perhaps, but a life based on experiences rather than things, a life based on being rather than having.
Like many of you, we at Elicious try to do the right thing every day, sometimes it is not easy. But we are sure that if we pay enough attention to it, we can make a good contribution to the plastic-free world desired by everyone.
Sustainable also means that you use up what you have and do not suddenly throw away all your plastic. And of course there are also many plastic products that last a long time and sometimes a lifetime. Think of all your household appliances and personal care. The manufacturers of these have (yes….of necessity) made many improvements and to be honest; I think my vacuum cleaner is a godsend! Remember that after the life cycle of those devices you deliver it to a recycling company.
Every step is one and every small change can have a big impact. Together we can take many steps!
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