Three Plastics That Often Sneak Past Us

Plastic is a sneaky, stealthy thing. It’s great at creeping past our greenest recycling efforts and into our landfills, slowly releasing toxins for the rest of its degrade-life (which is effectively forever).

Here are three varieties of plastic goods that often manage to sneak past us.

Plastic tape holds the world together, the saying goes. Worrying, as it’s often non-degradable. There’s no getting around non-bio duct tape for the heavy-duty jobs (yet, anyway), but what about standard packing tape? Use Sellotape instead – it’s made of compostable wood-pulp cellulose. Or why not package without using tape at all? There are plenty of other options, from knotted string to folded furoshiki.

– When sorting kitchen refuse for recycling, it’s easy to overlook the inner plastic liners you find in cereal boxes or some packets of rice. Keep them  – they’re great as freezer bags, or even wax paper.

– We can’t love cork enough: it’s quick-growing, sustainable and can be used for anything from floors to coasters….and of course stopping wine bottles. And it’s biodegradable. So you don’t need to worry when corks end up in the bin…unless they’re the plastic variety. Cheap, popular, they feel and look like cork…..and are almost completely unrecyclable. Until we know what to do with them, they’re best avoided.

Don’t let plastic past you – it’s up to no good.

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.