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Surprising Plastic Polluters

Posted on 4 November 2019

When you hear about plastic pollution, you most likely think of plastic bags, cutlery, food packaging and bottles. 

However, there are actually a number of surprising forms of plastic pollution that might not get as much attention but can be just as damaging to the environment. Here are some of the most common: 

When used on the road, the rubbing between the road and tyres causes bits of the tyres to break off. Wear and tear from tyres can generate tiny microplastics, which end up in the environment. One of the biggest issues with tyres is that there is currently no alternative. 

On a clothing label, you might see ‘polyester’, ‘nylon’ or ‘synthetic fibres’ – these are all just forms of plastic. There are lots of clothing items made from plastic, but the issue is that when they’re washed, tiny bits of plastic come off and end up going through the washing machine and into waterways. 

Sometimes the tag and string are made from plastic, and often the bag itself contains plastic too. 

Chip and chocolate packaging 
While chip and chocolate packets might look all shiny and metal-like, they’re actually made of plastic. That means they can stay in the environment for hundreds of years! If you want to throw these out, look for a soft plastic recycling station at your nearest supermarket. 

Chewing gum 
Most chewing gums contain the same kind of plastic that’s used to make plastic bags and hula hoops! That’s why it’s a good idea to throw chewing gum in the bin rather than into the environment.