• Home

Why hidden plastics are the ultimate betrayal

These are the items you didn’t know contained plastic

While it’s easy to identify most items made from plastic, it’s visible everywhere from food containers to laundry spray, even pens, pencil cases and laptop bags, but did you know it also lurks in unsuspecting items too? From your favourite nail polish to your fleecy jumpers, here are some of the top culprits that contain plastic you never knew about.

Tea bags

Ever wondered why your teabag doesn’t just disintegrate in your morning cuppa? It’s because it contains plastic to stop it splitting open. Indeed, microplastics can then contaminate your water, and while the jury is still out on safety, it’s a great excuse to bring back the teapot

Try instead; leaf tea in a pot or tea infuser. 

Nail polish

While you might not give a second thought to your regular mani-pedi, plasticisers – also known as phthalates – are common ingredients in many conventional nail polishes. They’re what give polish its glossy appearance and stop them from going brittle, but studies have shown they can also play havoc on the endocrine system. 

Try instead; look for polishes that are free from ingredients including dibutyl pthlate (DBP), formaldehyde and Toluene

Canned food

A humble tin of baked beans might not be something you’d immediately associate with plastic but many aluminium tins contain a plastic lining commonly known as bisphenol-A (BPA), that’s used to maintain food quality. And the main concern is it leeching into food. 

Try instead; look for “BPA free” on labels and buy brands who don’t use it in their packaging. 


Wardrobe full of pieces made from polyester? Then you’re inadvertently walking around covered in plastic. Problems arise in the form of ‘shedding’ when washing, sending small bits of plastics into our waterways with the dirty laundry water.  

Try instead; opt for natural fibres like 100 per cent cotton and wool. 


RELATED: How to live like your grandma

RELATED: 5 things you can do now to help tackle climate change 


The Green + Simple Newsletter

Sign up for the best of sustainability each week