Plastic wrap is easily one of the most common household items. All though it is quite the lifesaver when keeping foods fresh, it is killing the environment. It’s not breaking-news that pollution has had detrimental effects on the planet, but not many people have done a lot to change this. It goes beyond remembering to recycle or walking instead of driving places. In order to help keep the environment as healthy as possible, there are many products that need to be eliminated. One product, in particular, is plastic:
What Makes Plastic?
While working in a physicals lab, Ralph Wiley was given the task of creating a new product out of hydrocarbon and chlorine. He created a chemical that was resistant to water and oxygen molecules, which appealed to war efforts and became known in American kitchens as Saran Wrap. Around the 1960s, the Australian company known as GLAD created it’s own and their version was made with polyethylene. From there, Saran Wrap also made their plastic wrap with polyethylene when people became considered with wrapping their food in a plastic made from chloride.
Plastic Wrap and the Environment
No one was prepared for the infiltration of plastic on the environment. Products made of thin, plastic-like materials are incredibly difficult to recycle. Special equipment is needed or else they clog machines. When plastic lands in landfills or incinerators with the rest on the trash, the PVC and PVDC that is found in plastic release a highly toxic chemical called dioxin. When plastics find their way into the oceans, the bacteria and metals picked up by PVC and PVDC can harm fish and other marine life when it’s mistaken for food.
Finding an Alternative
It’s clear that plastic is a major contributor to pollution and the declining health of the earth and its oceans. Plastic wrap is also a very popular item that people have grown accustomed to, which makes it hard to stop using completely. Luckily, there are alternatives to plastic that are much better for the environment. For example, reusable wax paper is a great alternative. The product known as Bee’s Wrap is made by coating bee’s wax jojoba oil, and tree resin onto a thin strip of cotton. By using the warmth from your hands, the bond loosens and makes the material become more pliable and sticky.
Products like Bee’s Wrap is sustainable and better for the environment. While the plastic wrap is much more popular and something we have used all of our lives, it’s bad for the environment.