Useful ideas

11 household items that you need to stop using right now


Every day we use disposable wet wipes, drink coffee from capsule coffee machines and are confronted with a lot of completely ordinary household items.

At the same time, it is hardly possible for any of us to think about the dangers of these things for health or the environment.

Let's see which household items are better to stop using today.

Coffee capsules

Coffee capsules - a source of delicious coffee at home for relatively little money and in the absence of dirt. Not surprisingly, capsular coffee machines have become so popular: according to the National Coffee Association of the United States, 29% of American families have them. But otherwise, these capsules have to pay much more expensive, since plastic and aluminum capsules are difficult to process. Every year, billions of spent coffee capsules end up at a landfill. Jean-Paul Gaillard, the former CEO of Nespresso, said that they contribute to an environmental catastrophe, although this company claims to be addressing the issue of environmental friendliness and the processing of capsules. Recently, in the German city of Hamburg imposed a ban on the use of coffee capsules in public places. It seems that the fighting for coffee capsules is just beginning.

Cosmetics with plastic microgranules

Many toothpaste manufacturers add plastic microgranules to their products. This is one of the largest sources of plastic, which annually enters the World Ocean in volumes reaching 8 million tons. The release of plastic pellets into the ocean has terrible consequences for wildlife and marine ecology. They are not biodegradable and too small to be caught by filtering devices, and as they move, they attract toxic chemicals. These microscopic pests are also found in various shower gels and scrubs. It is hoped that this will end soon. Ex-US President Barack Obama has imposed a ban on the use of plastic microgranules in the production of cosmetics and household chemicals, and many European countries are following this example.

Disposable Chopsticks

Chinese disposable chopsticks leave Asia without forests. According to Greenpeace, each year almost 4 million trees are sacrificed to produce 57 billion pairs of sticks. In addition, the sticks are treated with chemicals that can cause diseases of the respiratory system. Disposable chopsticks are also a human rights issue, as they are sometimes produced in forced labor camps, according to human rights organization Amnesty International.

Disposable wet wipes

Disposable wet wipes are gaining popularity as a means of personal hygiene and a tool for cleaning. Often they have the designation that they can be flushed down the toilet, but wet wipes contain plastic and they do not dissolve as well as paper. When they are washed down the drain, they can cause clogging of sewage treatment plants and in large numbers are taken ashore on public beaches.

Plastic bags

Plastic bags are one of the most harmful sources of daily pollution. According to some estimates, each year up to one trillion non-degradable bags are released, and they end up in water bodies, fill landfills and emit toxic chemicals when incinerated. Initiatives to control the distribution of plastic bags, such as entering fees for them in supermarkets, are beginning to have a positive effect.

Disposable batteries

Batteries, as a rule, contain a poisonous cocktail from environmentally harmful elements, including cadmium, lead and mercury, which leak into the soil and underground water sources and cause dangerous environmental pollution. If burned, heavy metals get into the air, and this can adversely affect people's health. Battery recycling centers are gaining popularity, but it is better to use rechargeable batteries.

Tea bags

Traditional paper tea bags contain plastic elements, but manufacturers are increasingly using new formulas based on nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It is believed that in plastic tea bags the quality of tea leaves is better, but they are not biodegradable and there are concerns that they release dangerous toxins into the soil.

Soap with triclosan

Many brands of hand soap contain a questionable component triclosan, which is associated with some serious diseases. It is also known that it causes cancer in mice. In addition, triclosan is incredibly stable and may not dissolve when sanitizing water. This means that it enters the ocean and destroys the bacteria underlying the food chain. The movement to ban triclosan is gaining momentum, but so far it is best to carefully read the composition on the label.

The remnants of hormonal contraceptives

There is increasing evidence that hormonal contraceptives affect the fish population in the ocean. How is this possible? According to studies, some species have lost their ability to reproduce due to endocrine destructors, which affected the population and the food chain as a whole. Of course, you should not stop using contraceptives, however, if you need to throw them away, please do not pour them into the sewer.

Polystyrene packaging materials

Disposable packaging is difficult to imagine without polystyrene-based materials, but it is not biodegradable and difficult to recycle. As a result, he ends up in landfills, litters forests and poisons small animal species. Several US cities have banned the use of this material. Fortunately, various alternatives to such packaging are now available.

Disposable razors

Cheap shaving is expensive because of steel production, which requires large amounts of coal and plastic, as well as the use of large amounts of water. In the United States alone, up to two billion disposable razors are emitted each year. For the sake of ecology, it is better to use modern electric razors or reusable razors.