When I started my boycott I soon realized that giving up plastic would be no easy ride but I didn’t really know just how insidious plastic was. In my ignorance I made mistakes. For instance I thought shiny cardboard was shiny because, oh I don’t know, it had been varnished or something. It wasn’t until I put some in the compost heap and saw it disintegrating into separate components that I discovered it was covered with a thin layer of plastic.
Now of course I know that nearly all paper products used to package food that have a thin plastic liner. Foil too is often reinforced this way. And Cardboard.
Why? The plastic strengthens the base material, makes it waterproof and protects any printed design work
Plasticized paper products include paper cups, individual wraps of sugar, and almost all paper products used in food packaging.
The same goes for most foil wrapped food products including butter. And the metal seals for wine. Damn!
Cardboard products include clothing labels, tetrapaks, book covers and lots more
Worse still it can be very hard to spot.
To find out if paper or foil is plastic coated you can try tearing it which may cause the plastic and paper to part company. Often this won’t happen and the product will tear almost like paper but if you look carefully you will see a very fine frill of clear plastic.
If you are still not sure try soaking the wrapper in water – eventually the paper or foil will separate from the plastic film.