25 of the most pointless single-use plastic items

04 Jul 2019 25 of the most pointless single-use plastic items

So you may have seen us on Bondi beach protesting all of the toilet paper brands in supermarkets packaging rolls in single-use plastic? One of the reasons we wanted to highlight this one item is the total pointlessness of it, and it was fun. Sign the petition here

Its Plastic Free July and via the Peloton Against Plastic we asked people what was the challenge they would be setting themselves this month. 

The toilet rolls was just one of those crazy things that shoppers have been trained into expecting, the more caring among us taking the wrap to soft recycling bins at supermarkets. Though of course we are now not all that confident that the recycling is actually happening. 

With estimates that 40% of plastic in the environment is actually single-use we must ask ourselves how much of this stuff is near pointless?

My answer to that would be “just about all of it”.

Let’s create a list and feel free to add comments or point out things I’ve missed.


1. Toilet paper wrapping – Protecting it from the elements? 

2. Straws – Using them to drink from a bottle or can #pointless
3. Buying water – rip off!
4. Take away coffee – Buying a piccolo or espresso in a takeaway are my favourite examples of craziness
5. Single-use coffee cups with lids for those who sit in the café or just outside and drink, espresso & piccolo drinkers take note
6. Balloons – Is it still the 80’s? And even if they do degrade eventually they have probably already killed something
7. Wrapped bananas – I often wonder if people choosing this option are embarrassed? Another odd couple garlic or mushrooms wrapped in plastic – This is kind of planned obsolescence to make your produce go off just a little faster
8. Junk food - chocolates chips, biscuits and sweets with a lot of packaging and sugar. Besides home made stuff is way better. 
9. Chopped up onions, mandarin, carrot, capsicum, apples etc etc – Being too lazy to breath is next you know.
10. Cling wrapped suitcases – Paranoia! 

Badge Badge

11. Nails, screws, washers, hooks and various hardware items in plastic – What was wrong with a box?
12. Satchels of shampoo, conditioner & detergent – One of the most wasteful ways to rip off communities by some of the world’s biggest companies
13. Individually wrapped candy - #mentos Once upon a time we were able to eat candy from a paper bag and sometimes they were stuck together
14. Dwarf packs of tic tacs – A middle finger raised at our planet
15. Fast food served in plastic even for dine in – “we don’t do the dishes, we just create waste”
16. Party style cutlery in work places – Really? A staff room or workshop could easily ditch all single-use in a flash

17. Individually wrapped toothpicks, straws and cutlery – Protection from what? Dust
18. Cotton buds / Q-tips – They always make it to the beach. 
19. Fishing bait bags – Give someone single-use plastic to take to the ocean, hmmm
20. Plastic shopping bags especially for 1 bottle of milk or 1 apple or even 2 chocolate bars. We have hands
21. Those annoying wrappers that you find everywhere to protect cigarette packets. Why?
22. Shrink wrapped lemons, sweet potato and others – wow, out of our minds!
23. Preserved poo – Its organic and we pick up after our dog and store it in plastic to make it last. Nuts!
24. Any sort of drink in a plastic cup – Why is it so hard to to drink from a glass?

25. Bin liners - I just put it here because there seems to be a lot of stress about bin liners. If you compost and dont buy all the stuff above you might not need a bin.

So there you go. We could probably get to 100 without too much effort, though choosing from this list may just make your plastic free July a little easier if you were struggling to know where to start. 

Paul Hellier – Founder 

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