schwarzes plastik nicht recyclebar

The Criticism of plastic and its excessive consumption has been going on for many years. However, what many do not know is that black plastic is particularly harmful to the environment and can hardly be recycled.

Black plastic is found in almost every household. It looks fancier and more elegant, but aesthetics have their price. Since plastic is generally frowned in times of increased awareness for sustainability, nobody discusses about whether black plastic is “worse” than other plastic. However, black plastic is particularly harmful to the environment. Here is why:

Black plastic is not reusable.

Its consumption is particularly problematic because it is not recyclable. Many sorting machines have infrared systems that cannot recognize it in household waste because its soot coloring makes it too dark. It is therefore not getting reused at the recycling centers. Instead it ends up in land fills or gets burned.

It contains dangerous pollutants.

Black plastic is made of old recycled housings for electrical devices. Furthermore a study from Plymouth University found out that it contains chemicals such as bromine, antimony and lead. Those chemicals are partly toxic and not intended to come into direct contact with humans because they can have strong negative health effects.

Every form of plastic is made from petroleum and is harmful to the environment.

The consumption of oil is harmful to the environment for various reasons, such as marine pollution or systematic deforestation.  All plastic is made from natural minerals such as petroleum, natural gas, coal and salt. Thus, using plastic supports the consumption of petroleum and environmental pollution. For the sake of the environment everything with petroleum should be in any case boycotted.

Only black plastic from Henkel?

In the meantime, the German company Henkel has developed black plastic packaging that can be recognized by infrared sensors and thus recycled. This way, the packaging is still reused. But isn’t it even better to not use any at all?

Click on the picture to see the packaging in action!

Who needs black plastic anyway?

The criticism of black plastic is gaining more and more representation. It is only a matter of time before the first laws are expanded. In many European countries, packaging licensing fees are already being adjusted so that recyclable materials are preferred. For product and packaging manufacturers, it is a warning to switch to more sustainable alternatives as quickly as possible.

For consumers it also means to look into alternatives. Packaging does not affect the actual product, therefore it is irrelevant whether it is black, white or pink. Moreover there are now numerous packages that contain no plastic at all. Solid shampoo or shower gel  do not require any packaging. Food also does not need plastic  and can be wrapped in paper. Besides, food is more enjoyable when it is not served in recycled housings of electronics. For online shops, for example you can try plastic alternatives of Biobiene.

Black plastic is harmful to the environment and can hardly be recycled. But it is also not essential for life. Therefore it is very easy to live without it.


Find great alternatives to plastic articles in this blog post:

Sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic


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