The Plastic We Can’t Live Without: Unveiling the Everyday Items That Shape Our Lives

May 19, 2023 in environment, Sustainability

Article summary and Key takeaways: Plastic has become an integral part of our daily lives, with numerous plastic items being used from the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed. This article explores the common plastic items used at home, in the bathroom, bedroom, and in everyday life, such as food storage containers, toothbrushes, cell phones, and car interiors. While plastic items provide convenience and functionality, they also have a significant environmental impact. Plastic pollution in oceans and landfills is a global concern, harming marine life and wildlife. Recycling and proper waste management are crucial to mitigate the environmental impact, and reducing the consumption of single-use plastics is essential. By making conscious choices and supporting sustainable alternatives, we can contribute to a cleaner and healthier planet.

Plastic Items We Use Daily

Plastic has become an integral part of our daily lives. From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed at night, we interact with numerous plastic items. Its versatility, durability, and affordability have made it a popular choice for various applications. In this article, we will explore the plastic items we use daily and delve into their impact on the environment.

Common Plastic Items Used at Home


  • Food storage containers: Plastic containers are commonly used for storing leftovers and organizing pantry items.
  • Water bottles: Plastic water bottles are a convenient way to stay hydrated while on the go.
  • Utensils: Plastic utensils are lightweight and disposable, making them a popular choice for picnics and parties.
  • Cutting boards: Plastic cutting boards are easy to clean and are less likely to harbor bacteria compared to wooden cutting boards.
  • Microwave-safe dishes: Many microwave-safe dishes are made of plastic, allowing for convenient reheating of leftovers.


  • Toothbrushes: Most toothbrushes are made of plastic, and while they are essential for maintaining oral hygiene, they contribute to plastic waste.
  • Shampoo bottles: Plastic bottles are commonly used for storing shampoo, conditioner, and other personal care products.
  • Soap dispensers: Plastic soap dispensers are a common sight in bathrooms, providing a convenient way to dispense liquid soap.
  • Shower curtains: Many shower curtains are made of plastic, offering a waterproof barrier to keep water from splashing out of the shower.
  • Toilet seats: Plastic toilet seats are durable and easy to clean, making them a popular choice for bathrooms.


  • Pillows: Many pillows are filled with synthetic materials such as polyester, which is derived from plastic.
  • Mattress covers: Plastic mattress covers are used to protect mattresses from spills, stains, and bed bugs.
  • Hangers: Plastic hangers are lightweight, affordable, and widely used for hanging clothes in closets.
  • Laundry baskets: Plastic laundry baskets are sturdy and easily transportable, making them essential for carrying dirty laundry.
  • Storage bins: Plastic storage bins are commonly used for organizing and storing various items in the bedroom.

Plastic Items Used in Everyday Life

Personal Care

  • Toothpaste tubes: Toothpaste tubes are typically made of plastic, ensuring product freshness and ease of use.
  • Hairbrushes: Many hairbrushes are made of plastic, offering flexibility and durability.
  • Razors: Plastic razors are lightweight and disposable, providing a convenient way to remove unwanted hair.
  • Makeup containers: Plastic containers are commonly used for storing and dispensing various makeup products.
  • Contact lens cases: Plastic cases are used to store and clean contact lenses, ensuring proper hygiene.


  • Cell phones: The majority of cell phone casings are made of plastic, providing protection and durability.
  • Laptop keyboards: Many laptop keyboards are made of plastic, offering a lightweight and tactile typing experience.
  • TV remotes: Plastic TV remotes are widely used for controlling television functions.
  • Headphones: Plastic headphones are a common choice for listening to music, podcasts, and other audio content.
  • Chargers: Plastic chargers are used to power up electronic devices, ensuring they remain functional throughout the day.


  • Car interiors: Plastic is extensively used in car interiors, including the dashboard, seats, and various components.
  • Bicycle helmets: Many bicycle helmets are made of plastic, providing protection for cyclists.
  • Bus/train seats: Plastic seats are commonly found in buses and trains, offering a comfortable seating option for commuters.
  • Airplane parts: Plastic is used in various parts of airplanes, including window frames and overhead compartments.
  • Bike frames: Plastic composite materials are sometimes used in bicycle frames, offering strength and lightweight properties.

Environmental Impact of Plastic Items

While plastic items have undoubtedly made our lives more convenient, they also come with a significant environmental cost. Plastic pollution has become a global concern, with millions of tons of plastic waste ending up in oceans and landfills every year.

Plastic pollution in oceans and landfills

Plastic waste often finds its way into water bodies, causing pollution and endangering marine life. Sea creatures can mistake plastic for food and suffocate or suffer from internal injuries. Additionally, plastic that ends up in landfills takes hundreds of years to decompose, contributing to the longevity of waste.

Harmful effects on wildlife

Plastic pollution poses a severe threat to wildlife. Animals can become entangled in plastic debris, leading to injury or death. Moreover, when plastic breaks down into microplastics, it can enter the food chain, potentially harming both land and marine animals.

Recycling and waste management solutions

To mitigate the environmental impact of plastic items, recycling and proper waste management are crucial. Recycling programs can help divert plastic waste from landfills and reduce the need for virgin plastic production. Additionally, advancements in recycling technology, such as the development of new recycling processes and the use of bioplastics, offer promising solutions.

Alternatives to single-use plastics

Reducing the consumption of single-use plastics is another vital step toward environmental sustainability. Many plastic items, such as straws, bags, and packaging, can be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives like reusable bags, stainless steel straws, and compostable packaging materials.


Plastic items have become an integral part of our daily lives, providing convenience and functionality. However, we must also consider their environmental impact and work towards reducing plastic consumption. By making conscious choices, adopting sustainable alternatives, and supporting recycling initiatives, we can contribute to a cleaner and healthier planet for future generations.

Join the movement today and be part of the solution!

Question 1: What are 10 items we use plastic for?
Answer: Bottles, bags, containers, packaging, toys, utensils, electronics, furniture, automotive parts, and medical equipment.

Question 2: What are the daily plastic products?
Answer: Water bottles, food packaging, shopping bags, toothbrushes, food containers, straws, coffee cup lids, shampoo bottles, disposable cutlery, and phone cases.

Question 3: What are 5 uses of plastic in our daily life?
Answer: Food storage containers, water bottles, grocery bags, toothbrushes, and packaging materials.

Question 4: What are 20 uses of plastic?
Answer: Bottles, bags, containers, packaging, toys, utensils, electronics, furniture, automotive parts, medical equipment, pipes, insulation, clothing, credit cards, DVDs, computer keyboards, eyeglasses, sports equipment, musical instruments, and household appliances.


About the author 

Jamie Willson

Hey there, I'm Jamie! As a Climate Scientist from MIT, I've spent years unraveling the complexities of global warming. My work ranges from conducting research on climate impacts to advising on environmental policies. I'm passionate about making the science of climate change accessible and actionable. Join me as we explore practical solutions to one of the biggest challenges facing our planet.