Sneaky SUPs


As Earth Rangers, we know how important it is to avoid single-use plastics (SUPs). Since plastic can’t fully break down, it sticks around for ages and becomes especially dangerous for wildlife. We like to do our part by recycling what we can, and avoiding what we can’t. We have reusable water bottles and bags, we stopped using plastic straws… but what other SUPs can we look out for? 

Check out this list of common items that are surprisingly SUPs! 

a pile of crumpled plastic water bottles

blue and gold sparkling glitter


That teeny tiny glimmering glitter is really pretty, but it can also be really harmful. It’s super easy for glitter particles to reach waterways, where lots of animals mistake it for food. Most glitter is made of PET plastic, which means it breaks down just enough to release harmful chemicals. When marine life eats glitter, everyone along the food chain is affected… even people!

The good news is that now you can switch over to biodegradable glitter… or better yet, compostable glitter! What an invention! Who knew going green could be so glam? 

brightly colored gum-balls in a classic gum-ball dispenser


That’s right! For centuries, people have loved chewing chicle—a natural gum that comes from tropical trees. Nowadays, most gum is synthetic, made with a special type of rubber instead. It’s the same kind of rubber used to make tires!

Lucky for us, there are plenty of plastic-free gums available too! A quick look at the label for a natural or organic gum base and there you have it! An easy-peasy switch away from SUPs. 

A pile of receipts that are all torn up


Receipts from the store might look like plain old paper, but these slips are actually SUPs! Okay, okay, its made of both: receipts are made from paper that’s coated with plastic. 

Next time you’re out and about with family, ask for a digital receipt if you need one! 

a pile of six gifts wrapped with eco-friendly kraft paper, with a mix of paper decorations and coloured string.

Wrapping paper

That funky gift wrap might look cool now, but it wont be so cool in a couple hundred years! Kind of like receipts, a lot of gift wrap is made with plastic. This type of plastic is called Mylar, and it can’t be recycled. Turns out, gift wrap is only recyclable if it keeps its shape when you crumple it in a ball!  

About to celebrate and give gifts? You can reuse old gift bags or better yet: wrap ’em in Kraft paper. That way, you can decorate it however you like AND it can be recycled up to 7 times! 

Can you think of any other surprising SUPs?

Bonus! for a limited time, when you complete the More Plastics More Problems Mission, you'll get an awesome item for your avatar!