Just look around your apartment. Chances are there are dozens of items in your place that are made up of plastic. We keep plastics around because they are affordable, abundant, and convenient. However, I am constantly hearing reports that some of the plastics that I have been using aren?t as safe as I originally believed they were. These are products that I use to store food, decorate, entertain and work out.
I decided to check out a few mainstream media sources just to see what they have been reporting on the subject. From what I gather, there are some petroleum-based products that leach harmful chemicals into food, drinks and anything that we decide to store in those containers. Apparently, the likelihood of chemicals being leached from the containers to the food that we store in them increases when those foods are high oils or fat.
Fortunately, there is a safer way to go. If you are going to use plastics, then try to find plastics that are BPA-free. You should also be aware of which plastics are in your child?s surrounding. These could include plastics found in cribs, teething rings, diapers, pacifiers, sippy cups, baby bottles and toys. Try to avoid PVC products and choose items for your kids that are made of natural wood, cotton, cloth, or paper. Plastics to avoid are polyvinyl chloride (#3), polystyrene (#6), and polycarbonate (#7). You can usually find the number stamped on the back or the bottom of a container.
Other ways to stay safe are to heat up food using ceramics that are lead-free, earthenware or steel. You should avoid using plastics that are not identified on the label or packaging. You are looking for labels that state ?no bisphenol A (BPA)? or ?no phthalates?. Also, be sure to wash plastic containers by hand and with a mild soap.
Sometimes, it can be a little difficult to avoid many of these plastics. I guess you have to ask yourself if you can live without the product or maybe find a reasonably alternative product. You can now buy items such as disposable plates, cutlery, and garbage bags made from corn, potatoes, and other agricultural products instead of oil. These renewable alternatives to petroleum are also designed to break down much more quickly than their typical plastic counterparts. While there’s no denying these are admirable benefits, it’s important to take a look at the drawbacks as well. For example, there are legitimate concerns about displacing food crops to make plastics. The real hope is that eventually most of the products will be made from agricultural waste rather than food crops.
What plastic alternatives have you brought into your home?