Plastics Do's and Don'ts

PlasticsPlastics are all around us, but not all are created equal! Polycarbonate plastics, like some food, drink and bottle packaging and some epoxy resins, which coat metal food cans, contain the chemical Bisphenol A. BPA can leach into food and is believed to disrupt the endocrine system, leading to potential reproductive and developmental issues. In fact, in a study by the Center for Disease Control, they found 93% of their population tested had BPA in their bodies, with women and children having the highest levels. While further research is necessary, we can reduce our exposure to BPA NOW by limiting our use of plastics and metal food cans. 

Do: 
  • Replace plastic water bottles, cups, cutting boards and food containers with glass, bamboo, cloth, wooden, ceramic and stainless steel products
  • Eat and cook with fresh foods rather than canned foods
  • Especially limit your use of plastics if you are pregnant and/or have young children who are at a greater risk since they are still developing
  • Find a food store where you can get your fresh produce and meat wrapped in paper, rather than plastic
  • Use aluminum foil to wrap food rather than plastic cling wrap
  • Bring your own bags whenever you shop, not just for the supermarket. By bringing your own bag, you alone can save between 400 and 600 plastic bags per year.
  • Check out the Hot or Not List when looking for more tips on how to reduce your plastic use for good

 

Don't: 
  • Use plastic containers or bottles with the recycling numbers 3 (Polyvinyl Chloride, PVC), 6 (Polystyrene, PS), and 7 (Other), which can be found on the bottom of the containers
  • Microwave plastic containers
  • Wash plastic containers in the dishwasher. If plastics are being used, wash by hand with warm water.
  • Use harsh chemical detergents on plastic products
  • Use plastics that are old, worn, and scratched 
  • Forget children and adults can ingest small amounts of BPA when drinking/eating from cups or containers with the chemical