So why should you worry about plastics in your life? How harmful are they, and can you really avoid them? They're in everything, cars, your computer, ziplock bags, food containers, the list goes on and on. Here's some things you should think about though.
1. The compounds in plastic are toxic.
- Firstly is BPA (Bisphenal A). It's a building block of polycarbonate plastic and is used in thousands of consumer products, including food packaging. Research shows that BPA exposure is linked to breast cancer.
- Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in PVC or #3 plastic. Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, and increases the risk of cancer.
- Other chemicals found include Styrene, Dioxin, and Vinyl Chloride all used in plastics for food, and have been shown to be carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors.
2. BPA Free does not mean safe.
- Some companies have switched BPA to BPS (Bisphenal S), a similar compound with similar effects of the body as BPA. However because their products no longer use BPA they claim they are safer and BPA Free. The effects of BPS have not been as widely studied as BPA, but research indicates that BPS is an artificial estrogen just like BPA, with clear potential for carcinogenic effects and damage to reproductive health.
3. Plastics are bad for the environment.
- Plastics just aren't green. Plastics are made of petrochemicals (think oil here). These chemicals are heavily processed which creates lots of pollution. On top of that, plastic doesn't degrade easily, and most plastics aren't recycled so it will just sit and sit in landfills. Don't forget the Pacific Garbage Patch which is almost completely made of discarded plastics.
Ok, so what do we do? How do we even start getting rid of plastics out of your life?
- Try using glass water bottles. That link is one of my favorite water bottles, and with the silicone on the outside, it's ok to drop it.
- Get rid of the plastic lunch bags, and deck yourself out with some eco-friendly (and beautiful) options from companies like ECOlunchbox.
- Toss your child's plastic sippy cup and get one of these cute Klean Kanteen Sippy Cups. They even make baby bottles, too.
- Toss all that tupperware out of your cabinets and get some glass food storage containers. We recently did that, and it's nice to know you can safely store leftovers with out worrying about microwaving the container with the food inside.
- Ok, last one. Stop forgetting to bring your bags with you to the grocery store. These cute little bags fold up so you can stick them in your purse, your car...whatever. Just keep them with you and stop your contribution to the garbage patch.
Do you have any other great ways to keep plastics out of your life? What has worked best for you?