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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Problem with Plastics

This post is part of an ongoing series on Avoiding Toxins in our Lives.  To read more on how to avoid toxins click here.


Where to start with this one?
  1. All plastic is made from petroleum. Petroleum products NEVER degrade. All plastic ever made is still with us on this earth in some form. This would probably be the biggest reason to avoid plastic like the plague. Petroleum is a non-renewable resources
  2. Plastics often contain other chemical additives.  Bisphenol-A (BPA) is perhaps the most best known culprit. What is wrong with that you ask? BPA is a known hormone mimic. It acts like estrogen in the body. It has been found in baby bottles canned food and water bottles.BPA can be found in plastic marked with a 7 on the bottom. It is also found in the lining inside tin cans. Did you know that? I just found that out about 9 months ago. Since then I have been making changes to the canned goods I buy, Not all manufacturers use BPA lined cans. For more information on BPA go to  Consumer Reports
  3. Plastics marked with a 3 contain Phthalates are chemicals that are known hormone interrupters. Phthalates are found in number 3 plastics such as PVC.
  4. The Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific is made up primarily of plastic that never degrades it just keeps getting smaller and smaller. The patch is about twice the size of Texas. Not only is it ugly the plastic is making it’s way into our food chain. Read here for more information
Great pacific garbage patch canoer

So how can you reduce your family’s exposure to plastics?
  • Breastfeed your babies.
  • Purchase basic and raw organic foods rather than those that are processed and include multiple ingredients.
  • Avoid bottled water and remember that urban supplies are the best-tested sources of drinking water in the nation. Use a stainless steel water bottle for best results.
  • Limit the amount of carpet used in your home, because it harbors chemical residues.
  • Minimize use of air fresheners, fragrances and deodorizers. We use essential oils out our house to make things smell good.
  • Simple toys are best, wooden in design
  • Use real glasses, silverware and plates at home
  • Have a stainless or ceramic  travel mug or two, Use reusable shopping bags
  • Don’t handle your shopping receipts a lot
  • Use Mason Jars for storing leftovers – you can even freeze in these as long as you leave head space
  • use a cloth shower curtain, my mother made a great one from large bath sheets (really large terry cloth towels) when were young
  • use wooden cutting boards – plastic ones get scratches and will harbor bacteria and pathogens.

Beth Terry over at My Plastic Free Life has some more information on how to limit plastics in your life. Now it is your turn. What are YOUR favorite ways to reduce plastic in your household and family.
Additional Resources
Plastics: The Sixth Basic Food
No More Plastic Toys
Health Concerns about Plastic Toys


Jenny said...

What a great article! I really enjoyed reading it. I really hope we're able to run into each other sometime soon as well. ~Jenny (The Peaceful Housewife)

granola catholic said...

Thanks for passing this on Jenny.

Christy said...

I am sickened by all the plastic floating about in the ocean and how much waste there is, we do a lot of the things you suggest, it is when I am in a hurry that I forget to bring along my plastic free water bottles, and my reusable bags. I must be more diligent. Great post!

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