Cooperation is the theme for World Water Day 2013. World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of ...
We are surrounded with plastic and even the most diligent purist cannot entirely avoid it. However, here are some tips to make safer choices and steer clear of the worst of it.
Polycarbonate, a #7 Plastic, Leaches BPA
Bisphenol-A, or BPA, leaches from polycarbonate, one of the #7 plastics. It’s an endocrine disruptor that numerous studies have linked to cancer, infertility, obesity and early puberty. BPA is a synthetic form of estrogen and is linked to breast cancer.
Some plastic dishware, reusable water bottles and baby bottles are made from polycarbonate. BPA also is used to line the inside of food and beverage cans from which it can leach into the contents. Heating foods in polycarbonate plastic increases the amount of BPA that leaches into food.
PVC, #3 Plastic, Raises Health and Environmental Concerns
Plastic containers made with the #3 plastic, polyvinyl chloride or PVC, raise health and environmental concerns. PVC contains phthalates, which are softeners that make the plastic bend. Some plastic food wraps may contain PVC and/or phthalates.
Phthalates can negatively influence hormonal development. The production and burning of PVC plastic releases dioxin, a known carcinogen, into the atmosphere.
#1 PETE or PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
–used for single-serve beverage bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars. Do not re-use #1 plastics.
#2 HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
–used for most milk jugs.
#4 LDPE (low-density polyethylene)
–used for food storage bags, some plastic wraps and some squeeze bottles.
#5 PP (polypropylene)
–used in opaque, hard containers, including some baby bottles, dishware, drinking straws, yogurt containers, water filter housing.
#3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
–used in commercial plastic wraps and salad dressing bottles.
#6 PS (polystyrene)
–used in styrofoam containers.
#7 ‘Other’ (a catch-all category for any plastic other than #1-6)
- most #7’s are polycarbonate, which contain BPA, and is used for some water bottles, baby bottles, and to line metal food and beverage containers.
Changes You Can Make
- Replace plastic serving utensils with wooden ones.
- Replace plastic storage containers with Pyrex glass containers.
- Replace juices bottled in plastic with high quality frozen concentrates packaged in paper.
- Replace plastic cutting boards with a bamboo cutting board.
- Replace plastic lunch boxes with a stainless steel lunchbox.