Posts Tagged ‘bottles’
Here is yet another confusing, confusing element to recycling, as well as our health. We all want the best for our family but how do we figure out “which” plastics are the best for us??? Grab your plastic bottles/containers, turn them over and check out the arrow normally on the bottom. It will have a number from 1-7. Look at the list below and find out which ones “you” think you would stay away from.
We know our answers……
- #1 PET- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE):
- Used for- water, plastic bottles for soft drinks, juice, sports drinks, beer, mouthwash, catsup, salad dressing, shampoo bottles, detergents & peanut butter containers.
- Profile- contains stabilizers and flame retardants, but fewer additives that leach into foods, drinks, and the ground under landfills than other plastics. These are “one-time” use bottles. It’s a catch-22. You think you are helping the environment by refilling them and “saving” a bottle but you are also leaching plastic in your body every time you refill.
**Widely Recycable & a Safer Plastic**
- #2 HDPE- High Density Polyethylene (HDPE):
- Used for- bottles for milk, water, juice, cosmetics, shampoo, dish & laundry detergents, household cleaners, plastic bags, cereal box liners.
- Profile- safer for food than many other plastics (doesn’t leach as much) and not quite as toxic to produce.
** Widely Recycable & a Safer Plastic**
- #3 PVC- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC, Vinyl):
- Used for- plastic cling wrap, cooking oil, cleaning product, some plastic squeeze bottles, toys (this use has been banned in many countries), water pipes, phonograph records, flexible packaging for bedding, shrink wrap, deli & meet wrap.
- Profile- Avoid these plastics at all costs. Vinyl chloride is a human carcinogen. Persistent toxic dioxins are produced during manufacture and incineration of these plastics. Common additives that leach into food include plasticizers (softeners) like phthalates and di-(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA), both considered carcinogenic. Phthalates are known hormone disrupters, and DEHA is linked to deleterious effects on the liver, kidneys, spleen, and bone formation.
**Not Recycled & A Danger!**
- #4 LDPE- Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE):
- Used for- plastic wrap, grocery store bags, some baby bottles, coatings for paper milk cartons, toys, some squeezable bottles, bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, bread, frozen food, etc.
- Profile- like its high-density cousin, LDPE is safer for food (it doesn’t leach as much) and less toxic to produce than other plastics are.
**Not commonly Recycled & a Safer Plastic**
- #5 PP- Polypropylene (PP):
- Used for- containers for yogurt, margarine, takeout meals, deli foods, medicine bottles, bottle caps & closures, ketchup, syrup.
- Profile- Safer than many other plastics (it doesn’t leach as much) and can withstand higher temperatures than other plastics without melting.
**Not commonly Recycled & a Safer Platstic**
- #6 PS- Polystyrene (PS):
- Used for- food service items such as cups, plates, cutlery, hinged takeout containers, meat & poultry trays, packing peanuts, protective foam packaging for furniture, electronics, styrofoam containers
- Profile- Styrene used to make polystrene, is highly toxic to the brain and nervous system. It is a suspected carcinogen that can leach. It may also have adverse effects on red blood cells and the liver, kidneys and stomach. Manufacture involves the carcinogen benzene, which is notorious for sticking around for eons. Steer clear of thes stuff at all costs.
** Not Recycled & a Danger!**
- #7 OTHER- Usually Polycarbonate:
- Used for- 3 & 5 gallon reusable water bottles, citrus juice, some ketchup bottles, hard plastic baby bottles, sippy cups, sport water bottles, metal food can liners
- Profile- This classification is for any plastic other than #1 through #6 but usually it’s polycarbonate. Bisphenol A (BPA) leaches from polycarbonate plastic and mimics and disrupts estrogen, which may alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system, affect growth, puberty, and the size of reproductive organs, and decrease sperm productions. It has been found to spark prostate and breast cancer. Studies show that early-life exposure may cause genetic damage. Almost all governmental-funded studies clearly link BPA with adverse effects, including changes in hormone levels; early puberty, changes in gender-specific behavior; prostat enlargement, decreased sperm production, altered immune function and behavioral effects including hyperactivity, increased aggression and impaired learning. Industry-funded studies say it’s safe. Be your own judge, but steering clear is likely safer.
**Not Recycled & a Danger!**
- #7* PLA- Polylactic acid and other bio-based plastics (biodegradable plastics made from corn, potatoes, soy, and/or wheat:
- Used for- deli and take out food containers, cold cups, straws, cutlery, food wraps and bags
- Profile- These are the great hope for our future health and that of the environment. nontoxic, biodegradable and made with renewable resources, bioplastics need 65% less energy to produce and generate 68% fewer greenhouse gases.
**Biodegradable & Safe**
So! Here you go and it’s your decision which plastic you choose for your body. We hope you choose the safe ones!!
**This information was taken from a “fabulous” book called Easy Green Living by Renee Loux. Also from the American Chemistry Council.**