Your life without plastic!

Written by MjauMay 7, 2019

By now, we all know that we have a plastic problem. It’s choking our oceans, polluting our lands and making our planet and her inhabitants sick.

Recycling is not the answer. Why? Roughly 90% of all plastic produced never gets recycled. With plastic being sort of an infinity material, it just sort of sits around, being a great nuisance and danger.

Are these facts still not convincing enough for you to drop your plastic habit?

How about this;

Chemicals leached from some plastics used in food/beverage storage are harmful to human health. Correlations have been shown between levels of some of these chemicals in the bloodstream, and an increased risk of health issues such as cancer, early puberty, obesity, chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, and impaired brain and neurological functions.

The chemical most looked at and blamed for this is called Bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone disrupting chemical. First found in 1891, BPA has been used in the production of thousands of consumer products from food packaging to toys and healthcare equipment. If food or drinks are stored in these plastics, they can be contaminated. If food is microwaved in these containers chemicals like BPA can make their way into the food and into our bodies.

Pretty terrible on top of all the other negative aspects of plastic, don’t you think?

It gets even better; no international standard exists about the use of BPA in food containers. However, The European Food Security Authority took precautionary measures by listing BPA as ‘a substance of high concern.’ In 2016 Sweden banned the use of BPA in epoxy resins in water pipe linings. France has gone even further, banning the use of BPA in all packaging, containers and utensils that come into direct contact with food.

Regardless, the United States Food and Drug Administration declared in a report in February 2018 that BPA is safe for food packaging. In reaction, scientists, environmental organizations, healthcare professionals, and consumer organizations strongly criticized this decision as reported in Mother Jones, raising the alarm about the use of BPA in food related products.

How can you protect yourself?

You might think that opting to buy BPA-free products ought to do it. Sorry but no, because this doesn’t mean a product is free from other harmful chemical compounds that are just slightly different with a different name.

It’s time that we radically change our ways when it comes to plastic. That’s why I decided to create this mini series on how to;

Get rid of your plastic addiction!

Let’s start in the kitchen by doing the following;

  • Cook more at home, in that way you are eliminating the need for takeout = containers. Or, when you are hitting that whole foods buffet, bring your own glass containers.
  • Avoid microwaving food in plastic. If microwaving food in plastic is unavoidable, then pay attention to the recycling codes at the bottom of the container. Avoid any that have the code 3 or 7.
  • Go through the plastic containers you already got, tossing any that are scratched or damaged. They might be a leaching risk.
  • Choose supplements that comes in glass bottles and jars instead of the plastic ones. There are a lot of great ones out there (example)
  • Switch to glass containers in your kitchen. Most glass containers are microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, do not stain and last for a long time.
  • Invest in a water filter instead of buying bottled water. Here’s a list of a few different ones in all different price classes!
  • Buy a reusable water bottle, to go coffee cup and smoothie container.
  • Skip canned goods when possible: The plastic lining the inside of your bean or soup can could be made with BPA. Some companies use BPA-free cans which are labeled.
  • Go thru your pantry and fridge and see where you are stocking the most plastic. DONE? Now, make a commitment to start buying these items in a zero waste store instead.
  • Add your local farmers market to your place to grocery shop (click on link for a smart guide 🙂 Bring your own shopping and produce bags, of course.
  • Choose glass or paper packaging before plastic, even though it might be €1 more.
  • This one is not in the kitchen, but rather something not to do when you are picking up what you need to make some food magic happen; Do not handle receipts. The special thermal paper used to print credit card receipts or vendor machine receipts also contains BPA. Simply touching a receipt allows your skin to absorb the BPA. Avoid asking for or picking up those receipts to evade exposure.

There, easy breezy but yeez what a difference! Next week I’m tackling another part of your home and life (looking at you bathroom). Stay tuned and let’s kick our plastic addictions together! 💚