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Most of us pay more attention to the ingredients in our food than the container it’s in—but the latter is just as important. Whether you buy foods that come in plastic from the grocery store or use containers at home to store foods in your fridge, you should know the potential dangers that come with using plastic.
Most plastic products contain a chemical called Bisphenol A, more commonly referred to as BPA. It’s used to harden plastic, and is found in a wide range of products such as water bottles, cans, medical devices, CDs and more. So why worry about BPA?
Exposure to the chemical has been linked to cancer as well as reproductive problems, making it a good idea to limit the amount of BPA-carrying products you use at any time. To make matters worse, products labeled “BPA-free” aren’t necessarily safe either. The chemical used as a replacement for BPA, Bisphenol S (BPS) has effects on the endocrine system similar to BPA, and it can affect thyroid function as well, according to research from UCLA. The long and short:
While we don’t know the extent to which using plastic containers for the things we eat and drink will affect us, if there is the option to use a non-plastic container instead, why not play it safe? Given what we know about the effects of plastic on our environment as well, there’s not really a downside to using less of it.
If you are eager to rid your kitchen of plastic, these four tips will help you make the switch.
1. Swap Out Your Plastic Wrap
Instead of covering food with regular plastic wrap, try using tinfoil or Bee’s Wrap, reusable sheets of cotton coated in beeswax. You can also opt for wax paper or parchment paper secured with a rubber band. You could also try these reusable silicone plastic lids.
2. Use Reusable Food Storage Bags
Ziploc bags are really convenient, but they’re still made of plastic. Luckily, there are other storage bags that aren’t as harmful. Lunchskins Sandwich Bags are made with cotton and are not only quick drying, but reusable. You can also use a Lekue silicon bag, which has a sturdy zipper and can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.
3. Opt For Glass
Instead of plastic food containers, switch to a glass set. Most are dishwasher and microwave safe, and they come in just as many sizes.
4. Pick A Better Water Bottle
Many people carry around plastic water bottles, but you should consider ditching even the reusable ones, regardless of whether they are BPA-free. Replace your bottle with a glass or stainless-steel version.
Photo by USDAgov