Did you know that only around 10% of all the plastic made in our lifetimes has been recycled? Plastic also pollutes the oceans, killing marine organisms, so plastic isn’t great for the planet. But it’s also not the best for people, as many of the chemicals it’s made with are harmful to human health.
Those chemicals can leach into our food from plastic containers, especially when we heat them up, and can get into our bodies from plastic straws and babies’ bodies when they chew on plastic toys. Exposure to these chemicals can interfere with hormones and research links the exposures with ‘severe adverse health outcomes such as cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption” and more.
Fortunately, there are things we can do to reduce our exposure to plastics at home, including:
- Filter your water, or at least don’t drink it from a plastic bottle - Investing in a home water filter is a great start, and using glass to store it instead of plastic bottles will help, too.
- Eliminate plastics around food - Experts say the best plastic alternatives when it comes to food storage are glass, metal and ceramics. You can find water bottles and lunch boxes made from stainless steel for both kids and adults. And at the very least, stop heating up food in plastic, move those leftovers to a ceramic or paper plate before sticking them in the microwave.
- Read labels - This will help make sure what you buy is as lightly processed and free from additives as possible. Look for products labeled organic, fragrance-free, paraben-free and phthalate-free when possible.
Source: Mind Body Green
- Ditching the single-use plastic water bottles is a great start!
- I still buy some plastic, but I make sure it ends up in the town recycle bin and not the trash.
- Do you go out of your way to avoid plastic? What products have been hardest to find without plastic packaging?