The use of plastics has been shaping the world for decades. Today, it’s impossible to imagine a world without them. Heck, it’s hard to even imagine your local health food store in Eau Claire, WI without them! But did you know that there are several different types of plastics? While many are safe for use with food and drink, there are some types you should avoid.
For starters, you want to avoid any type of plastic with BPA (bisphenol A). This chemical can cause health problems in infants and children, and can be harmful to unborn children as well. It has been outlawed in the U.S. for use in baby and child food products like bottles and cups, as well as the packaging of infant formula.
Many plastics made for food or beverage use will be labeled “BPA-free” to ensure they are healthy for you to use. Plastics that are BPA-free include #1 (PET), #2 (HDPE), #4 (LDPE) and #5 (PP). These are the best kind of plastics to choose for prolonged use for drinking.
Types of plastic
The way to tell what “type” of plastic a container or drinking vessel is made of is actually pretty easy. Somewhere on the plastic should be a printed or embossed label with the symbol of a triangle made up of three arrows following each other. Some know this as the “recycle” symbol on plastics. In that triangle is a number, which is what type of plastic the item is made of.
There are seven types of plastic. Here is a brief description and some common uses for each type:
Plastic #1: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE). This is strong, lightweight and clear plastic. It is often used for bottled water and other beverages.
Plastic #2: High-density polyethylene (HDPE). This is long-lasting, strong plastic. It is not often found in drinking vessels, but holds liquid for dishes or clothes cleaning. It is often used for milk containers, food storage buckets or containers, motor oil and hair products.
Plastic #3: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This can be rigid or flexible, and is made into items like teething rings and sandwich bags.
Plastic #4: Low-density polyethylene (LDPE). This is considered safer and less toxic than other plastics. It is often used in bread bags, frozen food bags, dry cleaning bags and squeezable condiment bottles.
Plastic #5: Polypropylene (PP). This is unlikely to leach chemicals into food because it has a high heat resistance. It’s often used for yogurt, deli meat, margarine, bottle tops, chip bags, straws and many other products.
Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS). This is often found in rigid items like Styrofoam cups, plastic utensils and egg cartons.
Plastic #7: Plastics that contain BPA are labeled with this number. Not all items labeled Plastic #7 contain BPA, but all plastics that contain BPA are labeled Plastic #7.
Determining which plastics are safe for regular use, such as for drinking water, baby formula and more, can be confusing, but help is available. If you’re looking for a health food store in Eau Claire, WI staffed with knowledgeable experts, visit Mother Nature’s Food today. We’d be glad to recommend our favorite products!
Categorised in: Reusable Products