I like this post by Kristen Conn on Eat Drink Better about plastic in the kitchen – it’s all stuff I’ve mentioned in the past but it’s a good refresher…check it out!
ok, so this really isn’t my style but I think the idea is fantastic. if I stew on this for long enough I may come up with a clever way to adjust it to be a little more my style or even to take the general idea and use it for something completely different. I personally don’t have any plastic bags in my house other than a few from Home Depot. We are very good about using reusable bags for shopping at the market and most all other stores, with exception of Home Depot. Eric can never seem to remember to take a reusable bag in that store – or maybe he just doesn’t want to
Safe Plastics – IF there really are safe plastics! But, if you must use plastic at least be educated on the different types
In an August 31 article in Chemical & Engineering News,Sarah Everts addresses the toxic chemicals that leach from food and drug packaging into the actual product we’re ingesting. We know plastic isn’t great but since with glass you normally have a rubber seal on the top – that rubber seal is a concern. Even the ink on packaging leaches!
“You will always have leachables,” says Guirag Poochikian, a retired U.S. Food & Drug Administrationregulator who used to evaluate leachables from inhaler devices. “The question is ‘What are they, and what is their safety margin’ ” in humans?
“The common feature of all potential solutions to the leachables problem is that they cost money—sometimes several times the price of the components they replace. It remains to be seen whether consumers are willing to pay more for expensive packaging that reduces leaching into their food and drugs.”
I’m a HUGE fan of Seventh Generation’s products – along with the company itself. I’m excited to hear they’ve made some great new changes to their dish liquid!
Their new formula cleans 50% more dishes than their current dish liquid, and comes in a new 25oz bottle made from 90% post-consumer recycled plastic, which reduces their reliance on non-renewable resources by 50%. Seventh Generation’s new Environmental Savings Statement looks like this:
- If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 25oz petroleum-based dishwashing liquid with our plant-derived product, we could save enough oil to heat and cool 7,400 U.S. homes for a year.
The new formula is still biodegradable, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and can be found in all three of our fragrances: Free & Clear, Lavender & Floral Mint, and Lemongrass & Clementine Zest.
By robin – September 21, 2009 (Seventh Generation’s 7 Gen Blog)
Your air, that is. Visit your local retailer for great deals on Seventh Generation products starting this week. As winter approaches, we open our windows less, trapping polluted air inside our homes. The easiest way to keep your home healthy is to use all-natural cleaning products that won’t leave behind harmful chemical residue or pollute indoor air. Here are 9 more ways to clear the air this fall.
- Open your windows! EPA research has found that indoor air can contain levels of pollutants 2-5 times higher than the air outside.
- Place welcome mats near your doors to remove particles and pollutants carried in on shoes.
- Use natural cosmetic, personal care, and feminine hygiene products. Conventional versions of these products often contain many untested and unregulated chemicals.
- Dust with a damp cloth to collect and remove dust instead of stirring it back into the air.
- Use paper products made from unbleached or non-chlorine bleached recycled paper, which help prevent waste, deforestation, and the pollution created by traditional paper manufacturing.
- Store food in #1, #2, #4, or #5 plastic containers, which are less likely to leach unsafe chemicals. Never heat food or serve hot food in plastic of any kind.
- Use a chlorine-free dishwasher detergent to keep your dishwasher’s steam free of unhealthy chlorine vapors.
- When it’s time to buy new home furnishings, choose those made from solid wood — not pressed woods and particleboard — which often use glues that emit formaldehyde vapors.
- Stay informed. When it comes to ideas for healthy homes, there are always useful new things to learn. Share your ideas below.
I’m not a huge fan of plastic as it is not a natural product and has been known to emit toxins ,but I do believe that we should utilize the plastic that we already have and recycle it for other uses rather than tossing it in our landfills where it will sit for hundreds or thousands of years. I’m happy to hear that there are such great uses for PVC and I hope the idea of recycling it for use in freeways and railways catches on. The article below states that using PVC in our transportation infrastructure costs 1/3 of the price of the concrete version of the same thing!
by Lori Brown
With the federal stimulus plan allowing for more highway and railway infrastructure improvements to be made, the need for project resources will inevitably increase as well.
Becoming more common is the use of recycled plastics in construction of these large-scale infrastructure projects.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or plastic #3, is a thermoplastic polymer of vinyl chloride commonly used in piping for water systems and other construction processes. The additives used in the production of PVC inhibit most large-scale, post-consumer recycling, a factor contributing to a national recycling rate of only one quarter of one percent!
Seventh Generation’s website has a great article on plastic – complete with a guide on which types are safer than others. I use as little plastic as possible in my kitchen. I store left over food in glass containers – old jars work great! (peanut butter, mayo, jam, etc) I’ve pasted the guide below but please read the entire article
- #1 PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate ethylene) is a common plastic used to package a variety of foods and drinks. PETE is considered a safe, non-leaching plastic, even though some studies have found that it can release the toxic metallic mineral antimony over time, especially when subjected to heat.
- #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene) is another common plastic used for milk and water jugs, dairy product tubs, and plastic bags. HDPE is not known to leach toxins.
- #3 PVC or V (polyvinyl chloride) is found in plastic wrap, especially commercial varieties used to package deli and similar items. These plastics use hazardous compounds called phthalates to maintain their pliability. Phthalates have been found to easily leach out of PVC products. PVC can also release a material called di-(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA) when in contact with fatty foods. The use of #3 plastics is not recommended.
- #4 LDPE (low-density polyethylene) is used for bread and frozen food bags, squeezable bottles, other types of packaging, and reusable containers. It is not known to leach toxins.
- #5 PP (polypropylene) is found in bottles and food tubs, and reusable containers. It is not known to leach toxins.
- #6 PS (polystyrene) is often found in foamed food containers. It can leach a number of chemicals into foods and is not recommended in the kitchen.
- #7 OTHER is a catch-all category that includes everything else. One common #7 plastic is polycarbonate, a shatter-resistant material used in things like baby bottles and reusable water bottles. Polycarbonates readily leach a toxic compound called bisphenol-a (BPA) into food and drink. But new corn-based polylactic acid (PLA) plastics, which are generally recognized as safe, are also labeled #7. It can be hard to tell if a given #7 container is kitchen-safe without additional identifying information, so look for bottles that say they are BPA-free.
To sum up: types 1, 2, 4, and 5 are generally safe to use. Types 3 and 6 should be avoided. And Type 7 is a definite “it depends.”
Of course, there are certain circumstances under which no plastic is safe to use. Heat, harsh detergents, and old age all promote the degradation of plastics and the leaching of compounds they contain. Here are our rules for using plastics safely in the kitchen:
- Never microwave any food in any plastic of any kind, including so-called plastic wraps and “microwave safe” containers. Transfer microwaveable foods to a safe glass or ceramic alternative before heating — even if the label says the original container can be used. The term “microwave-safe” only means the plastic in question won’t become visibly damaged when heated — not that it won’t leach!
- Don’t serve or store hot foods, acidic foods, or foods with a high fat or oil content in plastic containers of any kind as these types of edibles are more likely to encourage leaching. Use glass, metal, or lead-free ceramics instead. A simple storage system can be created with any bowl and a similarly-sized plate used as a lid.
- Avoid the temptation to save and reuse commercial food packaging and drink bottles, which are not designed for repeated uses and become more prone to leaching with repeated cleanings.
- When reusable plastic containers made from #4 and #5 plastic become heavily worn or scratched, retire and recycle them.
- Always wash plastic containers by hand, with warm water and mild dish liquid. Keep them out of the dishwasher.
- Avoid putting cling wraps in direct contact with food. Instead, use unbleached wax paper or a safe container.
- Plastic sandwich and food storage bags are typically made from polyethylene, which is considered non-toxic. However, we were unable to find any data verifying the safety of washing and reusing such bags. Since this practice could potentially make them prone to leaching, we can’t recommend it. Instead, we prefer wax paper bags or reusable solutions like the SnackTaxi, the Wrap-n-Mat, or the alternatives at ReusableBags.com.
- Practice precaution and use only glass bottles for infant feedings.
- When it comes to buying cling wrap and reusable food containers, purchase only those that tell you exactly what type of plastic they’re made from. National Geographic’s Green Guide offers a buying guide you can use to make healthier choices.
I love Aveda’s new program for recycling rigid plastic caps. Most areas don’t recycle #5 plastics (fortunately Chicago now does!) so here is a great alternative for those of you who would otherwise would be forced to put them in our ever growing landfills.
RECYCLE CAPS WITH AVEDA
Aveda found that a majority of plastic bottle caps do not get recycled today.
Often these caps end up as litter or trash, ending up in landfills and beaches or migrating into our rivers and oceans. Birds and other marine creatures mistake them for food with tragic results. The magnitude of this pollution problem is devastating to our oceans and wildlife.
You can be part of the solution by joining Recycle Caps with Aveda.
Aveda is announcing a new recycling initiative that helps extend the current boundaries of recycling and elicit participation from all corners of our community. With the help of our network of salons and stores, in partnership with community schools, we are building a new recycling program for plastic bottle caps in which caps are collected at stores and schools and then sent by Aveda to our recycler where the material is recycled into new caps and containers. Aveda has been able to work closely with our suppliers to develop ways to make new caps and containers from the recycled caps. We hope to ship new products using this reworked, environmentally-friendly material later this year.
What type of caps do we collect?
The program accepts caps that are rigid polypropylene plastic, sometimes noted with a 5 in the chasing arrows recycling symbol. This includes caps that twist on with a threaded neck such as caps on shampoo, water, soda, milk and other beverage bottles, flip top caps on tubes and food product bottles (such as ketchup and mayonnaise), laundry detergents and some jar lids such as peanut butter.
Excluded from collection are pharmaceutical lids and non rigid lids such as yogurt lids, tub lids (margarine, cottage cheese), and screw on lids that are not rigid. If you can bend or break the lid with your bare hands, then it does not meet the rigid plastic definition. Please do not include any metal lids or plastic pumps or sprayers. Unfortunately, too much of the wrong types of materials can contaminate the recycling process. We appreciate your efforts in keeping it clean!
We kicked the cap out of plastic at
New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009
Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009 marked the official kick-off of Aveda’s Caps Recycling Program—our powerful grassroots effort to help save marine life by reducing the amount of caps littering our beaches and oceans. Models, stylists and designers backstage participated in the program—bringing in their plastic caps to Rodarte, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Preen and Alexander Wang—Aveda’s designer partners in “green-ing” the runways.
Join the Recycle Caps with Aveda campaign. Bring your plastic caps into an Aveda Store and feel great knowing that they will be repurposed into new Aveda packaging and kept from entering our waterways and harming wildlife.
Want to know how your school can get involved?
Contact email@example.com when you are ready to enroll your school.
In May Chicago’s City Council voted to ban the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups with BPA (Bisphenol A – an endocrine disruptor and may also be linked to obesity and breast cancer).
I would love to see them ban BPA in all plastics used for food consumption in Chicago.