Plastic is such hot topic right now, and with good reason, there is such large problems connected to plastic. But do you really need to go on a plastic free diet? Will children be poisoned because of feeding bottles? Should I just quit everything because I microwaved my food container for 3 minutes?
t is very easy to get scared and jump on the panic-wagon, but taking it easy is very rarely a bad thing. I just want to share my views on this. First of all, chemicals are not bad, and everything is chemicals, and how and if they have adverse health effects or are nasty for the environment depend on the chemical itself and the dose. All chemicals are not hazardous, many have no effect what so ever and for others we don’t really know, especially regarding long-term effects. The chemicals associated with plastic are PVC, BPA, phthalates and flame retardants, and they could possibly have adverse effects on our health and we are mostly exposed to them through our food, that are packaged in plastic but mostly from food containers and kitchen utensils because chemicals leach from the plastic when it gets heated up. Fortunately, this is really easy to deal with, by using a food container made of metal or glass, or by simply putting your food on a plate before microwaving it. with regards to kitchen utensils, such as spatulas and teflon frying pans, they also leach chemical but most importantly they release micro plastics when they are subjected to high temperatures and scratches. All those particles end up in our food, and later in the environment, leading to major chaos.
Another thing about plastic is that it cannot be recycled in all eternity. Even if the plastic is recycled, it can usually not be reused into a better quality plastic item, but it depends on the type of plastic. When trying to research all of this, I realized that recycling plastic is a whole knowledge in itself, and it is a complex process, but lets put it this way, recycling is the prolong the life of the plastic, but it does have a limited life. Put this in contrast to a glass item that can be refilled hundreds of times or be melted into a new product. Same goes for metal, even of the process is needs loads of energy. In addition, producing plastic is not a very environmentally friendly process. To be fair, neither is mining for metals, but at least it has a much longer life than plastic.
I actually don’t think it is possible to live a life without plastic these days, and I don’t think we should stop using plastic because we will all be sick and die. But I do think we should consider when it is appropriate to use it, and think about limiting it for the sake of the planet, because it is not very friendly to the environment. So what can we do? And what do I do? I am trying to get rid of plastic one thing at a time in my home, when something needs replacing I try to come up with another option that is not plastic. It is not very sustainable to throw out all your plastic items and buy a new set f everything in stainless steel. I still have food containers in plastic, that I use sometimes, but I put the food in a glass container before I go to work so I don’t have to heat up the plastic one. I also use them for things around the house, like storing my soaps and organizing my makeup. Other things you can do is the same old thing, reusable bag, water bottle, produce bags and think about the packaging options in the store. Go for cardboard, glass and metal instead go plastic. Try also to think about the products you buy, a hard soap instead of liquid in a bottle with dispenser for example. It simple things to do, but it makes a lot of difference in the end.