Safer Plastic Symbols Surprise!

What if all the articles about safer plastics for foods and beverages were actually mistaken about these materials being safe around anything meant to be swallowed?

You know, the ones that say to avoid using containers with some symbols on the bottom, but those with other symbols are safe to use with your foods and drinks?

Like this one:

Plastics Safe or Harmful


Guess what?

“The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) introduced its resin coding system in order to identify the various resins found in plastic bottles and rigid containers and to make sorting and recycling plastic bottles and containers easier for recyclers in Canada.

The code has no other purpose.

Despite the similarity in appearance between the SPI symbols and the Mobius loop, the presence of an SPI code does not indicate that the product is recyclable or is recycled locally.

Nor is it meant as a guide for safe use for food or beverage contact, or as an indicator of the intended use of the bottle or container…”


plastic symbols SPI

But that’s not all…

“According to a new study by the Food Packaging Forum, 175 chemicals with known hazardous properties are legally used in the production of food contact packaging in Europe and the U.S.”


The link below describes the history, current materials issues, implications, and other information we should be aware of (but not the health issues, scroll down for more on those).

Plastics Recycling: You’re Doing it Wrong. And So is Everybody Else!

In fact, just to be clear, these emblems are not indicative of:

  • Recyclability
  • Recycled content
  • Compatibility with other products of the same number
  • Sustainable Greeny Goodness

(In other words, these symbols don’t even mean that the materials can be recycled!)

“The recipe that works for a machine that air-inflates bottles all day is not the same as that which is required for a machine injecting plastics into molded cups.  Nonetheless, because each manufacturer began with high-density polyethylene, both objects are marked on the bottom with the No. 2 triangle.  However, melt these products together for recycling purposes and you get … a smelly, chunky mess that’s useless to either manufacturer.”

“At this point, as a concerned consumer, you’re beginning to recognize two major problems: a meaningless number and a misleading recycling sign”

It gets worse… the bigger problem, or at least as big as the mountains and oceans of fossil fuel based plastic waste we have all over this planet

(remember, we really are inseparable)

are the toxic chemicals that are leaching from the plastics into our food, water, and bodies

Study: 175 Hazardous Chemicals Used in Food Contact Packaging

According to a new study by the Food Packaging Forum, 175 chemicals with known hazardous properties are legally used in the production of food contact packaging in Europe and the U.S.

Chemical exposures have been linked to several chronic diseases, including metabolic and reproductive disorders and cancer. Food contact materials (FCM) have been identified as a major source of chronic exposure to chemicals.

FCMs include food packaging, but also any other material or substance intended to come into contact with food during production, processing, transport and storage (e.g. lubricating oils, conveyor belts, cleaning agents, secondary packaging).


The actual research paper:

Food contact substances and chemicals of concern: a comparison of inventories

Food contact materials (FCMs) are intended to be in contact with food during production, handling or storage. They are one possible source of food contamination, because chemicals may migrate from the material into the food. More than 6000 FCM substances appear on regulatory or non-regulatory lists. Some of these substances have been linked to chronic diseases, whilst many others lack (sufficient) toxicological evaluation.

Table 2. Chemicals present on the SIN list 2.1, TEDX, Pew, Union and ESCO lists, their application in FCMs and toxicological assessment for inclusion on the SIN list 2.1.

Although FCMs are regulated to a certain extent in the EU and the US, many regulatory gaps remain to be filled

food packaging assortment

Phthalates are a class of chemicals used to make plastics (like PVC) softer, fragrances last longer, as well as a multitude of other uses, too many of which allow absorbtion into our air, water, food, and bodies.

Phthalates and diet: a review of the food monitoring and epidemiology data


…Similarly, assessment of daily dietary DEHP intake resulted in dairy as the highest contributor to exposure. Exposure estimates based on actual diets for infants exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s reference level while estimates based on high meat and dairy consumption resulted in exposure above this limit for adolescents. Some of the ADI’s developed by the CPSC for reproductive outcomes were also exceeded. We provide guidance on future research in this area to further understand food as an important phthalate source and to help identify methods to reduce dietary phthalate exposures.

(More about phthalates and other chemical contamination in our food)

The cost of cancer:
why health impacts belong on company balance sheets

Amy Larkin:

“You got cancer because companies, governments and shareholders decided that clean air, water and food were less important than their money.”

It’s not always so good when the GDP goes up. When bad health makes money, it’s time to change the equation
… external environmental and social costs – including health impacts – of these chemicals aren’t often considered in the financial equations that result in their use in many products today. The costs of cancer simply don’t show up in the balance sheets of the businesses that contribute to its prevalence.


 food questions

Some of us have a hard time finding food we can safely eat because of food allergies, sensitivities, GMOs, and  so many other sources of pollutant contamination now.

Our bodies were not designed to be polluted!

Eating Real Food Reduces Plastic Chemicals in Our Bodies!


Choose certified organic food, not products!

Use glass and stainless steel containers!

You are worth it!

100 Steps to a Plastic-Free Life

Be empowered

Food and Personal Power

We also need life and health protective regulatory changes. We can choose wiser, but we can’t shop our way out of this.

6 responses to “Safer Plastic Symbols Surprise!

  1. The whole “Eco-recycling” thing drives me crazy. Plastics are an environmental nightmare for their entire lifespan, which is an insanely long one, and thinking that rehashing the toxic compounds or re-using them (The whole single use scam) is a good thing for the environment is simply stupid. A bit of research into what is involved in the production of plastics environmentally, and health-wise, and what is involved in recycling them can tell you that. A whole library could be written on just how bad plastics are.
    I have also noticed the incredibly scary fad in the culinary world, egged on, no doubt, by TV cooking shows and celebrity chefs, of cooking different foods in cling wrap or shrink wrap or other plastics. I mean, “HELLO”! Do you have a clue what you are doing to your clientele or audience?
    On the positive side though, I have noticed a few emerging companies producing safe alternatives to plastics, including one called Zeoform, an Aussie company which uses hemp cellulose fibre and water and is truly environmentally on the ball with their entire production process. So we can only hope things are changing for the better there. It won’t solve the problem of what to do with all the toxic plastic garbage suffocating the planet for the next few hundred years though.

    • Agreed… I think some of the groups promoting “safer” plastics really are well intentioned though, trying to get people to stop using the really bad ones, but still!!!Our lives are being epigenetically changed, and not for the better, by consuming all these hazardous chemicals. Better to just say no! We have to move away from petroleum based plastics as far as food and beverages are concerned, faster than is currently happening.

      Although, I can see the plastics industry (supported by their oil barons) would jump on that pretty quickly if a recognized organization started saying things like that…

      I’m just a little, bony, disabled, housebound, poor, getting oldish, woman :D … (pretty well ticks all the boxes of generally recognized as insignificant, dontcha think?) so I can say what I need to say, there’s not much to take away from me that hasn’t already been taken away from me by the oil/gas/petrochemical/pharmaceutical industry ruining my health and controlling the health”care” systems to prevent the kinds of safe, plant based medicines and non-toxic healers from being covered by any insurance plans and therefore affordable to people without incomes since being disabled… but I’ve derailed…

      Fine, use them to store your buttons in, but single use packaging has to go too, it’s insane that humans produce so much garbage (just to keep the oil economy going)… There is no away… Another issue is that a lot of the food that comes in plastic, is usually not even food anymore… It does not provide nourishment or healing…

      And, so many of the plastics used today are inherently toxic from the get-go -reeking like they were in a fire straight out of the box! This for food and drink making appliances!

      I cannot find a new blender type product that does not have really toxic VOC emitting plastic that comes into contact with the food, and does not spew out fumes into the air from the motor!

      Green chemistry, biomimicry, respecting limits, re-usables, … the way of the future…

  2. Scary! I drink green tea from a plastic bottle … maybe not a good idea? :-/

    • Maybe not…

      I cringe when I think of the plastic travel mug I used for years for taking coffee or tea in the car with me, thinking what a good thing it was…

      Then I get pissed off at the folks who allowed it to happen, as there’s enough evidence to presume most manufacturers have been aware of at least potential hazards, if not full blown hazards, but since the damage happens so slowly, and we’re exposed to so many toxic chemicals from every direction now, we usually can’t put 2+2 together to determine cause and effect (sometimes seems pretty clear when a whole bunch of people with MCS/ES start keeling over from the same things all over the world)…

      But I derailed again… the air quality here has not been great recently…

      Glass, ceramic (lead free), SS (nickle free) options should be available…

  3. So sad how we are so easily ‘mislead’, and how we have become their faithfull ‘slaves’ until we die or become disabled (even worse to be a liability!) Greed and Lies seem to always be winning the battle : (

    But we are ‘tricked’ and ‘tempted’ to ‘do their will’! : (

    Now, after all these years of drinking ‘mineral water’, so not to consume all the chemicals etc. from the chemically treated tap water, I’m told that the ‘plastic bottles’ in which the clean mineral water is comercialized is contaminating the mineral water!!! : (

    Are the ‘water filtering jugs’ really efficient in filtering all the chemicals and heavy metals from tap water? Can you filter out the chemicals that leak into the ‘bottled water’ from plastic bottles with these too? How do you manage?

    • Whole house or at least kitchen sink water filtration is recommended instead of plastic bottles and jugs… The plastic contact time is less…
      EWG has a section about water filters… not all filters take everything out of the water… The usual advice is to find out what is in your water and find out what kinds of filters remove those contaminants. Most cities have their water testing results online. BUT they don’t test for everything that would affect a person with MCS/ES, and they add different things to deal with the pathogens. Chloramines are a lot harder to remove than chlorine alone…

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