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:
“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…”
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:
- 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.
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
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.
The cost of cancer:
why health impacts belong on company balance sheets
“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.
Our bodies were not designed to be polluted!
Choose certified organic food, not products!
Use glass and stainless steel containers!
You are worth it!
100 Steps to a Plastic-Free Life
We also need life and health protective regulatory changes. We can choose wiser, but we can’t shop our way out of this.