It’s a plastic, plastic world

I’ve always been a bit suspicious of plastics that touch my food. Especially hot food. Whether it’s plastic cling wrap or leftovers being heated in the microwave, something never felt right.

For a while, I used glass Pyrex dishes to reheat my lunch. But then the lids cracked, or stopped sealing tightly and someone gave me a bunch of food in Gladware that I just kept reusing.

But now I have little people to take care of. And the recent controversy about cancer-causing BPA in baby bottles leaching into milk has reawakened my awareness and desire for plastic-free eating.

Kids use a lot of plastic. From the Avent bottles to Gerber dishes and whatever-brand-they-are spoons and forks. Plus the sippy cups. And baby food processor. And everything.

It’s a confusing world out there in Plastic Land. Which are OK, which are possibly harmful? And why don’t all of my plastic containers have numbers on them? If they don’t want to tell me what it is…what does that mean?

Here’s what I’ve learned: #s 1, 2, 4 and 5 are OK. #s 3, 6 and 7 are bad.

Why does Gerber sell their organic baby food in #7 containers? I’m making the effort and expense to buy organic food for my child. I didn’t order it with a side of cancer, thank you.

Also, polypropelene = good, polycarbonate= bad. At least I think that’s right. Let me check the notes I wrote on the fridge.

Thanks to Z Recommends for that info.

I haven’t yet figured out if all of the various plastic items we use are OK or not. Berry’s Avent bottles are going, to be replaced with some of the Born Free variety. Our Take and Toss sippy cups are polypropelene and OK, but the First Years sippy cups that Duncan favors say nothing on the bottom.

The Nuby’s? I’m not sure. Duncan used to drink warm milk out of those — heated up in the microwave — and I was planning on using them for Berry when she gets to that point. At least I have 5 months to do my research.

It may seem like overkill. But we eat as much organic food as possible — especially the kids — to reduce our exposure to pesticides, antibiotics and other things we don’t want in our bodies. Yeah, we have a thousand plastic toys (hopefully not painted with lead paint) and live in an old house (I’m signed up for a lead abatement workshop this week). But I believe that the little things we do make a difference. And you have to start somewhere.

5 thoughts on “It’s a plastic, plastic world

  1. I totally agree with you. I am so glad you are making the effort 🙂
    I had been a little concerned about baby milk being heated in the microwave. Now at least I know you are making informed decisions.

  2. Yes, Mum, I know. Baby milk will still be heated in the microwave. Just in a BPA-free bottle. Because it’s not the microwave heating that causes me concern — putting bottles in the dishwasher and getting them clean on the super-sonic-hot-wash breaks the plastic down more than 20 seconds in the microwave to make breast milk lukewarm (our microwave is ancient and low-powered).

    The Nuby’s are going, by the way. As is the plastic dishware and flatware that doesn’t explicitly say what kind of plastic it’s made of.

  3. This is a complex issue and I still feel we’re not getting the whole story about the dangers of BPA. You might try the Sassy Mam Baby brand of bpa free bottles. I review them at my blog and like them very much.

    Green Eilleen

  4. I’m just now getting the BPA message and doing my own vigorous research to cull my kids’ sippy cup supply. (I guess I’m a late bloomer, environmentally speaking). I think I have found that SOME Nuby cups are safe, but some might not be. So it is a matter of finding the right list if you will be able to keep the Nuby’s or not.
    I’m worn out already.

  5. Actually, #7 plastics aren’t all bad. 7 is the classification for “other,” meaning plastics that aren’t one of the six types that were classified by plastics industry back in the late 1980s. The industry created the classifications for recycling purposes, not to indicate safety. So it is inappropriate to rule out all #7 plastics based soley on the number. You want to look for PP (polypropylene), which is OK, as you said, or PC (polycarbonate), which is bad. If you question the content of an item labeled #7, it’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s website for more info.

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