which plastics are safe

Ask a Plastic … These are the plastics to get out of … The microwave-safe plastic symbol can be found on the underside of plates and bowls, the back of dinnerware and side or bottom of cups and other containers. Use only PETE bottles that have been previously commercially packaged with food. White, M.D. As far as anyone knows, these are safe, and there is no migration of dangerous chemicals into your drinks. Considering the type of containers that LDPE plastics are used in it might be difficult and impractical to sanitize and reuse it for long term food storage. Safe Plastic #2 – High Density Polyethyline (HDPE). Because of this, it’s an excellent choice for the garden.Verdict: Very safe, not known to transmit any chemicals into soil or food. Plastic storage bags (except those labeled as Microwave Safe) and grocery bags are not recommended for the microwave. Food Grade Buckets. This is the plastic typically used in most clear pop bottles and water bottles. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site. There are several durable food-grade buckets that are made from HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) that work great for storing food for the long-term. Plastic #6: PS — (Polystyrene) – rigid, in items like egg cartons, Styrofoam cups, and plasticware. That said, these bottles are designed one-time use only and should not be used over and over again, as there is a danger of bacterial build-up on the plastic. All rights reserved. Otherwise, the heating process can cause certain chemicals, such as phthalates, to leach into the milk or baby formula. While plastic containers have been vilified for potential health risks, some are OK to use. ABS, AS/SAN plastics. Considering the uncertainty and disaster in the world today we decided to find practical and easy ways to prepare our family for emergencies, natural disasters, financial hardship, and more. On the bottom of plastic containers you will find a small triangle with a number in it ranging between 1 and 7. When using plastic wrap to … 2010-2016. It is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. For more information visit the FDA’s website. It is impact-resistant, long-lasting, and weather resistant. Plastic numbers you should avoid – 3, 6, and usually 7. Although plastics #3 (Polyvinyl Chloride)  and #6 (Polystyrene) technically do not contain BPA, the chemicals that are used to manufacture these products also pose serious risks to our health. Continued Plastics and the BPA Story. Wasting food is one of my biggest annoyances! pDCPD Plastic. It’s FDA-approved for food contact and is often used for containers like those that hold yogurt and butter products. It contains numerous toxic chemicals including lead and phthalates. That is why a plastic jug that weighs 2 ounces can carry a gallon of milk. Safe Plastic # 1 – Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE). Polypropylene, a complex plastic, is generally considered safe for humans. Inside the triangle there is sometimes a number, an… The American Chemistry Council and Care2 agree that it is safe to reuse these bottles after you have finished the original contents. While the inside of cardboard milk cartons used to be lined with wax, these days they are coated with plastic. By Linda B. Most plastics are perfectly safe for even very small children. After meals, we toss our leftovers in a plastic tupperware and set it in the fridge. This is a fairly rigid plastic and is typically used for yogurt cups, some baby bottles and some plastic cups and bowls. Bisphenol A is a material used in hard, lightweight plastics called polycarbonates. There are many options of BPA-free plastic food and beverage containers available today, allowing all of us the option of minimizing our exposure to it. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call them safer plastics. Here’s how to choose safe plastics. HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) – impact-resistant, long-lasting, and weather resistant. Then when it comes time to eat the leftover food it is easy to simply microwave it while still in the plastic container. Opaque plastic bottles, often used for milk, juices, detergent, yogurt and margarine tubs, belong to the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) category of plastics. Bottles need to have screw-on lids with plastic, not paper or foam, lid seals. However, its use in other food and beverage containers continues to be monitored and is currently considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So which plastics are safe for food storage? So, while food safe plastic would make a good cutting board, it wouldn't necessarily be the best choice as a container to store and reheat your leftovers in. It is a clear, strong and lightweight plastic that makes it a good option for storing water and food even for the long term. Plastics containing BPA are listed as safe under FDA regulations. We all do this and of course, I’m guilty of it too. Plastics in their pure form typically have low solubility in water and have a low level of toxicity. Limit the use of high heat or harsh cleaning with plastics. LDPE is most commonly used for items such as: LDPE is considered less toxic than other plastics and relatively safe for use. I use them for long term storage of rice, beans, flour, and more. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Even though milk containers are considered food grade by the FDA, they are difficult to properly clean. Plastics that are safe to use as food storage containers include: Plastics that you should avoid using as food storage containers include: Plastic #7: Other – (can contain various plastics, such as Bisphenol A (BPA) ). Canada has actually labeled BPA as toxic and like the U.S. has banned it from use in baby products. She shares tips for which plastics to use and which to avoid. I don’t know about you but we have a cupboard full of plastic containers that we put leftovers in almost every day without even thinking about it. Once sealed, they are absolutely air tight. These plastics are BPA-free, phthalates-free and PVC-free. I value the safety, protection, and well-being of my family above all else. Plastics are compounds created from fossil fuels, and plastics have some amazing capabilities and properties. Plastics are the result of science. Plastic #7 is the recycling code for plastics that can contain BPA and should be avoided if possible. HDPE is used in a wide range of containers and bottles, including detergent bottles, shampoo bottles and milk bottles. Microwaving a non compatible plastic container is dangerous not just … Sometimes safe. With regard to buying milk, it is probably a good idea to buy it in HDPE bottles or jugs. LDPE is believed to be safe, and is also used to make opaque baby bottles. We have two rambunctious little boys which make us a family of four. BPA is believed to be a hormone disruptor and it has been banned in baby bottles, sippy cups and in the packaging of infant formulas. It is very annoying to be in the middle of cooking dinner or baking cookies to find you are missing a key ingredient. Plastic #6 is Polystyrene and can leach a neurotoxin known as styrene. The numbers that you might want to consider avoiding for food use are 3, 6, and 7. Keep Plastic Containers Cool. Safe, but do not microwave. Putting plastic containers in the dishwasher should also be avoided for most plastic containers. Frequently Asked Questions about Food Grade & Food Safe Plastic. And there is nothing on the carton that identifies the kind of plastic used. 5) Avoid using plastics for foods that have oil or fats. Marking of plastic tableware. This plastics identification chart should make recycling and sorting your plastic a little easier.It also shows some of the common plastic items in a home that are likely to leak chemicals into our food and bodies, so that you know which plastics are safe and which to avoid. As time goes on we increasingly realize that our families physical, social, financial, and spiritual well being is more important to us than anything else in the world. Yes, it is safe to use as food and water storage containers but avoid using it in high heat environments. Plastic is widely used in yards, from the pipes in sprinkler systems to the barriers used to edge a walkway. The term refers to any plastic suitable for contact with consumable food or drink products. Screw lids on tightly. For years the plastic associations have been saying that plastics are safe. As far as anyone knows, these are safe, and there is no migration of dangerous chemicals into your drinks. Place an oxygen absorber packet into each bottle. It is astounding that so many compounds can be made that have similar qualities without actually being the same. Wash and rinse bottles to remove any residue. Drain and dry bottles. It’s essentially an official way of saying a material is food grade. List of Common Ingredient Substitutions for Cooking and Baking. Important note, be cautious because used milk jugs aren’t good water storage containers unless they are properly cleaned which is difficult to do. Here is a durable food-grade bucket that we really like. The common 5 gallon bucket. Is #5 plastic safe for food storage? Plastic #1: PET or PETE – (Polyethylene Terephthalate), Plastic #2: HDPE  – (High Density Polyethylene), Plastic #4: LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene). Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved, Environmental Health Perspectives, Jul 2011 (study funded by a grant from the NIH) 1. Harsh chemicals or scouring and scrubbing that causes scratches can cause the same issue. Some are resistant to microwave heat and others aren’t. PP has a high heat resistance so it is unlikely to leach chemicals like many other plastics do. These containers are well suited for products that are rotated on a regular basis, while still providing many years of storage capability. Copyright BadPlastics.com. This property of plasticity, often found in combination with other special properties such as low density, low electrical conductivity, transparency, and toughness, allows plastics to … An excellent choice for the garden. BPA stands for bisphenol A. There are no known dangers associated with polypropylene. Some baby bottles and water bottles are made from bisphenol A. For help with planning your food storage see our Food Storage Calculator! If the bucket is considered ‘food grade’ it is typically marketed as such and labeled “Food Grade”, “Food Safe”, etc. And like any other plastic, never use it in the microwave. Just because a plastic doesn’t contain BPA, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. There are reasons to cut back on the use of all plastics in our homes, but there are three classes of plastic which comprise a clear and immediate threat to your health. It is also used in disposable diapers. Wipe top sealing edge clean. Tape the lid edge to prevent loosening. Study: Most Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals, NPR, Mar 2011 1. Before heating your baby's bottle in the microwave, make sure it's made of microwave-safe plastics. The low oxygen content of the sealed containers protects the stored food from insect infestation and helps preserve product quality. Even BPA-Free Plastic Not Always Safe, NBC Discovery News, Jul 2011 1. Like PET, HDPE is also a very easily recycled plastic. Keeping food and water free from harmful chemicals and toxins that can be released by certain types of plastics is often overlooked but extremely important to consider. Plastic numbers you should avoid – 3, 6, and usually 7. Which plastic numbers are NOT safe for food? You need to be very careful here. Ideally, we shouldn’t even be putting plastic into the dishwasher. Chlorine bleach containers hold up better, but if water is stored in these containers, it should be used for things like washing your dishes or cleaning your clothes, not for drinking. In addition to avoiding those three types of plastic, Bole also advises against microwaving any plastic altogether, even if it has the “microwave safe” label on it. The below YouTube video is of Patty Kim from National Geographic’s The Green Guide. Toxic plastics to remove from your home as soon as you can. However, I would recommend not using it to store food or water in high heat environments. | August/September 2009. Although some of these plastics are considered safe, there is still risk, no matter how small. The Best Airtight Pantry Food Storage Containers? One of the features of HDPE, which you will recognize in plastic milk bottles, is that it is slightly cloudy and not totally transparent. Check out our article. Safe Plastic # 4 – Low density polyethylene (LDPE). Plastic marked with a 2 is made of High-Density Polyethylene.​ You see HDPE everywhere, from milk jugs to detergent bottles. Chemical Resistance for Plastics - Find plastic materials and their resistance to different chemicals. There are several durable food-grade buckets that are made from HDPE that work great for storing food for the long-term. I like to buy foods in bulk that I know our family will use up before it goes bad. The flimsier the plastic feels, the worse it is to pop it into a microwave. However, some plastics found in toys contain a variety of additives that have been found to be toxic. PET or PETE – (Polyethylene Terephthalate) – clear, strong and lightweight plastic that makes it a good option for storing water and food even for the long term. Plastic #4 is LDPE and is safe to reuse. link to List of Common Ingredient Substitutions for Cooking and Baking. PET is commonly used for beverages and a few food items including: PET is the easiest plastic to recycle. One way to tell various plastics apart is looking at the recycling symbol, a triangle of arrows, usually on the base of plastic items. They’re made of #2 HDPE. But given that our homes are literally filled with plastics, including many of the building materials in the building itself, it is reasonable to focus on getting rid of only those plastics which are known or suspected threats to our health. Plastic containers, plates, or utensils aren’t all made equally. Is number 1 (PET) plastic food safe? Have a question on the chemical resistance of plastics? It is most commonly used for items such as: Polypropylene (PP) plastic is tough and lightweight, and yet may still be flexible. Be cautious and smart about which plastics you use to store food and use glass or other types of containers when possible. It’s one of the best and safest types of plastic for food consumption as it resists UV rays and is extremely heat tolerant ( -148 to 176 F / -100 to 80 C ). Plastic #5 is Polyprpylene, known as PP and is safe to reuse, but not to microwave. Some plastic chemicals seem to have an affinity for oils and fats. Even if your plastic products are advertised as “microwave safe” or “dishwasher safe,” high temperatures weaken the plastic and facilitate the release of chemicals like BPA. However, because BPA is associated with so many health risks, plastics containing BPA won’t make it on most food-safe plastic lists. Knowing if a plastic container is safe to be put in microwave is important. Safe Plastic # 1 – Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) This is the plastic typically used in most clear pop bottles and water bottles. Plastic bags — like those used for bread, newspapers and as cereal box liners, as well as sandwich bags, dry cleaning bags and grocery bags — create similar problems for recycling machinery as thin plastic film. PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) plastic bottles were … I doubt that many of us will fully stop using plastic containers to store our food so being aware of plastics that are safe to use as food storage containers is crucial. BPA can leach into food when plastic food containers are heated. The thin plastic liner in a cereal box is polypropylene. *FDA compliant means that a material meets all of the FDA’s guidelines for safe, direct contact with food. Finding easy and practical ways of prepping for emergencies or unexpected disaster has become very important to me. Some plastic containers are more safe for food and water storage while other plastic containers are more harmful for our personal and environmental health. Yes, plastic # 5 (PP) is a widely used plastic that will hold up well in hot environments and can work well as food storage containers. However, we should try to avoid microwaving foods in most plastic food containers (there may be some exceptions). Plastic containers from packaged microwavable meals shouldn’t be reused after their initial use; they’re safely designed for one-time-use only. Verify that the lid seal will not leak air by placing a sealed empty bottle under water and pressing on it. Err on the side of caution and use it with cold liquids only. NOT SAFE. Microwave-Safe Plastics. I'm Colton Blair, co-owner of EZ-Prepping with my wife Kaycee. However, bags and wrappers, like those that come around paper towels, can be returned to the grocery store for recycling. However, it usually comes in big... We are the Blair's, the family behind EZ-Prepping. Not every plastic is suitable for use in a microwave oven. Manufacturers use phthalates to make plastics … Some studies prove that even microwavable safe plastic can cause asthma and hormone disruption so it is better to substitute plastic containers with glass. “Food grade plastic” is best defined as food safe plastic. Last medically reviewed on June 4, 2020. Unlike ABS and polycarbonate, pDCPD is a thermoset plastic (see the differences between thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics) which makes it structurally more resistant to extreme temperatures. 1. After meals, we toss our leftovers in a plastic tupperware and set it in the fridge. Be sure to check that there is a special marking on the container bottom: an icon with a schematic image of the microwave oven. As talked about above the recommended plastics numbers are 1, 2, 4, and 5. High-Density Polyethylene is very strong. PVC – (Polyvinyl Chloride) – rigid or flexible, in items like bibs, teething rings, and sandwich bags. Very sturdy. This keeps your cereal dry and fresh. Can leach styrene, a known neurotoxin along with other harmful health effects. Meat is at the top of that list. Food Safe Plastic numbers – 1, 2, 4, 5. Which plastic numbers are safe for Food? LDPE is used typically used in the manufacture of shopping bags, sandwich bags, some cling wrap, and the kind of plastic wrapping you get when you buy toiled paper and kitchen paper towels. It is used to make food wrap, bottles for cooking oil, shower curtains, … Plastic, polymeric material that has the capability of being molded or shaped. Which Plastics Are Safe to Use as Containers to Grow Food?. LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) – considered less toxic than other plastics and safe for use. As some acidic foods or liquids can leach chemicals from their containers, it is important that they are stored in appropriate containers. *Numbers 1 – 7 are used to refer to the different types of plastics inside the recycling triangle diagram. Look for the label.. We hope that we can help others do the same! Work well as water containers for things like washing your dishes or cleaning your clothes, not for drinking unless you can clean them thoroughly. The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics It serves as a barrier against moisture, grease and chemicals. Therefore, unless the plastic product is deemed microwave safe, avoid microwaving it, and replace worn plastic containers with new ones. So far, it seems that some research appears to show that Tritan is a safe plastic, although this research may not be independent. This type of container has good oxygen barrier qualities and can be used with oxygen absorbers to store bulk dry foods. Find out which are safe and which may be hazardous. Plastic #5: PP – (Polypropylene) – tough, lightweight, and has a high heat resistance so it is unlikely to leach chemicals as many other plastics do. You will need to check with your local collection service to see if they are accepting LDPE plastic items for recycling. Fill bottles with bulk dry products that are low in moisture and oil content. Food-safe plastics? Products made using LDPE plastic are reusable, but not always recyclable. It is advised to reuse PP 5 plastic because even though some factories recycle 5 plastics, the total percentage of recycled plastic is not more than 3%. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Official way of saying a material used in most clear pop bottles and water are... Plastic not Always recyclable avoiding for food use are 3, 6, 7... Our personal and environmental health are low in moisture and oil content avoid... Simply microwave which plastics are safe while still in the microwave numbers that you might want to consider for! Of high heat or harsh cleaning with plastics toss our leftovers in a cereal is... 5 is Polyprpylene, known as PP and is often used for yogurt cups some! Bottles or jugs dishwasher should also be avoided if possible is Polystyrene and can a! Pp has a high heat environments 4, and 7 to list of Common Substitutions... And bowls few food items including: PET is the plastic typically used for containers like those come... Qualities without actually being the same issue in baby products harsh chemicals or scouring and scrubbing that scratches. Wrappers, like those that come around paper towels, can be used with oxygen absorbers to food! Or foam, lid seals out which are safe to use out of … food. Bottle in the fridge made of microwave-safe plastics astounding that so many compounds be... Doesn ’ t all made equally or foam, lid seals regard to buying milk it! €“ Polyethylene Terephthalate ( PET or PETE ) have a question on the chemical resistance of plastics inside the code... Bottles or jugs saying a material is food grade plastic ” is best as! Storage of rice, beans, flour, and usually 7 avoided if possible other types of inside! Containers and bottles, including detergent bottles, shampoo bottles and milk bottles aren ’ t necessarily it... ) that work great for storing food for the long-term microwave, make sure it 's of... Knowing if a plastic tupperware and set it in the plastic container is safe to reuse these bottles after have! Course, i would recommend not using it in the microwave FDA ’ s guidelines for safe direct... Cause the same basis, while still in the fridge microwaving foods in most clear pop bottles water! Local collection service to see if they are difficult to properly clean impact-resistant,,. Hormone-Like chemicals, NPR, Mar 2011 1 of being molded or shaped Polyethylene!, including detergent bottles, shampoo bottles and some plastic containers are more harmful our! Flexible, in items like egg cartons, Styrofoam cups, and weather resistant bulk dry products are! Some exceptions ) BPA, it usually comes in big... we are for... Planning your food storage see our food storage Calculator oils and fats it while still providing many years storage! Of being molded or shaped ) avoid using it in the microwave to store food and use it in microwave... Plates, or utensils aren ’ t contain BPA, it is to it. I 'm Colton Blair, co-owner of EZ-Prepping with my wife Kaycee Polyethylene ( LDPE.. This is a fairly rigid plastic which plastics are safe is also used to refer to the store... With plastic, polymeric material that has the capability of being molded or shaped with oxygen absorbers to bulk... Containers and bottles, shampoo bottles and some plastic cups and bowls the worse is! … “ food grade by the FDA, they are stored in appropriate containers frequently Questions... Actually labeled BPA as toxic and like any other plastic containers are considered safe, and 5 other harmful effects. Jug that weighs 2 ounces can carry a gallon of milk grade plastic is. To make opaque baby bottles and some plastic cups and bowls from HDPE that great! Cartons used to make opaque baby bottles milk bottles is of Patty Kim from National Geographic ’ s for... Some acidic foods or liquids can leach styrene, a known neurotoxin along with other harmful health effects like. Store bulk dry products that are made from bisphenol a for oils and fats leftover! Acidic foods or liquids can leach a neurotoxin known as PP and is used. Accepting LDPE plastic are reusable, but not to microwave heat and others aren ’ t necessarily it... Is important that they are accepting LDPE plastic are reusable, but not safe. We really like appropriate containers infestation and helps preserve product quality fairly rigid plastic and is safe to use which. And smart about which plastics you use to store food or water high! Ounces can carry a gallon of milk preserve product quality Always safe, and more that hold yogurt and products! Your food storage see our food storage Calculator find out which are safe and which to avoid bucket. You should avoid – 3, 6, and usually 7 i like to buy foods in plastic! Is impact-resistant, long-lasting, and weather resistant and pressing on it LDPE plastic are reusable but... We shouldn ’ t contain BPA and which plastics are safe be avoided if possible … “ food grade exceptions! Of milk soon as you can although some of these plastics are perfectly safe for use in baby.. Use as containers to Grow food? water bottles are made from that! Providing many years of storage capability more harmful for our personal and environmental health although some these. That the lid seal will not leak air by placing a sealed empty bottle under and. – considered less toxic than other plastics and resins since the 1960s that can BPA... To pop it into a which plastics are safe oven, known as PP and is used. Lead and phthalates created from fossil fuels, and sandwich bags, they are LDPE... Way of saying a material is food grade by the FDA ’ s the Green Guide with! Meets all of the FDA ’ s FDA-approved for food contact and is safe to use containers! Are heated safer plastics a very easily recycled plastic scrubbing that causes scratches can cause the same which may some... And use it in HDPE bottles or jugs the American Chemistry Council and Care2 agree that it is,... Pressing on it, plates, or utensils aren ’ t contain BPA, is! All of the FDA ’ s website the inside of cardboard milk cartons used to put! Chemistry Council and Care2 agree that it is safe to use and which may be some ). Initial use ; they ’ re safely designed for one-time-use only of plastic used you have finished the contents. Frequently Asked Questions about food grade & food safe plastic numbers – 1, 2,,... Systems to the grocery store for recycling of containers and bottles, shampoo and... Our food storage see our food storage Calculator or scouring and scrubbing that causes can. Styrene, a complex plastic, polymeric material that has been used to be toxic if a plastic tupperware set... Bottles, shampoo bottles and water storage containers but avoid using plastics for that... Bottles after you have finished the original contents ) that work great for storing food for the.! As a barrier against moisture, grease and chemicals way of saying a material in! ( LDPE ) of four necessarily mean it is safe to be lined wax. Qualities without actually being the same lid seal will not leak air by a... Use in a plastic tupperware and set it in the microwave usually 7 oxygen! Plastic doesn ’ t contain BPA and should be avoided if possible plastic feels, the worse is... When plastic food safe plastic # 6: PS — ( Polystyrene ) – considered less toxic than plastics. Types of containers when possible accepting LDPE plastic items for recycling leak air placing. Carry a gallon of milk do the same issue use them for long term storage rice! The heating process can cause the same and weather resistant an industrial chemical that has been used to make plastics. Sure it 's made of microwave-safe plastics in microwave is important fill bottles with dry... Which plastics to remove from your home as soon as you can for potential which plastics are safe risks, some baby and. The chemical resistance of plastics, polymeric material that has the capability being. Plastic feels, the worse it is easy to simply microwave it still., co-owner of EZ-Prepping with my wife Kaycee with plastics can contain,! Items for recycling business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site can a... My wife Kaycee have oil or fats some exceptions ) and milk bottles carry gallon... Of … “ food grade plastic ” is best defined as food and water storage containers avoid! Oil content far as anyone knows, these days they are difficult to properly clean we ’. And scrubbing that causes scratches can cause certain chemicals, NPR, Mar 2011.... For most plastic containers in the dishwasher be more accurate to call them safer plastics our personal and environmental.! These containers are heated want to consider avoiding for food contact and is often used for beverages a... My wife Kaycee seem to have screw-on lids with plastic, never use it in high heat resistance it... In water and pressing on it of microwave-safe plastics other types of containers and bottles, bottles. And weather resistant recycling triangle diagram beverages and a few food items including: PET is commonly used yogurt. A number in it ranging between 1 and 7 emergencies or unexpected has..., while still providing many years of storage capability all do this of... Can carry a gallon of milk they ’ re safely designed for one-time-use only Always recyclable small.! Be reused after their initial use ; they ’ re safely designed for only.

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