Search

Common Plastics and Reasons to Avoid Them

Updated: Apr 2

Everything you must know about the plastics you are using everyday - in a 2mn read.




PET or PETE Polyethylene terephthalate


Products example

Soda bottles, water bottles, clear bottles, wide-mouth containers for apple sauce, puddings, gelatin, deli takeout containers, salsa containers.


Issues

Intended for single use. Heat exposure can cause chemicals to leach out. Plastic bottles are commonly found littering beaches or floating in the ocean.

HDPE (High-density polyethylene)


Products example

Opaque bottles and containers for milk, juice, and beverages. Opaque wide-mouth containers for yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, ricotta, spreadable cheeses. Detergent bottles and grocery bags.


Issues

Intended for single use. Heat exposure can cause chemicals to leach out. Grocery bags are not recyclable; they clog recycling machines. Bags and container bits make their way into the sea and the stomachs of marine mammals.

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)


Products example

Shrink wrap, plastic squeeze bottles, detergent and window cleaner bottles, some children’s toys, shower curtains.


Issues

Often contains DEHA and phthalates, which mimic hormones and disrupt body processes. DEHA can cause harm to the liver, kidneys, and spleen. Can cause cancer, birth defects, and genetic changes.

LDPE (Low-density Polyethylene)


Products example

Produce bags, Ziplock bags, most plastic wraps, and trash bags.


Issues

Plastic bags clog recycling machines and can be carried by wind long distances, harming land and marine animals, who mistake them for food. Even camels have been found eating bags.

PP (Polypropylene)


Products example

Straws, plastic cups, margarine tubs, some yogurt tubs, clouded plastic containers like baby bottles.


Issues

Heat exposure can cause chemicals to leach out. Often contain antibacterial chemicals. Straws can’t be recycled because of size and are likely to wash into the ocean.

PS (Polystyrene) (aka “styrofoam”)


Products example

Foam takeout containers and coffee cups. Foam meat trays, foam plates and bowls. Plastic utensils. Packing peanuts, to-go clamshells, foam egg cartons. Solo cups.


Issues

Styrene, which leaks from polystyrene, is carcinogenic and can cause dizziness, fatigue, and chromosomal and lymphatic abnormalities. Bits often found in the stomachs of marine birds. Hard to recycle.

Other


Products example

Tupperware, polycarbonate water bottles, storage containers, all plastics that are not #1-6, unmarked contain- ers and lids. Bioplastics can also fall into this category.


Issues

Items made with polycarbonate (PC) are in this category and often contain BPA, an endocrine disrupter which can stimulate certain cancers. BPA is especially dangerous to children and is often found in baby bottles. Bioplastics can contaminate typical plastics recycling streams; they require special recycling processes that are rarely available at the municipal level.



Credits: Safe Plastic Numbers Guide (BabyGreenThumb.com), Adverse Health Effects of Plastic (EcologyCenter.org), and Smart Plastics Guide (iatp.org)




#bloggingtips #WixBlog

1 view0 comments