heat food in plastic containers not intended for food use. If you
microwave in plastics, make sure the containers are FDA-approved
for microwave use. Choose polyethylene or polypropylene, which do
not contain plasticizers. Do not microwave in polystyrene (Styrofoam),
single-use plastic containers, or plastic wrap.
FOOD SAFELY. Let
food cool completely and then immediately store it in the refrigerator.
Pack hot foods and drinks in vacuum-sealed bento jars. (Click
THE SAFEST PLASTICS AVAILABLE.
Plastics can be identified by their recycle codes 1-7. The following
is a summary of what we know about plastic safety and recyclability:
- Polypropylene (PP)
has no known adverse health effects. (All plastic Laptop Lunches containers
are made of high quality PP.)
#2 - High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) has
no known adverse health effects.
#4 - Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
has no known adverse health effects.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
often contains plasticizers which are added for flexibility. PVC
contains phthalates and other suspected endocrine disrupters. PVC
is used in many products including plastic wrap, bottles, and children's
toys. Some PVC contains lead. PVC is difficult to recycle because
of its high chlorine content and high levels of toxic additives.
Separation and collection costs are high, material quality is greatly
reduced after recycling, and the demand for virgin PVC remains high
compared to the recycled material.
#6 - Polystyrene (Styrofoam) contains
suspected carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals. Consuming
fatty foods or alcoholic drinks from these containers is not recommended.
Polystyrene is generally not recyclable.
#7 - Polycarbonate (PC) contains Bisphenol-A,
a known hormone disruptor. It can damage reproductive organs and
have adverse effects on breast tissue and prostate development.
PC, or lexan, is used in some Nalgene brand water bottles (the hard
colorful ones), some baby bottles, and in the lining of some aluminum
cans. It is also found in dental fillings and sealants, including
some used to prevent tooth decay in children. (Please note that not all plastics with the #7 "other plastics" recycle code are made of polycarbonate.)
#1 - Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET)
is used mostly in single-use drink bottles--like those containing
water, soda, and juice. These bottles are not intended for re-use
and should not be stored for long periods of time or exposed to
heat. While these bottles are highly recyclable, in reality few
actually make it to the recycling center. According to the Container
Recycling Institute, in fact, 50 billion single-use plastic bottles
are used annually, but only 10 billion are recycled. The other 40
billion end up in landfills, incinerators or as roadside litter.
Please make the switch to a reusable bottle.
hope that this information will help you make educated purchasing decisions.
Please keep in mind that research on these materials is ongoing. We will
make every effort to update this article at as we learn more.