Health effects of plastic – switching to glass.


Hi guys, today I’d like to talk about a subject I’m very passionate about; health effects of plastic and switching from plastic to glass food storage containers. 

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a research on health effects of plastic by examining urine samples that showed Bisphenol A (BPA) in 93% of the test subjects. 93%! That means most of us are living with plastic chemicals in our systems. Click here to read EarthDay fact sheet

Scientific American  states that the chemicals added to plastic can be absorbed into our bodies and can alter our sex hormones. Isn’t that crazy? We need sex hormones not just for reproduction sake but to regulate appetite, and sleep. Think of how many plastic items you use in a day (water bottle, phone, plastic spatulas, food packaging, etc.) and their effect on your health.

Healthy alternative to plastic food storage

I don’t want to overwhelm with you with all the facts about the health effects of plastic on your body, but the bottom line is when food is wrapped in BPA ridden plastics, the phthalates within can leach into the food. Not only do they interrupt but your endocrine system, The Plastic Pollution Coalition explains that they can cause prostate cancer, cause birth defects and issues with immunity. Since we are still knee deep in COVID-19, we all need our immunity to be as strong as possible. 

What about BPA free plastics?

Unfortunately, even when a plastic product is labeled BPA-free, it doesn’t necessarily make it safe. There are variants of harmful to your health chemical compounds that could be included instead, misleading right?

But there was a time before plastic! Milk was delivered in glass bottles, everything people ate off of or drank out of was ceramic or glass. We can go back to those more sustainable and healthy options. That’s the amazing part of living in 2020; we are living in the age of options!

Reducing health effects of plastic on your health

Switching from plastic tupperware to glass storage containers is just one way you can limit your exposure and the effects of plastic on your health. The nice thing about glass containers is that it’s easy to cook and/or reheat with. Most of them are oven safe and you don’t have to worry about leaching chemicals. They are also very sturdy. I’ve used them for years and have yet to break one (and I can be a little clumsy sometimes). Plus, glass is less porous and doesn’t take on the odors and colors from the food. Goodbye spaghetti stains!

Alternatives to reduce negative health effects of plastic

Maybe not all re-usable items should be replaced with a glass substitution, for instance a water bottle. I’m not trying to make your life harder just want you to be healthy. Maybe a stainless steel one is your better option. There’s also beautiful stainless-steel sandwich boxes and salad containers that can be used for on-the-go lunch options. Another amazing product out there is the food grade silicone pouches that provide an easy solution for anything you don’t want to store in glass. It also does not cause harmful health effects that plastic does.

Additionally, a great way to avoid plastic pollution and the negative health effects of plastic, would be to opt for more environmentally conscious brands that use glass bottles/jars/containers to sell their products over the plastic options. For example, something like peanut butter or mustard, try looking for a brand that uses glass instead. There are also these wonderful little bulk grocery stores popping up everywhere that let you bring your own jars to buy your goods in whatever quantities you wish. See if there’s one near you! 

If you just aren’t able to find a plastic free option(sometimes it’s unavoidable) for the product you need, then as soon as you purchase it and bring it home, transfer it to a glass jar/container for a safer storage option. Be sure to recycle as well! 

Keeping it fresh and improving health

Another bonus of choosing glass, stainless steel and silicone options is the reduction of waste, which means there’s less plastic going into our groundwater, rivers, lakes, oceans. This in turn means that there’s less pollution to the wildlife that inhabits those areas. Happy healthy animals are always a good thing. And for the meat/fish eaters out there, that means your food supply won’t be infiltrated with micro plastics to the same degree and cause harmful health effects.

The issue of plastics and their health effects is one we hear about often. It can be quite overwhelming when you think about how large a role plastic plays on our instant-gratification lifestyles. Sometimes it feels like there’s no escape. It’s important to remember that consumers hold the power. I often get overwhelmed and start thinking “this makes me so mad, I want to change it, but I feel helpless.” But we do have power. If we stop putting our hard-earned dollars towards things that cause us harm and our health, and start supporting the companies that can have a more positive influence on the world (and us too). One purchase at a time, we can make our voices heard and as corny as it sounds, we can make a significant difference. Not only for our health, but for the other inhabitants of our wonderful world. Never forget: The tiniest of ripples can make huge waves. 

starting small by replacing plastic

Click here to check out my blog for more tips to a healthy lifestyle!

Plastic to glass - Healthy planet, healthy you

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