Plastic can be found in homes everywhere! In the bathroom, in the bedroom and yes even in the kitchen. We are going to take a look at some plastic free food storage options that will not only be more environmentally friendly – but also healthier for your family.
I personally have a love/hate relationship with plastic – I’m grateful for its lightweight convenience, but hate the environmental impact it has on the planet. The irresponsible disposal of it and its effect on wildlife is also a strong deterrent for me to use it since I am passionate animal lover.
There is also the ‘toxic’ issue -where it can cause leaching and off-gassing, which to me is less of an issue than the pollution. I’m starting to pay more attention to the issues plastic food storage containers present and I feel like I’m slowly awakening to the fact that I need to be more vigilant about finding better options for plastic free food storage containers.
When I saw the EPA statistics that shows 26.8 million pounds of plastic were sent to landfills – I knew I needed to make this change!
Effects Of Plastic On Health
Many are not aware that there can be health related issues that can stem from the use of plastics for storing and reheating food so I wanted to make sure I talked about this. First it is important to note that there are a variety of different plastics out there but the ones we are concerned with contain phthalates and BPAs.
These items can essentially “leach” into your food from the containers and if you are reheating foods in these plastic containers – that makes the issue a bit worse.
These chemicals have been shown to interfere with human hormones which with long term contamination can have effects like diabetes, obesity and more. While these are not common – it is not a risk worth taking in my opinion.
But there are plastics that are safer than others as shown below.
#1 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is one of the most common and are used for water, dressings, mouthwashes etc.
#2 High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) are clear plastics that can be used for juices, milk etc.
#4 Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) are most often found used for squeezable type bottles due to their soft consistency.
#5 Polypropylene (PP) containers are often butter, yogurt, syrup bottles etc. Many reusable food storage containers are made from this plastic too.
Not Safe Plastics
#3 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) you might recognize because it is most commonly used in pipes in your home and some children’s toys. It contains DEHA which is a possible human carcinogen and can leach out of plastic. While plastic wraps you buy from the store do not generally use this material – some store deli’s still do.
#6 Polystyrene (PS) is often found in styrofoam type plastic containers that hold your coffee or leftovers. This plastic can leach styrene into your food.
#7 Polycarbonate is basically a catch-all for other plastics that do not fit other materials. Typically they do have BPA’s so are best to be avoided.
Plastic Free Food Storage Options
So now that we understand why plastics for food storage may not be the best option, let’s take a loot at some great options for storing foods of all kinds.
Below are the options we found that are good for you – good for the environment and can go in the freezer or refrigerator!
Klee Stainless Steel Storage Containers
Free of chemicals and reusable, the Klee storage containers can go from table to freezer to preserve your food. The lid is BPA-free and clear so you can see what is inside and the tight fitting lid has a leakproof seal. Of course – like any metal these are not microwave safe – but can be used on the stove or oven on low-medium heat. They are also dishwasher safe. Comes in 3 sizes.
MCIRCO Glass Food Containers
A beautiful set that customers seem to love, these glass food containers are BPA-free and go from microwave to oven to freezer and is dishwasher safe. They use a higher quality glass called borosilicate which does a better job of adjusting to temperatures ensuring your food stays as fresh as possible.
I stopped heating plastic containers in the microwave a while ago after learning about the possibility of chemicals leaching into the food. After learning more about the better options I decided to change all of my plastic containers out to either glass or metal. So far I have tried the Klee containers above and love them!
Have you stopped using plastic to store food? Have any tips, tricks or suggestions to help others that are ready to make the move?