Plastics are everywhere in the kitchen. And it seems that there are news reports daily on the hazards of hormone-disrupting chemicals found in plastics, which get into our food, beverages, and even baby formula.
Although there are plastics on the market that are generally considered safe to use with food, there is a growing body of evidence showing that plastics need to be treated gently, washed by hand, and never, ever placed in a microwave, where their chemicals leach into what’s being heated, especially things with a high fat content, like meat and cheese.
Plastics are also derived from a nonrenewable resource (petroleum), and not all kinds are recyclable. Even the ones that are recyclable often wind up overcrowding landfills or floating around in our waterways.
It might be difficult (but not impossible) to avoid plastic packaging at the supermarket. When it comes to storing your leftovers at home, why not bypass plastics altogether–baggies, wrap, or containers–and use reliable, renewable, and reusable containers made of glass, stainless, steel, and lead-free ceramic instead.
Glass storage containers are widely available, or you can use what you already have in your kitchen: old jelly, peanut butter, or pickle jars. Glass can also go in the freezer–just make sure to leave enough room for liquid to expand.
If you’d like a replacement for plastic wrap, try a reusable wrap, or opt for was paper coated in non-genetically-modified (GM) soy wax instead of petroleum-derived wax.
This way you won’t have to worry about what’s migrating into your food or hope the plastic currently considered safe doesn’t become tomorrow’s must-avoid.
Find more info on keeping your home plastic-free in “Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning and Greening the World You Care About Most.”