The Benefits of a Plastic-Free Kitchen
From storing last night’s leftovers to shopping at the grocery store, plastic is everywhere, especially in your kitchen. It is important to understand that some plastics contain a hazardous mix of chemicals, such as:
- Phthalates, which affect the reproductive system
- BPA (bisphenol-A), which disrupts the endocrine system by mimicking the female hormone estrogen
As you may be aware, these chemicals can leach into whatever food or beverage you put in them, in amounts that vary depending on your use. For instance, if you microwave plastic containers or bottles, or put hot liquids or foods into them, BPA leaches into your food or drink 55 times faster than when used cold. There is also evidence that chemicals leach from plastic faster when the container is:
- Old or scratched
- Frequently put in a dishwasher
- Washed with harsh detergents
Knowing those facts, you’re probably wondering what steps you can take to transition out of using plastic in your kitchen. Here are a few tips:
Skip Plastic Wrap and Baggies
Plastic wrap and baggies are usually a go-to when saving leftovers. But plastic wrap can leech into your food, and every year 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away in America. Make a transition to reusable food wraps made of beeswax or LDPE #4, a low-density, recyclable plastic. Our food kozies and snack bags are a perfect option, or you can try to DIY with this step-by-step guide.
Save Leftovers in Glass or Stainless Steel
At first, it may seem hard not to use plastic for food storage, but switching to glass or stainless steel is a much healthier option for you and your family. Some helpful tips include:
- Save glass jars and searching second-hand stores for glass containers in good condition.
- Purchase stainless steel reusable food containers for takeout and leftovers.
- Buy glass containers to cook, bake and for storing leftovers.
Skip Plastic When Food Shopping
From produce bags to check out, plastic is everywhere when grocery shopping. Do your best to skip the plastic by purchasing food in bulk in reusable bags, skipping fruits and veggies wrapped in plastic, and bringing reusable jars and containers for other loose items.
Cutting the plastic out of your kitchen may seem overwhelming, but by following these 3 small steps you’ll be able to easily transition to a plastic-free kitchen!
Looking for more ideas on how to live plastic free? Check out our infographics: Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Kitchen and Safer Kitchen Guide, created in partnership with EWG’s Healthy Child Healthy World.