After having discovered the Life Without Plastic website, I found on one of their pages “10 Easy Tips For Living with Less Plastic.” I must say that as I read the list, I found that I’ve already been living with less plastic in my life. Until I got to number 9 on the list: the bathroom. It was a wake-up call, to say the least. Seems while I’ve been busy un-plastic-ing my kitchen life, I was woefully ignorant of the plastic in my bathroom: toothpaste containers, deodorant, baby powder (yeah, I still like to smell fresh), shampoo, conditioner, razor…the list goes on from there. Ugh. This is going to be harder than I thought, I thought to myself, wondering if I could ever truly be plastic-free. But I am resolute. I will find a way to reduce the poisonous plastic in my life and not add more to the local landfills or recycling facilities. Let’s hope you can do the same.
Here’s a peek at the list:
1. Avoid the worst common plastics
There is no need to be eating or drinking toxic plastic residues. Identify the type of plastic of a product by looking at the recycling symbol molded on the item. This is a number from 1 to 7 surrounded by three chasing arrows forming a triangle. The three following plastics are very common,and are significantly harmful to living beings and the environment:
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC #3): An extremely toxic plastic often containing multiple unsafe additives, including lead and phthalates. Still used for some toys, clear food and non-food packaging (e.g., cling wrap), some squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars.
Polystyrene (PS #6): Contains styrene, which is toxic to the brain, nervous system, and various organs. Used in Styrofoam containers, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, take-out food containers, plastic cutlery.
Polycarbonate (Other #7): Contains bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to numerous health problems. Used in some baby bottles (though increasingly banned in baby bottles by countries around the world), clear plastic “sippy” cups, sports water bottles, juice and ketchup containers, and in three and five gallon large water storage containers, and most metal food can liners. Please note that #7 is a catch-all category including any plastic resin that does not come within the first six categories.
Would you like to learn more about the different plastic types? Take a look at our sections on Common Plastics #1 to #7 and Other Plastic Types.