Safer Plastic Containers

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					                           Safer Plastic Containers
   ●   The Backstory
   ●   What To Look For
   ●   Safer Storage Products
   ●   Plastics to Avoid
   ●   Safer Use of Plastics for Storage
   ●   Resources and References

The Backstory
Take a look at the shelves of packaged food items at your local grocery store and you'll notice that most
of the food we buy comes in contact with plastic. Margarine, yogurt, cream cheese and ice cream
packaged in plastic cartons; frozen dinners on plastic trays and frozen vegetables in plastic bags;
cheese, deli sandwiches and fruits and vegetables wrapped in cling wrap; juice, water and oil in plastic
bottles; even food packaged in paper is often wrapped up in plastic first. In fact, since 1976 plastic has
been the most widely used material in the United States. No wonder Newsweek chose plastic as one of
the greatest innovations of the millennium. However, not all plastics are created equal, and some are
safer to use than others, especially when it comes to food packaging and storage.
While plastic food wraps and containers play an important role in protecting us against the dangers of
foodborne illnesses, recent studies show that when certain plastics come into contact with foods, some
questionable chemicals migrate from the packaging to the foods they contain. In addition, because of
the chemicals used during the manufacturing process, plastic poses threats to our environment and to
the health of the workers who produce it.
Environmental Issues
Considering that plastics are made from non-renewable petroleum and natural gas, it's not surprising to
know that plastic manufacturing is a major source of industrial pollution. Producing a 16-oz. #1 PET
bottle, for instance, generates more than 100 times the toxic emissions to air and water than making the
same size bottle out of glass.
The Berkeley Plastics Task Force stated in a 1996 report that the plastic industry contributed 14 percent
of the most toxic industrial releases--including styrene, benzene and trichloroethane--into the air. Other
major emissions from plastic production processes include sulfur oxides and nitrous oxides (both of
which contribute to global warming), methanol, ethylene oxide and volatile organic compounds
Plastics Are Forever
When the plastics we throw away escape from garbage trucks or landfills, they get blown into trees and
waterways where they're eaten by animals that mistake them for food. In the North Pacific, a floating
island of plastic waste the size of Texas has accumulated, doubling in size over the past six years. Some
estimates place the load of plastic floating in that area, killing both birds and aquatic life, at 3 million
The matter is further complicated by the fact that nothing in nature, not even sunlight and oxygen, can
break apart the bonds that hold plastic together, so they linger on our planet indefinitely. Rather than
biodegrading, plastic photodegrades into dust, winding up in soil and in the air. In bodies of water, the
plastic particles become a kind of toxic sponge, absorbing other harmful chemicals such as
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and the pesticide DDT. Those particles then get eaten by fish, which
wind up back on our dinner plates.
Despite the problems with plastic, virtually all types can be recycled and used a few times before losing
integrity (when the material has become too weak to recycle any more). However, confusing municipal
recycling laws and limited access to recyclers who accept all types of plastic have kept recycling rates
low and the amount of plastic waste in landfills high--and getting higher. In 2006, a mere 6.9 percent of
plastic garbage we generated was recycled.
On a positive note, more stores are beginning to accept plastic bags for recycling, and other companies
are offering to take back used plastic products. For instance, Styrofoam packing peanuts can be taken to
any UPS store for reuse, and Stonyfield Farm accepts all its #5 PP yogurt cups and tubs back, reselling
them to Preserve, a company that manufactures toothbrushes and reusable plastic dishes from the
discarded cups.
Personal Health Issues
Dioxins, which are highly toxic even at low doses, are produced when #3 PVC plastics are
manufactured and incinerated. The EPA estimates that the average American's risk of contracting
cancer from dioxin exposure may be as high as one in 1,000--1,000 times higher than the government's
current "acceptable" standard of one in a million. Dioxins are also endocrine disruptors, substances that
can interfere with the body's natural hormone signals, and they can damage the immune system and
may affect reproduction and childhood development. Furthermore, dioxins build up in animal fat, and
we may be exposed to them when drinking fatty meats, whole milk or full-fat yogurt.
Most cling-wrapped meats, cheeses and other foods sold in delis and grocery stores are wrapped in
PVC. To soften #3 PVC plastic into its flexible form, manufacturers add "plasticizers" during
production. Traces of these chemicals, known as adipates and phthalates, can leak out of PVC when it
comes in contact with foods, especially hot, fatty foods. Adipates and phthalates have been shown to
cause birth defects and damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive systems in mice.
One phthalate, di-2-ehtylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,
according to a 2000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) report. Phthalates are also suspected of
interfering with hormones and the reproductive development of baby boys.
Bisphenol A
Many #7 polycarbonate bottles (including baby bottles), microwave ovenware, eating utensils and
plastic coatings for metal cans are made with bisphenol A (BPA). Many studies have found that BPA
interferes with hormones, as phthalates do, and a March 1998 study in Environmental Health
Perspectives (EHP) found that BPA simulates the action of estrogen when tested in human breast
cancer cells.
A growing number of scientists are concluding, from animal tests, that exposure to BPA in the womb
raises the risk of certain cancers, hampers fertility and could contribute to childhood behavioral
problems such as hyperactivity. A January 2006 EHP study on mice indicated that BPA alters the
function of mouse pancreatic cells, which produce insulin, suggesting that the chemical may enhance
the risk of developing Type II diabetes. Finally, an early 2007 study on BPA in rats found that it led to
increased growth, suggesting that the chemical might trigger obesity.
Not as dire a concern as BPA or phthalates, the heavy metal antimony has been found to leach out of #1
PET plastic water bottles that have been sitting on a shelf for long periods of time. High levels of
antimony can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but the amount in water from a PET bottle will likely be
low enough to not cause such effects. However, it's still a good idea to not reuse #1 PET bottles to
avoid any potential antimony exposure.

What To Look For
Plastic is the most widely used material in the United States, and it crops up in everything from toys to
clothes to food containers. But not all plastics are created equal, particularly in regards to food storage:
Some plastics can transmit chemicals into your food, while others are perfectly safe.
Before you know which type of plastic container to buy the next time you hit the store, you first need to
know how to tell them apart. Plastics are typically classified by a number from #1 to #7, each number
representing a different type of resin. That number is usually imprinted on the bottom of your
container; flip it upside down, and you'll see a recycling triangle with the number in the middle.
Here's a quick breakdown of plastic resin types:
Plastics are typically classified by one of seven recycling codes, indicating the type of resin used (the
code is usually found at the bottom of containers and bottles), as follows:
#1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE)            Products: Soft drink bottles, medicine containers

#2 high density polyethylene (HDPE)                    Products: Toys, bottles for milk, water, detergent,
                                                       shampoo, motor oil

#3 polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC)                       Products: Pipe, meat wrap, cooking oil bottles

#4 low density polyethylene (LDPE)                     Products: Wrapping films, grocery bags

#5 polypropylene (PP)                                  Products: Syrup bottles, yogurt tubs, diapers

#6 polystyrene (PS)                                    Products: Coffee cups, clam-shell take-out

#7 other (usually polycarbonate)                       Products: Medical storage containers, some
                                                       Nalgene water bottles

Safer Storage Products – Plastics and Others
#2HDPE, #4LDPE and #5PP - These three types of plastic are the healthiest. They transmit no known
chemicals into your food and they're generally recyclable; #2 is very commonly accepted by municipal
recycling programs, but you may have a more difficult time finding someone to recycle your #4 and #5
#1 PET - #1 bottles and containers are fine for single use and are widely accepted by municipal
recyclers. You won't find many reusable containers made from #1, but they do exist. It's also best to
avoid reusing #1 plastic bottles; water and soda bottles in particular are hard to clean, and because
plastic is porous, these bottles absorb flavors and bacteria that you can't get rid of.
PLA - PLA (polylactide) plastics are made from renewable resources such as corn, potatoes and sugar
cane and anything else with a high starch content. The starch is converted into polylactide acid (PLA).
Although you can't recycle these plant-based plastics, you can compost them in a municipal composter
or in your backyard compost heap. Most decompose in about twelve days unlike conventional plastic,
which can take up to 100 years.
Safer Containers: The List
Safer plastics--#2HDPE, #4LDPE, and #5PP
When choosing plastic containers, even those you'll use over and over again, choose those that are
accepted for recycling in your area. Although #1 PETE is one of the most commonly recycled types,
there are no containers designed for re-use made from it, and one should never re-use single-use #1
plastic bottles because their design doesn't lend itself to proper cleaning and the bottles can harbor
bacterial growth. There are, however, a number of reusable containers made from another commonly
recycled plastic, #2 HDPE.
Number #4 LDPE and #5PP plastics, although not as widely recycled, are also good choices since, as
with #2, most research has not shown leaching of any carcinogens or endocrine disruptors. Some bread
and frozen food bags and squeezable bottles are made out of #4 plastic and some ketchup bottles and
yogurt and margarine tubs are manufactured from #5 plastic.
Biodegradable plastic
Recent technological developments have led to the developments of plastics made from corn. These
corn-based resins are derived from various chemicals, one of them being polylactide (PLA), which is
decomposed by bacteria when composted. While bags made of PLA look, feel and smell like normal
plastic bags, in about twelve days, more than half the bag will have broken down, unlike conventional
plastic bags, which can take up to 100 years to decompose.
The range of biodegradable plastic storage products is expanding within the commercial sector, and
companies and consumers are quickly realizing the cost and environmental benefits of this type of
packaging. In the States, the Wild Oats Market chain has replaced conventional plastic containers used
for bulk foods with PLA containers. Recently, Biota water, Naturally Iowa dairy, Newman's Own and
the natural foods retailer Earth Fare have begun using the PLA produced by Cargill Dow-offshoot
NatureWorks LLC. While use and availability of these products is primarily in the commercial sector,
their initial success suggests we can look forward to home products like food storage containers and
plastic wrap in the near future. Currently, biodegradable garbage bags, disposable dinnerware--plates,
cups, flatware and straws--are available for home use. For online retailers of biodegradable plastics, see
Glass, Ceramic and Stoneware
Glass, ceramic and stoneware are the safest options when it comes to food packaging and storage
because they do not leach any questionable chemicals when in contact with food. Unlike plastic
recycling, which produces toxic chemicals, glass recycling is more environmentally friendly.
Seek out these glass, ceramic and stoneware products instead of plastic to ensure that your food will not
come in contact with toxic chemicals when stored or heated:
Anchor Hocking Barrel Jar with Aluminum Lid Anchor Hocking Blue Cracker Jar
Anchor Hocking Georgian Canister
Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill Canister
Anchor Hocking Penny Candy Canister
Bormioli Fido Storage Jar
Bormioli Pitcher
Bormioli Round Storage Container
Bormioli Square Storage Container
Bormioli Rectangular Storage Container
Bormioli Storage Cylinder
Bormioli Save & Serve Plate
Clay Design Coffee Canister
Clay Design Popcorn Canister
Libbey Storage Bowl
Libbey Pumpkin Candy Jar
Pyrex Glass Food Storage Containers
Resourceful Products Mini Jar Canister
Aluminum and Stainless Steel
Food storage containers made of aluminum are an alternative to plastics because aluminum is
recyclable, relatively inexpensive and offers even heating capability. However, aluminum extraction is
extremely energy intensive, so reusing old pots is encouraged. Aluminum can sometimes react with
certain foods or impact a metallic taste, so use them for storing foods with a low acid content.
Containers made from stainless steel are an environmentally friendly choice not only because the
material is 100-percent recyclable but also because stainless steel is easy to clean without any harsh
chemicals. Stainless steel is also inexpensive, attractive and will not react with foods during cooking.
When storing or heating foods, look for the following aluminum and stainless steel products. However,
never use a microwave to heat food in metal containers. Doing so could spark a fire.
Corning Bowls
Correlle Bowls
Emily Henry Bowls
Gear County Bowls
Ingleman Bowls
Johnson Brothers Storage Jars
Johnson Brothers Bowls
Klean Kanteen's Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Klean Kanteen's To-Go Ware
Pillsbury Storage Jars
Pfaltzgraff Storage Jars
Reston Lloyd Bowls
Sigg's Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Wedgewood Bowls
Food Containers (#5)
When plastics are the only choice for food storage, look for options with recycling codes #1 PETE, #2
HDPE, #4 LDPE and #5 PP (on the bottom of containers).These are frequently recycled plastics which
have not been found to leach toxins into your food. Below you'll find The Green Guide's list of
BestYet Storage Containers
Gladware Containers
Gladware Store 'n Eat
Rubbermaid EZ Topps
Rubbermaid Cereal Keeper
Rubbermaid Takealongs*
Rubbermaid Seal 'n Save *
Rubbermaid Pour 'n Save*
Rubbermaid Servin' Saver*
Tupperware Bowls (all)
Tupperware Crystal Wave Microwave Containers
Tupperware Modular Mates
Ziploc Snap 'n Seal
Ziploc Table Tops Bowls
Food Containers (#2)
Tupperware FreezeSmart
Food Packaging and Storage (#4)
BestYet Clear Plastic Wrap
Glad Cling Wrap
Glad Food Storage Bags
Glad Freezer Bags
Glad Sandwich Bags
Hefty Baggies
Hefty OneZip Slider Bags
Saran Cling Plus
Ziploc Bags
Ziploc Double Guard Freezer Bags
Food Storage (Glass)
Pyrex Glass Food Storage Containers
Baby Bottles (#5)
Rubbermaid Chuggables Bottles*
Rubbermaid Sippin' Sport Bottles*
Evenflo Colored Baby Bottles
Evenflo Baby Bottles (opaque, pastel)
Gerber Baby Bottles (colors)
Medela Baby Bottles
Baby Bottles (Glass)
Lamby Glass Baby Bottles
Evenflo Glass Baby Bottles
Bottled Water and Beverage Containers
Most 1, 1.5 and 2 liter bottled water containers are made from #1 and #2 plastic
#4 Brita Fill & Go Water Filtration Bottle
#2 Rubbermaid Pitchers (colors)*
#5 Rubbermaid Chuggables Bottles*
#5 Rubbermaid Sippin' Sport Bottles*
#5 Rubbermaid Cool Contours "Chug" Style Bottles*
#5 Rubbermaid Water Bottles*
*Rubbermaid lids and bases are made of two different kinds of plastics with two different resin
recycling codes: the lids are a #4 and the bases are #5.
Product Comparisons
Below is a table of plastic containers made from safer #2, #4 and #5 plastics organized by intended
                                                          TYPE OF
                         Name                                             PURPOSE             MSRP
Glad Freezer Bags                                       #4 LDPE         Bags             $2.29
Glad Sandwich Bags                                      #4 LDPE         Bags             $2.29
Hefty Baggies                                           #4 LDPE         Bags             $6.95-$12.95
Hefty OneZip Slider Bags (Gallon Size)                  #4 LDPE         Bags             $2.99
Ziploc Freezer Bags                                     #4 LDPE         Bags             $4.39/30
Ziploc Sandwich Bags                                    #4 LDPE         Bags             $3.29/100
Glad Cling Wrap                                         #4 LDPE         Cling Wrap       $2.99
Glad Press’n Seal Sealing Wrap                          #4 LDPE         Cling Wrap       $5.99
Saran Cling Plus                                        #4 LDPE         Cling Wrap       $2.69
Ziploc Containers (all)                                 #5 PP           Cooking/Baking   $3.29-$3.53
Arrow Colored Measuring Cups                            #5 PP           Cooking/Baking   $3.29/5-pc. set
Farberware 9-cup Marinade Dishes                        #5 PP           Cooking/Baking   $5.99
OXO Folding Cutting Boards                              #5 PP           Cooking/Baking   $14.99
Tupperware Double Colanders                             #5 PP           Cooking/Baking   $20
Tupperware Measuring Cups and Spoons                    #5 PP           Cooking/Baking   $12.50-$15.50
Impact Stackrack Jug 5 Gal.                             #2 HDPE         Drinks           $2.99
Nalgene 16-oz. HDPE Loop-Top Bottles                    #2 HDPE         Drinks           $4.53
Nat-UR Harvest Collection Cups                          PLA             Drinks           $24/50
Playtex Spill-Proof Cups (lids #2)                      #5 PP           Drinks           $6.99
Playtex Straw Cups                                      #2 HDPE         Drinks           $4.85
Rubbermaid 2-qt. Servin' Saver Mixing Pitcher           #5 PP           Drinks           $5.99
Rubbermaid 3-gal Insulated Beverage Containers and
                                                        #2 HDPE         Drinks           $28.95
Rubbermaid 8.5 oz Litterless Juice Boxes                #5 PP           Drinks           $2.99
Rubbermaid Chug Sport Bottles                           #5 PP           Drinks           $4.20
Rubbermaid Gallon Covered Pitchers                      #5 PP           Drinks           $5.29
Rubbermaid Sipper Seal                                  #5 PP           Drinks           $5.99
Rubbermaid Sippin’ Sport Bottles                        #5 PP           Drinks           $5.49
Soma Fabrications 22-oz Water Bottles                   #5 PP           Drinks           $7.99
Sterilite Plastic Tumbler                               #5 PP           Drinks           $0.50
Sterilite Ultraseal Pitchers                            #5 PP           Drinks           $2.21-$3.99
Tupperware Mickey Ice Tups Set                          #2 HDPE         Drinks           $19.50
Carlisle Store 'N Pour Gallon                           #2 HDPE         Food Storage     $5.60
Farberware 10-piece Mini-Fridge Kits                    #5 PP           Food Storage     $17.99
Farberware 23-piece Azure Blue Sets                     #5 PP           Food Storage     $19.99
GladWare Containers and Lids (all sizes)                #5 PP           Food Storage     $3.49-$5.59
Plastic Hinged Locking-Lid Containers                   PLA             Food Storage     $8.50/50
Rubbermaid (all food storage containers)                #5 PP           Food Storage     $5.99-$10.99
Sterilite 8 Piece Covered Bowl Set                      #5 PP           Food Storage     $6.29
The Container Store Rectangular Klip-It Food Storage    #5 PP           Food Storage      $2.49-$12.99
The Container Store Smart Flap Food Storage
                                                        #5 PP           Food Storage      $4.49-$4.99
The Container Store Tellfresh Oblong Food Storage       #5 PP           Food Storage      $1.99-$5.49
The Container Store Tellfresh Screw-Top Food Storage    #5 PP           Food Storage      $2.49-$3.49
The Container Store Tellfresh Snack Box                 #5 PP           Food Storage      $5.99
Tupperware Bowls (all)                                  #5 PP           Food Storage      --
Tupperware Fridge Stackables Sets                       #5 PP           Food Storage      $17
Tupperware FridgeSmart Containers                       #2 HDPE         Food Storage      $12-$26
Tupperware Modular Mates                                #5 PP           Food Storage      $9.00
Tupperware One Touch Reminder Canister                  #5 PP           Food Storage      $39.50/4
Tupperware Prep Essentials Cold Cut Keepers             #5 PP           Food Storage      $23
Tupperware Quick Shake Containers                       #5 PP           Food Storage      $11
Tupperware Spin ’N Save Salad Spinners                  #5 PP           Food Storage      $42

Plastics to Avoid
#3 PVC - #3 polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is often used frequently in cling wraps for meat. However, PVC
contains softeners called phthalates that interfere with hormonal development, and its manufacture and
incineration release dioxin, a potent carcinogen and hormone disruptor. Vinyl chloride, the primary
building block of PVC, is a known human carcinogen that also poses a threat to workers during
#6 PS - Extruded polystyrene (#6 PS; commonly known as Styrofoam) is used in take-out containers
and cups, and non-extruded PS is used in clear disposable takeout containers, disposable plastic cutlery
and cups. Both forms of PS can leach styrene into food; styrene is considered a possible human
carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It may also disrupt hormones or affect
#7 PC - #7 Polycarbonate (PC) is found in baby bottles, 5-gallon water bottles, water-cooler bottles and
the epoxy linings of tin food cans. PC is composed of a hormone-disrupting chemical called bisphenol
A, which has been linked to a wide variety of problems such as cancer and obesity.
Choose instead:
Products to Avoid:
Cups/Plates/Utensils Containers
#3 Arrow Clearview Pitcher
#6 Arrow Measuring Cups
#3 Arrow Sip-a-Mug (body is PVC, cap is PP)
#3 Arrow Sip-n-Stor cups
#5 Bodum brand plastic cutlery (thick, colored)*
#6 Chip'n Dip bowl (Ullman)
#5 Gladware containers
#7 Intellivent containers with blue lids
#6 Kingsman Plastic Cutlery (Maryland Plastic)
#3 Marvin the Martian large squeezebottle (Betras USA)
#5 Playtex Spill-Proof Cups
#5 Playtex Straw Cups
#7 Rubbermaid Clear Classics container bases*
#2 Rubbermaid Pitchers (in colors)
#5 Rubbermaid EZ Topps
#5 Rubbermaid Cereal Keeper
#5 Rubbermaid Servin' Saver
#5 Rubbermaid Ice Cube bins
#5 Rubbermaid Grip 'n Mix Bowls
#5 Rubbermaid Bowl Sets
#5 Rubbermaid Push 'n Pour Decanters
#6 All Styrofoam cups and containers
#6 Sweetheart Plastic Cutlery
#5 Tupperware bowls (all)
#5 Tupperware children's feeding lines
#5 Tupperware Crystal Wave Microwave Container
#2 Tupperware Freeze-N-Save container
#2 Tupperware ice cube tray
#2 Tupperware Ice Tups Set
#5 Tupperware Impressions line
#2 Tupperware Jel-Ring mold
#7 Tupperware Meals-in-Minutes Microsteamer base
#5 Tupperware Modular Mates
#5 Tupperware One Touch Canisters
#5 Tupperware refrigerator and freezer products (except those specified here as another plastic)
#7 Tupperware Rock N' Serve containers
#5 Ziploc containers
Food Packaging and Storage
Caution: Most cling-wrapped meats, cheeses, and other commercially-wrapped foods in delis and
grocery stores are wrapped in PVC.
#4 Glad Cling Wrap
#4 Glad-Lock bags
PVDC Glad Microwave Wrap*
#4 Hefty Baggies
#4 Hefty OneZip Slider Bags
#3 Polyvinyl Films All-Purpose Food Wrap
#3 Polyvinyl Films Freeze-tite
#3 Polyvinyl Films Stretch-tite
#3 Reynolds Wrap
#4 Saran with Cling-Plus (formerly Handi-Wrap)
PVDC Saran Classic (formerly Saran Wrap)
#4 Ziploc bags
Baby / Kids' Items
Caution: Many baby bottles are polycarbonate; however, they are typically not labeled as such and can
only be identified by calling the manufacturer.
#7 Avent Baby Bottles
#7 Avent Soft Spout Training Cups
#5 Evenflo colored Baby Bottles
#7 Evenflo Baby Bottles (clear, untinted)
#5 Evenflo Baby Bottles (opaque, pastel)
#3 Evenflo Soft Bite Spoon
#7Gerber Baby Bottles (clear only)
#3 Gerber Clear and Soft Baby Bottle Nipples*
#5 Gerber Baby Bottles (colored)
#5 Gerber's Fun Grips Spill Proof Cups
#5 Gerber 'Lil Sport Bottles Spill Proof Cups
#7 Gerber Looney Toons spill-proof cups
#7 Gerber Suzy's Zoo spill-proof cups
#5 Ideal Temp Feeding Spoons
#5 Less Mess Toddler Bowls
#5 Less Mess Toddler Spoons
#5 Stroll 'N Snack Cups
#5 Medela Baby Cups
#5 Medela Baby Bottles and feeders
#7 Playtex Cherub, Juice and Trainer Cups
#7 Playtex Baby Bottles
#4 Playtex disposable Baby Bottle Liners
#5 Sassy E-Z Grip Cups
#5 Sassy E-Z Grip First Feeding Bowls
#5 Sassy MAM Spill-Proof Cups
#7 Sassy MAM 3-Step Baby Bottles
#5 Sip-a-Bowl by Arrow Plastic
#5 Temperature Sensitive Forks and Spoons
#7 The First Years Baby Bottles
#7 The First Years Peek-a-Boo Cups
#5 The First Years Sesame Street Trainer Cups
#5 The First Years Tumble Mates (Spill-Proof and Trainer Cups)
#5 The First Years Winnie the Pooh Trainer Cups
#7 Tuppercare Baby Bottles
Water Bottles
#7 Most 5 Gallon Bottles for water coolers
#3 Appalachian Mountain (gallon size)
#4 Bell Brand Athletic Squeeze Bottles (colors)
#5 Bell Brand Athletic Squeeze Bottles (clear)
#5 Rubbermaid Chuggables bottles
#5 Rubbermaid Sipp 'N Sport bottles
Most 1-, 1.5-, 2-liter (and smaller) beverage bottles are made from #1 or #2

Safer Use of Plastics for Storage
Store Food without Phthalates
Petroleum-based plastics are all over kitchens, from vinyl floor tiles to storage containers and handy
wraps. But the phthalates used to soften plastics and vinyl enter the air and our food, affecting the
hormones of developing children. Choose phthalate-free, recyclable containers and wraps such as
Gladware containers, Tupperware's Freezesmart line and Glad Cling Wrap.
   ●   When purchasing cling-wrapped food from the supermarket or deli, slice off a thin layer where
       the food came into contact with the plastic and store the rest in a glass or ceramic container or
       wrap it in non-PVC cling wrap.
   ●   Avoid storing fatty foods, such as meat and cheese, in plastic containers or plastic wrap.
   ●   Hand-wash reusable containers gently with a nonabrasive soap; dishwashers and harsh
       detergents can scratch plastic, making hospitable homes for bacteria.
   ●   A "microwave-safe" or "microwavable" label on a plastic container only means that it shouldn't
       melt, crack or fall apart when used in the microwave. The label is no guarantee that containers
       don't leach chemicals into foods when heated.
   ●   It's best to remove food from plastic containers or wraps and instead microwave the food in
       glass or ceramic containers.
   ●   The FDA advises placing microwave-safe plastic wrap loosely over food so that the steam can
       escape. Plastic wrap should not directly touch your food.
   ●   The USDA warns on its website against microwaving in single-use containers not intended for
       cooking, such as takeout platters or margarine tubs.
   ●   Never use plastic storage bags, grocery bags, newspapers or aluminum foil in the microwave.
Reducing Your Use of Plastic
We could all do with a little less plastic in our lives, no matter the type of resin. All plastics are made
from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource, and produced under extremely energy-intensive conditions,
so here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping:
   ●   Always opt for plastic containers that are accepted for recycling in your area.
   ●   Avoid single-use, non-recyclable disposable packaging, such as Styrofoam meat trays, and
       clam-shell containers.
   ●   Buy food in glass or metal containers
   ●   Bring your own containers to restaurants, if you suspect you might have leftovers.
   ●   If you do get takeout you'll be eating at home, don't take plastic cutlery or condiment packets.
   ●   Avoid plastic cooking tools; use stainless steel or wooden utensils instead.
   ●   Replace your plastic cutting boards with wood. You can spray wooden boards with a mist of
       vinegar, then with a mix of hydrogen peroxide, to kill bacteria.
   ●   Take your plastic grocery bags to a local Wal-Mart or Whole Foods to be recycled.
The Extra Step:
Write a letter to manufacturers of foods and drinks packaged in unsafe #3, #6 or #7 plastics, and tell
them you want products packaged in safe, reusable glass, metal or recycled plastic. You can find a
mailing address on their products, by calling their toll-free question/comment line or on their website.
And don't stop at the grocery store. Call the owners of your favorite coffee shop, restaurant or cafe and
ask them to improve their policies for reusable containers. Some food-service joints fear reprimands
from the local Health Department by allowing customers to use their own containers for takeout or for
coffee. Find out your health department's stance on the issue and encourage restaurants to be more
lenient in their policies.
Resources and References
For kitchenware: 800-663-8810,
Frye International: 866-573-3793,
Green Earth Office Supply: 800-327-8449,
Instawares Restaurant Supply: 800-892-3622,
Kitchen Emporium: 888-858-7920
Kitchen Etc.: 800-232-4070
Klean Kanteen: 550-342-3900,
Pampered Chef: 888-687-2433,
Reston Lloyd, Ltd.: 703-437-0003
Reusable Bags (Sigg Water Bottles):
Sur la Table: 800-243-0852,
The Container Store: 888-CONTAIN,
Tufty Ceramics:
Tupperware: 800-366-3800,
For corn-based plastics:
BioBag:, 727-789-1646
Green Earth Office Supply:, 800-327-8449
Greenware:, 303-449-1876
Simply Biodegradable: 866-782-2371,
For baby bottles and feeders:
Medela: 800-435-8316,
The Natural Baby Catalog: 888-373-4037,
Vermont Stone Gifts: 803-747-7744,
Baby SuperMall: 888-276-6654,

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: 888-422-8737
American Plastics Council: 800-2-HELP-90,
American Plastics Council, "2003 National Post Consumer Plastics Recycling Report,"
Friends of the Earth, Plastics Fact Sheet,
National Institutes of Health, "Tenth Annual Report on Carcinogens,"
Science News, "Food for Thought: What's Coming Out of Baby's Bottle?",
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, November-December 2002 FDA Consumer "Plastics and the
Ecology Center, "PVC-Free Future: A Review of Restrictions and PVC-Free Policies Worldwide,"
Ecology Center, "1996 Report of the Berkeley Plastics Task Force,"
Environmental Protection Agency, "House Waste Facts,"
Environmental Protection Agency, "Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2001 Facts and
Our Stolen Future,"New Science: Uses of Bisphenol A,"