If we look around, our food is always touching plastic. Food gets processed on plastic equipment, and packaged in plastic boxes. At home, we keep the leftovers in plastic containers. That’s why we need to stop and think about the effects of the plastic on our food.
Plastic containers contain several chemicals, some of which are said to be harmful. You should avoid two chemicals in particular: Bisphenol A and phthalates. To avoid these two, you need to know the type of plastic you’re using. You can identify the type of plastic in a container by looking at the recycling code number and here’s what each number means.
-Type 1: Polyethylene Teraphthalate
This type is light-weight, clear and smooth; it’s made to be used only once and not reused. This type’s containers have the symbol "PET" on them.
-Type 2: High-Density Polyethylene
This type is not known to contain any hurtful chemicals. This type’s containers have the symbol "HDPE" on them.
-Type 3: Polyvinyl Chloride
Polyvinyl chloride contains phthalates that can cause reproductive problems in animals and humans. Polyvinyl chloride containers have the symbol "V" on them.
-Type 4: Low-Density Polyethylene
This type is flexible and resistant to solvents. It does not contain any known harmful chemicals. This type’s containers have the symbol "LDPE" on them.
-Type 5: Polypropylene
Polypropylene containers do not leach injurious chemicals into foods or liquids. Type 5 plastic is flexible, hard and has high resistance to solvents. This type’s containers have the symbol "PP" on them.
-Type 6: Polycarbonate
The containers made of this type should be avoided because they may contain bisphenol A that leaches into their contents. Type 6 plastics often have the symbol "PC" or "Other" on them.
Finally, make sure to choose wisely the type of plastic for your food containers so you won’t end up being harmed by them.