Which plastic quality is best?
3 types of plastic that are considered as safer options among the others are Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High-Density Polyethylene (2-HDPE), and Polypropylene (5-PP).
Number 3 Plastic:
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is not a safe plastic for food and drinks. You should not cook near this plastic which is used for food wrap, plumbing pipes and bottles for cooking oil. There are softening chemicals used in the plastic that can interfere with your hormonal development if eaten or absorbed.
To summarize, plastics in categories #2, #4 and #5 are generally considered safe. Be weary of putting them in the microwave, even if they are labeled “microwave-safe”. Plastics #1, #3, #6 and #7 should be used with varying to extreme caution, especially around food or drink.
Code 7 is the recycling code for plastics that contain BPA and must be avoided at all cost. Although codes 3 and 6 technically do not contain BPA, the chemicals that are used to manufacture these products also pose serious risks to our health.
Products made of #1 (PET) plastic should be recycled but not reused. To use less PET plastic, consider switching to reusable beverage containers and replacing disposable food packaging with reusable alternatives.
04/10How to identify the right plastic containers
Not all plastic containers release harmful chemicals, so no need to panic, The plastic containers that have #2, #4 and #5 printed at the bottom, are considered safe for food storage. While the one with #1, is a single-use container.
Dr. Trasande recommended avoiding items labeled 3 for phthalates, 7 for bisphenols and 6 for styrene. (Styrene, which is found in Styrofoam and other plastic products, is “reasonably anticipated” to be a human carcinogen, according to the National Institutes of Health.)
Items with BPA content:
Avoid plastics with symbol # 3 (PVC or polyvinyl, which contains phthalates), symbol # 6 (PS or polystyrene foam or Styrofoam) and symbol # 7 (other, including BPA).
If they container has a #5 on it, it is made from polypropylene, PP, so it is generally considered microwave safe.
Number 7 plastics are made up of various resins, which fit into no other categories; while some are safe, some are suspect. Some contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen that could disrupt the human hormone system, causing various health effects.
Which plastic is not harmful?
When you do use plastics, look for these resin codes which are considered safer: #2 HDPE, #4 LDPE, and #5 PP. Examples of #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene) include: bottled milk, water and juice, yogurt cups, and some plastic bags.
Any plastic that does not fall under one of those six types has a 7 inside the triangle. These plastics include nylon and polycarbonate and are found in certain food containers, signs and displays, computers and electronic devices, DVDs, sunglasses, and bulletproof materials.
Number 7 - OTHER: They are made of any combination of 1-6 or another, less commonly used plastic. Biodegradable plastics, like cups made of corn, are NOT recyclable. Though they have the recycling #7, this only means "other plastics", including non-petroleum based.
Products stamped with a 7 are often made out of multiple plastic types or out of other types of plastic that can't easily be recycled.
HDPE has a higher density as opposed to the previous one. It is used for milk jugs, household cleaner containers, juice bottles, shampoo bottles, cereal box liners, and more. Similarly, to what was mentioned earlier, this plastic is considered safe to use and be in contact with food and beverages.
Polypropylene is a plastic. Of the commercial plastics on the market today, polypropylene is considered one of the safest. It's FDA-approved for food contact, so you'll find polypropylene in food containers like those that hold yogurt, cream cheese, and butter products.
HDPE or High Density Poly Ethelene plastic has an amazing temperature range, and is considered safe for short periods up to 248°F (120°C) or for long periods up to 230°F (110°C.) Since boiling water never gets above 100°C, this means that anything boiling and below is safe for a food grade bucket.
Polypropylene (PP) is usually considered safe for humans. It is considered the safest of all plastics; it is a robust heat-resistant plastic. Because of its high heat tolerance, it is unlikely to leach even when exposed to warm or hot water. It is approved for use with food and beverage storage.
PP — Polypropylene is noted as the number 5 on the triangle code. This plastic is tough and may be stiff or flexible. Yogurt containers, margarine tubs and medicine bottles are examples of food grade containers made from this plastic.
It is safe. Less expensive, bulk plastic wraps sold to the catering trade are not as safe, however. These products are commonly made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can contain harmful plasticizers that have been shown to leach into fatty foods such as cheese, meat, and fish.
Which plastic is safe for kids?
Polyethylene Terephthalate is commonly known as PET or PETE. It is a clear and transparent sort of plastic which is mostly used in water, colas and medicine bottles. As a raw material PET is globally known to be a safe, non-toxic, strong, lightweight and is a flexible material.
Studies have found that certain chemicals in plastic can leach out of the plastic and into the food and beverages we eat. Some of these chemicals have been linked to health problems such as metabolic disorders (including obesity) and reduced fertility.
Most Tupperware products are made of LDPE or PP, and as such are considered safe for repeated use storing food items and cycling through the dishwasher.
Plastic #4 – LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)
It is flexible and tough but breakable and considered less toxic than other plastics, and relatively safe. However, it is not commonly recycled, and this is changing in many communities today as more recycling programs gear up to handle this kind of material.
Exposure to BPA is a concern because of the possible health effects on the brain and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. It can also affect children's behavior. Additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.