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Home Blog Wellness 10 WAYS TO REDUCE PLASTIC EXPOSURE

Wellness

10 WAYS TO REDUCE PLASTIC EXPOSURE

3rd July 2018
Anthia Koullouros
  1. Avoid microwaving your food in plastic containers. The heat from the microwave can separate BPA-like compounds from plastic containers, making them easier for the consumer to ingest. If you must use plastic containers, you should avoid the microwave. Microwavable takeout dinner trays are formulated for one-time use only and will say so on the package. Old, scratched, or cracked containers, or those that have been microwaved many times, may leach out more plasticizers. Before microwaving food, be sure to vent the container: leave the lid ajar, or lift the edge of the cover. Don’t let plastic wrap touch food during microwaving because it may melt. Wax paper, kitchen parchment paper, white paper towels, or a domed container that fits over a plate or bowl are better alternatives. When heating or storing food, choose glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
  2. Reduce or stop using canned foods, lined in plastic as well as ready-made or frozen meals wrapped in plastics. Choose ready-made food in glass containers or make fresh.
  3. Use BPA free baby bottles. Choose glass bottles with a BPA free teat.
  4. Avoid handling thermal roll receipts. Receipts from cash registers and credit card/debit machines may contain BPA, BPS (Bisphenol S) or BPF (Bisphenol F). Use gloves if you job is to deal with them everyday.
  5. Give plastic free toys to children made out of natural fibres and chemical free wood.
  6. Do not reuse plastic containers to heat food in. These include margarine tubs, take-out containers and other one-time use containers, which are more likely to melt and cause chemicals to leach into food.
  7. Avoid plastic containers when ordering take away. Ask for compostable containers or take your own glass or ceramic.
  8. Refuse plastic shopping bags, pre-packed fruit and vegetables with shrink plastic and single or multiple use plastic items such as:
  • Purchase metal or paper or ask for without.
  • Takeaway cups. Bring your own cup.
  • Plastic utensils. Bring your own utensils.
  • Drinks in plastic bottles. Choose glass.
  • One serve condiments and spreads such as soy sauce, wasabi, ginger, jam, butter, margarine.
  • Single use plastic coffee pods. Make coffee from ground coffee beans or use the metal coffee pods.
  • Plastic silk teabags. Choose biodegradable silk teabag, make a loose leaf tea in a teapot or use a tea infuser.
  • Cling wrap. Use beeswax wrapping, Pyrex or ceramic dishes with lids or wrap a container in a tea towel.
  • Plastic menstrual pads and tampons. Use a reusable pad, the new reusable padded underwear or menstrual cups.
  • Nappies or incontinence pads.
  • Plastic coffee or drink stirrers. Use metal spoon.
  • Food plastic wrapping containing pasta, grains, seeds, nuts, beans, bread, meat etc. Buy in bulk from a bulk food store or health food store using your own containers or paper or reusable bags.
  • Plastic floss. Buy 100% organic cotton floss.
  • Plastic earbuds. Buy 100% organic cotton buds.
  • Plastic toothbrushes. Purchase bamboo or wooden kinds.
  • Plastic razors. Purchase metal kinds.
  • Plastic sandwich wrappers. Wrap in paper or beeswax.
  • Plastic bin liners. Choose compostable kinds.
  • Plastic wrapped around your dry cleaning clothes. Ask for without.
  • Wine in a carton which is usually contained in a plastic bladder. Choose glass bottles.

9. Recycle. Can you believe that only 9 percent of all plastic is recycled? Such a small percentage for an activity that can have an important impact on the pollution of our planet. Whether it’s investing in a household recycling bin or research local recycling facilities – doing our part to dispose of our plastic properly can cut down on the current plastic problem across Australia. For Business recycling visit

10. Collect soft plastics. Many of us can’t eliminate plastics entirely but we can collect soft plastics. Your nearest supermarket collects scrunchable plastics. The REDcycle Program makes it easy for consumers to keep plastic bags and packaging out of landfill. What do they do with the scrunchable plastic? Collected plastic is returned to RED Group’s facility for initial processing, then delivered to Victorian manufacturer Replas where it undergoes an incredible transformation. Replas uses the material as the resource to produce a huge range of recycled-plastic products, from fitness circuits to sturdy outdoor furniture, bollards, signage and more. Find out more about Replas here.

Scrunchable plastics include:

  • Biscuit packets (outer wrapper only).
  • Bread bags (without the tie).
  • Bubble wrap (large sheets cut into A3 size pieces).
  • Cat and dog food pouches (as clean and dry as possible).
  • Cellophane from bunches of flowers (cut into A3 size pieces).
  • Cereal box liners.
  • Chip and cracker packets (silver lined).
  • Chocolate and snack bar wrappers.
  • Cling Wrap – free of food residue.
  • Confectionery bags.
  • Dry pet food bags.
  • Fresh produce bags.
  • Frozen food bags.
  • Green bags (Polypropylene Bags).
  • Ice cream wrappers.
  • Large sheets of plastic that furniture comes wrapped in (cut into A3 size pieces).
  • Netting produce bags (any metal clips removed).
  • Newspaper and magazine wrap.
  • Pasta bags.
  • Plastic Australia Post satchels.
  • Plastic carrier bags from all stores.
  • Plastic film wrap from grocery items such as nappies and toilet paper.
  • Plastic sachets.
  • Potting mix and compost bags – both the plastic and woven polypropylene types (cut into A3 size pieces and free of as much product as possible).
  • Rice bags – both plastic and the woven type (if large, cut into A3 size pieces).
  • Snap lock bags / zip lock bags.
  • Squeeze pouches with lid on (e.g. yogurt/baby food).
  • Wine bladders – clear plastic ones only.
  • Thin foil-like plastic sleeves and packets that some biscuits, chocolate bars, crackers and chips come in are fine to be recycled via REDcycle but thick foiled plastic bags such as those used for coffee and tea packaging is not recyclable.

JOIN PLASTIC FREE JULY AND FOR EXTRA INSPIRATION FOLLOW

@cleanupausofficial @waragainstwaste @4ocean @plasticfreemermaid @plastictides @lifewithoutplastic @plasticoceans @zerowastehome @rocket_science @fayedelanty @lowtoxlife @solcups @ovvioorganics @greenpeace @1millionwomen @zero.waste.collective @ourplanetark @environmentalworkinggroup @_sarahwilson_ @plasticfreejuly

CHOOSE A LOW TOX LIFE & KEEP HEALTHY

Chemicals are not just toxic to us; they are toxic to our environment. They end up in our waterways when we shower or wash our teeth, they end up in the water we drink and the soil we grow our food in, they end up in the air we breathe and they affect all living things.

Remove the chemicals in your environment and replace them with natural, clean foods and products, these include laundry, kitchen, bathroom, beauty and personal care products.

Here are the 12 hormone-altering chemicals found in everyday products we use: BPA; Dioxin; Atrazine; Phthalates; Perchlorate; Fire retardants; Lead; Arsenic; Mercury; Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs); Organophosphate pesticides; and Glycol Ethers. Here are 10 common additives found in foods and fluids we consume: Agents; Emulsifiers; Food acids; Food colours; Food flavours; Food enhancers; Sweeteners; Functional ingredients – synthetic vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; Preservatives; and Thickeners.

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