Over the past few years, the potential dangers of bisphenol A (BPA) have been made abundantly clear; it’s a known endocrine disrupt-er and has been linked to obesity, reproductive problems and cancer. Commonly found in plastics, BPA has been detected in the urine of 95% of Canadians aged three to 79, so we know it migrates from containers to their contents to us.
Although many plastics are now BPA-free, some people have lingering concerns and would rather bypass plastic altogether. For food storage and lunch options, moms and families want the same convenience and ease-of-cleaning that plastic provides, but without the harmful chemicals. Take a look at these five alternatives:
Study after study has proven glass to be inert and non-leaching. Glass can go in the dishwasher and be used in the oven or microwave. And, it uses less energy to manufacture compared to plastic. Available in every possible shape and size, glass water bottles and food containers can hold warm-hot and cold contents, reduce waste and are a smart choice for litterless lunches.
- Swap out your plastic water bottle for a glass one, like this one from Lifefactory.
- If you have a wee one in daycare, use glass to provide homemade baby food and breast milk.
2. Food-Grade Stainless Steel
This plastic alternative is high quality, sanitary and does not rust or corrode. You’ll find stainless steel in commercial kitchens, hospitals and other food applications as it can be sterilized. Stainless steel is an effective insulator, keeping food or beverages hot or cold. It lasts a lifetime and if it does dent with heavy usage, stainless steel is 100% recyclable.
- Ditch plastic straws and get stainless steel straws instead.
- Tiffins look amazing, keep food hot or cold and are incredibly practical!
3. Bamboo & Wood
Renewable and biodegradable, bamboo (a fast-growing grass) and wood are natural materials with antibacterial properties. When choosing a bamboo or wood product, look for organic, reclaimed or certified as renewable options.
- For kids who tend to lose utensils, use bamboo utensils as an alternative to plastic disposables.
4. Organic Cotton
Organic cotton is grown without pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Sure, cotton reduces your environmental footstep, but when it comes to litterless lunch options like lunch and snack bags, it’s an abundantly practical option as it can be washed and used over and over again.
- Ditch the waste of plastic lunch and snack bags and go for organic cotton.
Many people find it difficult to kick the plastic bag habit. Why not go old-school and switch to renewable paper bags for sandwiches? When free of ink, minimally inked or printed with soy or other veggie-based inks, paper is compostable in just a few short months.
- Use paper alternatives to plastic sandwich bags like these ones from If You Care.
Share with us your favorite plastic alternatives