How To Choose The Right Plastic Food Containers?
Plastic food containers...plastics often come into contact with foods both in storage, shipping, and selling or displaying various edible options. Plastics can help keep foods fresh and keep out unwanted debris. The main types of plastics impact food differently.
-PET, or Polyethylene terephthalate, is safe around food. It is used widely in soft drink bottles and condiment containers among other things. It is not known to leech chemicals onto foods or products. PET also has the benefit of being easily recyclable.
-HDPE, or High density polyethylene, is largely used in making plastic grocery bag and trash bags. It should also be safe in contact with edibles and has also should not leech chemicals onto foods.
-V, PVC, or Polyvinyl chloride, is a plastic often used in cling wrap such as that found on cheese and meats. This type of plastic is actually considered very bad, and will leech chemicals onto food, including some that are considered carcinogenic and harmful to humans, especially when ingested.
-LDPE stands for Low-density polyethylene. This plastic is used to make bread bags and freezer bags. It is not considered harmful to foods, but is also not as easily recycled as some other types of plastics.
-Polypropylene, or PP, is used for yogurt cups and some condiment bottles. It emits several harmful chemicals into foods, such as benzene. It also requires an excessive amount of energy to create and recycle.
-All other main types of plastics are often various polycarbonates. These are used to make plastic silverware and often microwave containers. These do leech chemicals into food, and also add levels of estrogen to edibles, which harmfully disrupt regular body function.
Of the many main types of plastics, and many places plastics are already found in our daily lives, PET may be one of the best options. PET is easily recycled and can be remade in to a variety of products, including more PET plastic containers.
It has been show to not leech chemicals or add biologically to food housed in our around it. PET is durable and lightweight, and provides a good seal against outside liquids or gases that could potentially contaminate the product.
PET is FDA approved, and widely accepted as a safe material for packaging and use with food. Found to be safe by the Food and Drug Administration, PET has been tested and found not to add indirect food additives. This means that the product stays safe and secure but is not altered by the packaging.
The many differing types of plastics can impact foods subtly but drastically. Plastics that are already encountered in our day to day lives many have harmful long term impacts on our health and wellbeing. Some choices are better than others, both in impact of food, and also in the impact on our planet and environment. A plastic that successfully protects food without adding chemicals or harming the health of the consumer will be the best option, and when the plastic is reclaimable the benefits stretch even further for both consumers and producers.
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