Do you read labels on plastic bottles before you buy something? If you never do this, it is high time you begin to! These are some of the reasons why…
Every plastic packaging must have a label denoting the type of material used for its production which shows the amount of harmfulness of the material. Namely, the plastic from which the packaging is made can release different chemicals in the water that are detrimental for our health and normal body balance. Moreover, besides food and drinks, the plastic in which cosmetics is contained is also harmful, as well as the plastic packaging which looks as if it is made from Styrofoam. Additionally, the plastic packaging in which delivery food is packed releases carcinogenic substances upon heating, i.e. when you put warm food in it.
All plastic packaging must be labeled with information about the chemicals from which it is made. This sign is usually in the shape of a triangle with a number inside and letters bellow. Therefore, upon buying plastic packaging, first look for the label and see what it means.
PET or PETE
PET is one of the most frequently used plastics for consumer products and it is present in most water bottles and non alcoholic drinks. It is meant for one time use, whereas long term use can increase the risk of appearance and development of bacteria. Bottles made from this material can sometimes contain heavy metals and chemicals which affect the hormonal balance. PET packaging is hard to disinfect and proper cleaning entails harmful chemicals.
HDP or HDPE
HDP is a solid plastics used for milk bottles, detergents, oils, toys, and some plastic bags. This type of plastics does not secrete chemicals. Therefore, experts recommend buying water bottles with this sign since it is probably the safest choice and contains the cleanest water.
PVC or 3V
Oil bottles, colorless food foil, toys for children and pets, bubble wrap, etc. are made from PVC which is a soft, flexible plastics. This type of plastics releases two poisonous chemicals that affect the hormones in the body. Experts recommend buying alternative products if you are able to find such.
This plastic cannot be used for bottle production even though it does not release any chemicals in the water. However, you should avoid buying food in this type of packaging since you are at risk of consuming some dangerous chemicals along with the food.
This is another white, colored, or colorless plastic used as packaging for syrup, yogurt, etc. This plastic is solid and light with great qualities such as heat resistant i.e. if you heat it up, it will not melt. People also use it as a protective layer against mold, chemicals, and grease.
Polystyrene is a cheap, light plastics widely applied. It is most frequently used for production of plastic cups, plastic food boxes, egg packaging, plastic cutlery, etc. This kind of plastics releases some carcinogenic substances upon heating and it is inappropriate for storing food and beverage in it.
PC or plastics without a label
It is often used for production of sport water bottles and cutlery for food storing. This is the most dangerous plastics you will encounter. Protocols for this type of plastics are not standardized when it comes to reuse and recycling. There is danger from the chemical entering the food or drink you consume.
Reference: Simple Organic Life