What are some alternatives to plastics?

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Wed, 03/22/2006 - 15:24.

Concern for the environment and the long term health of my family has inspired me to seek out alternatives to tupperware, plastic wrap, plastic bags, etc. Do you have similar concerns? What have you come up with for some of the situations where people typically use plastic (food storage in the refrigerator and freezer, cups and bowls for babies and small children, etc)? Please post your thoughts and any interesting links.

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ZM has me concerned...

I've never thought much about plastics. All those plastic storage wraps and containers are handy, but I don't use them that much - covering a bowl to nuke, etc... which now makes me concerned about heating and plastic... is that bad?

If it aint BIOBASED, its take-make-waste.

I have MANY of the same concerns Evelyn.  Have you seen the documentry Blue Vinyl?  Its like our rallying cry.   The antiplastic (pvc) battle for the time being continues to be fought in the green building industry segment.  Its a good place for that... after all next to food, I think green building is the second wave of sustainability, gently lifting us up and carrying us closer to the tipping point at a pace that is not fast enough. 

I cant phase out plastics from my life entirely, its beyond my control.. but what I can do is learn and educate others about the VASTLY disparate environmental attributes assocaited with different types of plastics.

PVC is an antiquated polymer that if your going to come out against plastics, you should have an opinion on.   Did you know that one can get a green building tax credit in the state of New York for having a low or no PVC building?

Pthalates are another one of the evil nasty chemicals that I am positive 50 years from now we will be looking back at like DDT. Its a plastics softener.   Its also in some hair conditioners, and other personal products.

Long live the precautionary principle and thank the Lord that the EU Environmental Commission takes it into account when drafting environmental laws.  Pthalates are banned inMANY countries for use in toys.  (WHY ARE THEY NOT BANNED HERE?

I wish I could link to my other pieces on nasty plastics and the precautionary principle really easy right here.   anyone anyone?

FYI the latest international dish / scoop on plastics and their impact on humanoids and their environ (yes I said 'their' environ.. ha haaa we are at zee top of zee food chain you know).   Anyhow  google C8.  Now theres a scary name for a Teflon ingrediant.   Made in southern ohio for use in cooking and plastics products world wide.    If you did not know already one of the largest medical surveilance efforts ever conducted by the USEPA is taking place in southern ohio... all around the plant where this stuff leaked into drinking water.  I understand 60,000 people are having their blood tested to to assess C8 levels. 

How long has teflon been around, how long have you been cooking with it?

I am all for CAST IRON.  Aluminum is bad too but we'll leave that for later.

FIELD RECON::

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate

Living On Earth Pthalate Focus:
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=05-P13-00021&segmentID=2

Ohio's Own OCA speak speak on the topic of Teflon
http://www.ohiocitizen.org/campaigns/dupont_c8/dupont_c8.html

Fixed link issue as well

Thanks for prodding me on that ZM - I just needed to reconfigure the input filters... I've been meaning to do that for a while. We'll be making lots of huge upgrades now that out new tech guru Phillip Williams is on-board. Keep the bugs, gripes, suggestions and ideas coming!

 

Just to make sure the links work right, here's home: http://realneo.us

all of my links are dead

wasss aaaa biiiii       whats up with that. 

ZM Has Broadened My Perspective ...

I checked out the sites ZM suggested. Fascinating information! Much of it I had never heard of before. The Wikipedia article was startling : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate. Who would have thought sex toys could be bad for your health? The article gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "safe sex".

The risks plastics pose to unborn children are particularly alarming. Any woman of childbearing age should know the potential dangers in substances nearly everyone uses everyday. Last spring I posted a story from the Organic Consumer's website about potential dangers to mothers and children from chemicals in commonly used products such as moisturizers, diaper ointments, shampoos etc http://realneo.us/news/2005/03/25/be-aware-of-cancer-risks-for-children-.... ZM's information about Pthalates is a great addition.

When I posted the question I was thinking in terms of phasing out plastic bags and tupperware in my family's life, but now I realize I should be thinking much bigger. The world -- especially -- the U.S. -- needs to change. Who knows what the cost of all these "convenient" products will be to the environment and future generations?

I have not seen the film Blue Vinyl, but I will soon. A friend of mine saw it at the Cleveland International Film Festival a few years ago and had good things to say about it. I remember her talking about the necklaces made of the toxic plastic.