The question of whether plastics can harm human health has been debated for years. Pamela Allardice has the latest.
Two to watch
- Use glass, stainless steel, ceramic, china or BPA- and phthalate-free plastic containers. Discard or recycle containers that become cloudy, warped or scratched.
- Don't microwave plastic unless the container has a "microwave safe" label.
- Only use plastic for the purpose it is intended for, e.g. don't microwave margarine tubs or reheat takeaway food containers.
- Wash plastic in warm, soapy water instead of in the dishwasher.
- Use cling wrap made from low-density polyethylene, rather than PVC. Do not allow wrap to come into contact with sugary or high-fat foods like cheese while cooking as compounds in plastic may leach out when heated. Or, use waxed paper instead.
- Avoid toys made from PVC or vinyl.
- Switch to natural, phthalate-free cosmetics and personal care products packed in post-consumer recycled plastic packaging.
- Recycle: every day offers choices where you can cut plastic use or return it for reuse in fleece clothing, luggage, hoses, handbags, shoes and dozens of other products.