Harmful Effects of Plastic Waste

Plastic, you see them everywhere: bottles, razors, food boxes, furniture, pens, water bottles, etc. But what does that matter exactly?
According to Sullivan, professor of physics and chemistry in Gironde (33), “plastics are derived from petroleum. These are polymers obtained by polymerization (starting from a simple molecule (called monomer) and the goal is to hold onto this molecule with its neighbors (thus identical) to form a long chain of molecules (called macromolecule)”

The problem is that the plastic has an enemy: heat. Indeed,” the danger of plastic comes primarily builders, solvents, catalysts and other chemicals that are used to cause polymerization, for tinting, or to change the properties of plastics.  Most of the time, the negative effects come of the thermal degradation of plastics (… when heated or that the burn). This releases chemicals in contact with the plastic or in the air cells (in the case of combustion). Depending on the chemicals and the amount is ingested, there are greater or lesser health risks (irritant, carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction …)”

But there are many common uses of hot plastic. Let’s see how to avoid them easily to avoid swallowing or inhaling chemical solvents (rather well as a program, right?)

These uses are happening mainly in the kitchen. Let’s start with the food containers.

Plastic boxes (such as Tupperware )

Now that you know that contact with a hot substance, plastic can migrate therein or in the atmosphere, have you always want to put your hot dishes in your boxes Tupperware to carry them or keep them? Do not panic, there are two solutions: just wait for the food cool before putting it in the box.
Alternatively, find an alternative to the boxes themselves, not to take any risks (although my meal was cold, I do not like the idea that it is in prolonged contact with plastic). My favorite way to replace these boxes are glass jars. Inexpensive and sizes, they are convenient to get around the plastic and particularly in transportation(picnic or lunch on the go, for example). You can, safe washing in the dishwasher. I find them, what is more, an advantage over plastic boxes: they are much more resistant (well, do not try either of them to fall from the second floor, I speak more resistance in time! ). The plastic boxes tend to split very quickly or yellow (scary). Glass jars, them you will remain loyal. To keep leftovers in the fridge, think also just to small cups, bowls or mugs (well, not in plastic of course, because there we gain nothing more !).

Warm His Food

Another frequent use of hot plastic that is in micro-wave ovens. Same solution as above. There replace plastic boxes with cups, jars and bowls to heat your dishes But remember that using a microwave can be very dangerous: it changes the chemical structure of your food and sends waves microphones within 5 meters of the oven …

The Mixer

Consider also the mixer: bring its boiling vegetables in plastic bowl from the mixer to the soup is usually a limit if you can. You can, as discussed below, wait for the food to cool. Another solution is to put hot food in a bowl and mix it with a “giraffe neck” (also called ”  mixing arm”) . This type of mixer is mostly plastic but the surface in contact with food is limited. It is not a perfect solution but it is always better and sometimes useful.

The Right Utensils

After containers, also think of cooking utensils. Many photos or cooking videos (even professional) on which the / a cook / era mixture directly into the pan with a flexible plastic spatula. Here the problem is the same: the heated plastic (at a high temperature SINCE in contact with the edges or the bottom of the pan to the heat) . Opt for just spatulas or wooden spoons or stainless steel (avoid aluminum which can be unhealthy as well). Inexpensive, pretty nice, washable in dishwasher crockery and almost impossible to burn , they are even more convenient to use than their plastic cronies.

The bottle trap

Another dangerous encounter between plastic and heat, but this time more hidden occurs with plastic bottles. Some large supermarkets store their soda bottles or pallets of water in the back of their store… outside… . sunlight… Makes you wonder if it’s even legal brief, it is all it is better to avoid home also: let your plastic water bottle in the sun or in a hot place. The plastic migrates into the liquid, which is not really appetizing. To avoid this, simply replace your plastic bottles with water bottle or thermos (read here my tips for the / select it!) . To replace sodas (stored in plastic bottles, but also expensive and very sweet), consider homemade drinks but very simple, as iced tea for lazy (yes, that’s possible!).

To summarize: avoid the possible to expose your hot food to plastics or your plastic (food here, but this is valid for other uses) at a high temperature. To avoid risk, you can completely eliminate the plastic of your habits and use other alternatives equally practices, such as glass. But above all remember: we do not change his habits (especially food) overnight. This transition from plastic to other materials necessarily takes time. Mine took several months, so do not be discouraged!

If you have any comments, tips or other tricks to avoid the migration of plastic into your food or your environment, reviewing this paper, we want to know!

Do not forget to read also: The art of washing the dishes by hand with only 2L of water…

Leave a Reply