It can sometimes seem with kids that your life and home becomes overrun with plastic, plastic toys, plastic bottles and plastic storage containers. But for many parents this overwhelming amount of plastic items has become a source of concern.
Plastic contains many chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine disrupters, and many fear that these chemicals are having adverse effects on the public’s health. Officially, the chemicals found in most commercial plastic products are deemed to be at acceptably safe levels but many families are choosing to reduce the amount of plastic items in their home in order to further reduce their exposure to said chemicals.
One of the biggest nasties found in plastic is BPA and BPS, which has been linked with breast cancer, miscarriage, prostate cancer along with leaching a neurotoxin that can cause liver and kidney damage. Because of the growing awareness of the potential dangers of BPA/BPS many plastic items, especially those for children are now marketed as being BPA/BPS free. While this is definitely a step in the right direction BPA-free plastic still contains a number of chemicals that are potentially detrimental to health. So is the only answer to do away with plastic in your home completely?
The idea of making your home totally plastic free may not be a practical one but there are steps you can take to reduce your and your families reliance on plastic items. This has the additional benefit of helping the environment as plastic items do not degrade and so cause significant environmental impact.
One of the main areas where you can get rid of some plastic items is in your kitchen. Leaving food and drink stored in plastic containers may cause the chemicals in the plastic to leach into your meals and beverages, which are then absorbed by the body. Luckily, there are a host of great glass food storage options available from brands such as Life Factory and Wean Green. Using specially formulated tempered glass these containers and bottles are durable and ideal for when you’re on the go.
It is also worth investing in glass baby bottles if you’re bottle-feeding your baby, again Life Factory do a great range as do Born Free. Stainless steel containers and water bottles are another handy option.
It’s probably impossible to have no plastic toys at home, especially as well-meaning friends and family will inevitably buy your kids them!
You can reduce the amount of plastic toys your children are exposed to by only buying them wooden toys yourself and ensuring that teething toys are not plastic, as these will spend a significant amount of time in their little mouths! Wooden teethers are available as are ones made from totally safe medical grade silicone, which is a little softer on delicate gums.
Additionally, you can look at reducing your plastic waste by choosing foods that are sold in glass containers, which can be re-used and shopping at local markets, taking your own cloth bags so as to cut down on the amount of plastic packaging your food shop generates.