Husband's aunt,"Yeah, that!"
I love moments like this because it slaps me into the reality that not everyone has the same green needs as I do. This was double that day because we were trying to window shop with a toddler in tow who wanted to pick up and hold everything in the store - especially the very expensive and very breakable glass items (at least the kid has taste.) For Husband's aunt and the toddler's mom, easy to open, non-breakable BPA free plastics are necessary.
I took advantage of this and used it as a Teachable Moment in the store. Aunt K I promised you I'd write everything down - this one's for you! It's a good reminder for me too.
How to Identify BPA Free Plastics – The Long Answer
AKA The CYA so I Don't Get Sued Version
The little numbers stamped on the bottom of a plastic container tells you or your recycling center what type of chemicals the plastic it is made from. There are seven general categories of plastic. The BPA free plastics are (brace yourself for some big scary sounding words but I will translate them I promise):
- #1 Polyethylene terephthalate. It uses the abbreviation PET or PETE and can be for example, thin plastic pop bottles.
- #2 High-density polyethylene. It uses the abbreviation HDPE and can be for example, some reusable plastic food storage containers.
- #4 Low-density polyethylene. It uses the abbreviation LDPE and can be for example, plastic grocery bags.
- #5 Polypropylene. It uses the abbreviation PP and can be for example, some reusable plastic food storage containers.
- #6 Polystyrene It uses the abbreviation PS and can be hard plastic lke disposable cutlery or soft plastic like foam drink cups. Polystyrene is difficult to recycle in most areas of the US.
What about #7 Plastic?
Number 7 is what I like to call Mystery Plastic. Number 7 plastic is any type of plastic that doesn’t fit into the other categories. Number 7 plastic can be made from compostable corn based plastic but it can also be made from polycarbonate which may contain BPA. This makes Number 7 plastics difficult to recycle in most areas of the US.Is your head spinning with numbers yet? Let’s make it easier.
How to Identify BPA Free Plastics – The Short Answer
AKA The Real Answer to Her Question
Say you want to buy a BPA free plastic reusable water bottle or food storage container. You walk into the store and start flipping things over to read the number printed on the bottom of the plastic container. The safer and most common BPA free choices for reusable plastic food and beverage containers are:
- #2 High-density polyethylene. It uses the abbreviation HDPE.
- #5 Polypropylene. It uses the abbreviation PP.
Number two is cool,
Number five no jive.
Told you it was corny! However, it helps me remember those two numbers when I’m feeling overwhelmed during a next pop quiz at the store.
Did that help? How do you remember which numbers are BPA free plastic?
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One of the things I do professionally is to develop on-line training courses that translate complicated technical topics and computer geek jargon in to real world easy to understand language like this post. It would be a dream comes true if I could use my professional translation powers to demystify green living and healthy eating ideas on a budget for Salada Tea drinkers.
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