The clear plastic wrap used to store your food is extremely hazardous to your health and is as far from natural as possible. Focusing on natural ways to store your food is an important part of protecting your health and the health of the planet.
The word “plastic” means “pliable and easily shaped.” There are many types of plastics but in this article we are focused and honed-in on the plastic wrap variety that are used to store foods.
The Dirty History of Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is an after-thought of plastic itself so we need to start with the origins of plastic itself before we get into what we call today plastic wrap.
The original plastic wrap that was invented was PVdC (Polyvinylidene Chloride). In 1949 Dow Chemical reformulated the original invention and developed saran plastic wrap. however, a huge amount of food wrap is still commonly made out of PVC (Polyvinylidene Chloride). PVC emits Phthalates that are highly carcinogenic (cancerous). Many manufacturers have altered the chemicals and materials used in their food wrap production; however, not all companies have made these changes so even though the history shows some changes we can all agree that plastic food wrap is far from being safe.
Is Plastic wrap safe?
Plastic wrap, or as some would call the namely branded “SaranWrap” contain so many harmful ingredients that it should be of high concern to every individual.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl), is used in the making of food wrap, cling wrap ect. VC is the most toxic plastic for our health and environment. No other plastic contains or releases as many dangerous chemicals. These chemicals cause birth defects, skin diseases, cancer and deafness, as well and liver and spleen problems.
- Bisphenol A – or BPA – is another chemical used in food wrap, plastic sandwich bags and plastic containers. EWG.org states on their website that “Low doses of BPA lead to a range of health problems, including birth defects of the male and female reproductive systems in laboratory animals.”
Both PVC and BPA are used in the production of plastics during the manufacturing process, making them more flexible, durable, and transparent. Both of these chemicals leach out of plastics and into our food, water, and bodies. In even low doses these chemicals can disrupt the endocrine (or hormonal) system. Researchers worry particularly about the effects of these chemicals on children and what continued accumulation in the body means for future generations.
Before 2006 all plastic wrap contained Phthalates. Phthalates are toxic to humans and animals because they disrupt hormones, and these compounds can leach into your food that are wrapped in plastics made with them. However, as of 2006, almost all plastic wraps & plastic containers made in the United States are working on becoming phthalate-free. Stricter laws and regulations need to be put in place, so until that time comes you cannot count on this and this is why safer alternatives are a good idea.
How does the wrap we use to keep food fresh affect the environment?
In the 1970s and 1980s people became increasingly aware of waste. Plastic is number one on this list because plastic is meant to be disposable, plastic lasts forever in the environment. We tend to think that just because we throw plastic away that it is being recycled. The recycling industry is extremely unregulated and most plastics still end up in landfills or in the environment. One of the most urgent reasons to stop using plastic of all kinds is Over 10% of recycled plastic and garbage makes its way to our Ocean, that’s an average of 275 million plastic bags per day that potentially harm our Earth and Wildlife. what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which has often been described as a swirl of plastic garbage the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean.
How much plastic wrap is being used?
Research groups found that in just the US alone, 80 million boxes of plastic wrap were used for non-commercial purposes and an additional 3 million tons were used in commercial industry applications such has restaurants, grocery stores and food vendors. This is an astounding amount of toxic plastic that is contaminating our food, eroding our planet and destroying our guts and hormones.
Plastic wrap may save your leftovers but it can ruin your health and poison the planet. Is there a safer alternative? YES!!
Alternative #1: Glass storage with BPA-free and free Bamboo lids
Alternative #2: Glass storage with BPA-free and
100% BPA FREE FOOD GRADE MATERIAL – Worried about your old containers being unsafe? Never expose you or your loved ones to harmful chemicals ever again, and feel confident knowing that the Vallo glass containers have no harmful chemicals that could leech into your food. They are 100% BPA Free Borosilicate glass, Lead Free, & Phthalate-Free.
Alternative #3: Beeswax eco-friendly food wraps
Alternative #4: Reusable Silicone Food Bags
Alternative #5: Reusable Silicone Lids
(1) The History and Future of Plastics: