BPA-Free Plastic Risks
“BPA-free is a Marketing Scheme or Scam”
Ahhh plastic… that ubiquitous material that pervades – or should we say invades - almost every aspect of our lives. But what is “plastic”? In short, plastic is a petrochemical… or in simpler terms a material derived from petroleum or oil that is marketed under a wide range of names. Yep plastic is largely made from the same black goo that we refine to make gasoline
While it is almost universally felt that plastic including bags, straws, bottles, etc. is bad for our eco-system the vast majority of consumers remain convinced that it is safe for contact with our food and beverages. But is it?
The reality is that study after study indicates that petroleum-based plastic leaches or outgasses chemical components of oil into our food. So is it any wonder that when heated, scuffed, chewed, or left in a hot car that some nasty chemicals leach out of plastic components into the air… or worse yet into the food or liquid in plastic containers and bottles.
But isn’t BPA-free plastic a safe alternative? The large chemical companies as well as many of the leading bottle and container manufacturers would lead you to believe that “their” plastic is safe… or in their words “toxin-free”.
Unfortunately the latest research does NOT jive with their claims. Witness the work by Dr. Nancy Wayne at the UCLA School of Medicine who has studied the effects of plastic on the endocrine system. She calls “BPA-free a marketing scam” and goes further to say that companies are swapping BPA-based plastic for other plastics that are just bad - all in the name of marketing.
But why would they do this? Money and expediency.
The chemical companies make billions of dollars every year on plastic. The bottle and food container manufacturers use plastic for their vessels and lids because it is simpler and less costly than using non-plastic alternatives.
Perhaps most troubling is that even the non-plastic bottle and container (ie stainless steel and glass) companies still use petroleum based plastic for their lids, nipple collars, handles, sip spouts, straw components, nipple covers. Some even try to cover it up with misleading claims or “greenwashing” so:
- Don’t be FOOLED by brands that do not specify their components or hide behind glorified names for plastic. PP, PP#5 or polypropylene are all names for plastic, Tritan® is plastic, etc.
- Don’t be FOOLED by brands that claim “BPA-Free” or “Toxin-Free” because even BPA-free plastics (i.e. BPS, etc.) still outgas petroleum by-products that have been linked to estrogenic activity (EA)
- Don’t’ be FOOLED by brands that incorporate a steel shell that surrounds a plastic plug lid – but your beverage is still in contact with plastic and you or your child is drinking that plastic-infused beverage
National Public Radio (NPR) recently (Sep 2018) ran a sobering piece on the prevalence of micro-plastics in everyday life and yes, unfortunately you and your child will be exposed to plastic… but doesn’t it make sense to eliminate sources of exposure when it is simple?
Is there any reason why one should give their child a bottle with a plastic spout, straw or collar when there is an alternative that is truly 100% plastic-free?
To this end after researching the emerging studies, the Daily Telegraph went so far as to recommend that consumers throw away all infant bottles, sippy cups, water bottles and lunchboxes that contain plastic.
And in July 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics released a report discussing the hazards of common food additives as well as the chemical that leach from plastic food containers (https://bit.ly/2uKItlB).
The Academy’s conclusion? “Use alternatives to plastic…”
So it is fair to say that the news on plastic just continues to get worse… from toxicity issues to environmental concerns to microplastics in the food we eat.
Is there any place for plastics in your child’s bottles or mouth? As Maya Angelou famously said “When you know better, you do better”. Well we all know better than to unnecessarily expose our kids (or ourselves) to toxins so it is high time to “do better”. But how?
In June 2008 we began our quest to eliminate plastic from juvenile bottles because we noticed that EVERY bottle contained some plastic. It is not enough to simply move to a glass or stainless bottle if it still uses a plastic collar, sip spout, straw, sport top, nipple cover or even plastic-based paints including powder coatings! But our idea was ahead of its time. We saw a lot of puzzled faces in our early meetings. Who cares about plastic lids, spouts, collars and the like? But we would not give up.
As parents, we knew that nothing is more important than the safety of our little ones – and nothing is more frustrating at 3am than not being able to find the lid to a specific bottle. So we pushed on and ignored the naysayers. We made mistakes but redoubled our efforts. We listened to our customers and continually sought to improve our products and benefits.
People started to take notice and 2012 we won an astounding 14 independent awards including recognition from pediatricians and the US House of Representatives. Pura became a real company. In 2016 we became the only product to achieve the NON-TOXIC CERTIFIED rating from MADE SAFE (now renamed to MADE SAFE Certified). We now have 39 awards and more than 30 issued patents. We are on our way!
Our customers “get it” – there is no place for plastic in anybody’s mouth, durable repurposed products are so much better for our environment than buying new bottles every couple of months. And, isn’t it cool to be able to build and customize your juvenile or adult bottle daily?
We are humbled that our products are now sold by leading retailers in more than forty countries. But our journey has just begun – and we have many more products coming soon. As always everything you see from Pura is unique to Pura because we design each and every product to be the best in its category.
Know Better… Do Better™