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Tips for Reducing Plastic in the Kitchen

May 4, 2022

In this day and age, it’s virtually impossible to avoid all plastics in the kitchen but plastic is a major source of exposure to endocrine disruptors like BPAs and Phthalates so it helps to be mindful of which plastics increase that risk of exposure.

In general, it’s best to try to avoid any contact between food/drinks and plastic but I know most of us probably have tons of utensils, storage containers, single use ziplocs, etc. so here are some helpful tips to keep in mind to reduce the risk of plastic leaching into our foods:

❌ Try to avoid placing warm or hot foods in plastic and never microwave or bake in plastic.  There is no such thing as microwave-safe plastic.  If I could go back in time and avoid those microwaved Lean Cuisine lunches every day at work, I would.  🤦‍♀️

❌  Avoid placing plastic in the dishwasher – hand wash only.

❌  Avoid storing acidic, or oily foods (tomato sauce, anything with vinegar, soups) in plastic containers.

❌  Once plastic starts to age (looks scratched, etched, or dis-colored), toss it and avoid using anything abrasive on plastics. Once the coating is compromised, the risk of leaching increases.↗️

✅  Switch to silicone, wooden, or stainless utensils.

✅  Switch to silicone or paper snack/storage bags instead of ziplocs.

✅  Switch to beeswax food covers instead of plastic wrap.

✅  Switch to stainless or glass storage containers instead of plastic (time to throw out mom’s old tupperware sadly 👩‍🍳).

✅  Switch to paper or stainless straws.

✅  Take your own containers to restaurants for left-overs and reduce take-out.  Take-out containers can be some of the worst plastics and are often coated in PFAS – a double whammy!

✅  Avoid plastic numbers 1, 3, 6, and 7 if you can.  Remember this rhyme about the numbers on the bottom of plastic:  “5, 4, 2 – All the rest are bad for you”.

I’m always noticing new things that are plastic in the kitchen so this one feels like a never-ending battle but I just try to do the best I can when I learn something new and take baby steps!

Visit my SHOP page HERE to find my favorite non-plastic food storage solutions.  I offer 1:1 help for clients wanting to reduce plastic in the kitchen as part of my Healthy Home Consulting Package.  To learn more, click HERE.

What plastic items have you swapped out in the kitchen?


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Written by Sara Parsons

Hi I’m Sara, a mom and consultant specializing in environmental toxins at home. I would love to work with you and share all that I’ve learned on my journey to lower tox living.