Plastic ziplock bags are undeniably useful. The snack sized plastic bags are lightweight, fit anywhere, seal perfectly and never fail. Good for holding snacks, lunches or storing all kinds of small non-food objects like marbles, paper clips or nails. Anything imaginable can be stored in a plastic ziplock bag. Now here is the problem, these toxic plastic inventions come with a dark side.
Dangers of Plastic
Ziplock are made of plastic. Most plastics contain BPA or similar chemicals which leach into food touching it. The use of BPA and BPA alternatives is a complex issue. I believe that it is better to be cautious when it comes to plastic, until we have concrete evidence of safety or danger.
- Europe, Canada and other countries have banned BPA for certain uses.
- BPA is an endocrine / hormone disruptor, which means it can cause harm by reprogramming cells, or altering gene function.
- According to the National Toxicology Program (National Toxicology Program) BPA shows concern for effects on the brain and behavior.
- In 2009 Manufacturers stopped using BPA to make plastic baby bottles.
- Another estrogen mimicking chemical BPS (a BPA alternative) is now showing up in urine tests.
- EWG’s Senior Policy Analyst Sonya Lunder believes the science of endocrine disruption has become a political issue similar to the previous fight over the health hazards of tobacco.
Chemicals from plastics are a constant part of our daily diet. We generally assume the water bottle holding that pure spring water, the microwave-safe plastic bowl we prepare our meals in, or the styrofoam cup holding a hot drink is there protecting our food and drinks. Rather than acting as a completely inert barrier, these plastics are breaking down and leaching chemicals, including endocrine-disrupting plasticizers like BPA or phthalates, flame retardants, and even toxic heavy metals that are all absorbed into our diets and bodies.
Plastic exposure looks different for everyone. It’s practically invisible, but a little bit in your plastic coffee cup, in your lunch container, in your bottled water all adds up and accumulates. You may not be able to see the immediate effects of plastic on your body, BUT you can literately see the plastic pile up in the oceans.
- The Oceans Will Contain More Plastic Than Fish By 2050
- Plastic degrades into smaller and smaller particles. These particles end up inside fish and the plastic pollution trickles down the food chain through the sea-food that you eat.
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Benefits of reusable snack bags
Don’t want to give up Ziplock bags? I don’t blame you, I would be totally lost without a trusty Ziplock bag. Today there are tons of alternatives to plastic. In fact there are so many reusable snack bags to choose from you could go crazy trying to pick the perfect color and style. The ultimate goal is to be have something reusable that you love and like to use.
Reusable bags are
- Save Money in the long run
- Stylish and Cute
- Taking Snacks to Work
- Sending snacks to School
- Cheerios or other snacks for car trips.
We have been using lunchskins reusable sandwich bags around here. We haven’t found anything wrong with them yet. They are fairly thick and durable while still being flexible, and the colors are fun. The kids love to take them for lunch and they are fairly easy to clean.
Check out these super cool Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bags. These are more similar to the plastic ziplock bags since you can see whats inside unlike the cloth bags.
Though I haven’t gotten to it one of the items on my never-ending to do list is to make my own reusable snack bags. It’s always a good idea to weigh the benefit of time vs money, but this is an awesome alternative to buying reusable snack bags.
Go to Google or pinterest and search for tutorials. Imagine of all the exciting possibilities! You can create any color or size. Customized reusable ziplock bags would also make an amazing gifts! Be sure to source food grade non-toxic material and you will be easily on your way to ditching toxins from your life and being Eco-friendly at the same time.
Yes, you do have to clean them. This is unfortunately the price of being Eco-friendly. Truthfully, its not that hard and will literally only take a minute or less. One measly inconvenient minute is all you need to save your health and the environment. Turn it inside out wipe it down with soapy water, rinse and lay it out to dry. I often use my bags for dry snacks like cheerios, pretzels and crackers and then I shake out the crumbs and continue using the bags a few times before washing thoroughly. Many are dishwasher safe, but I find it easier to just hand wash them.
Switching to reusable snack bags may seem weird at first, but make a routine or habit out of it and it will come second nature. YES it is easy, go and pick the one that is calling your name.
Presence of microplastics and nanoplastics in food, withparticular focus on seafood