You’ve probably seen plastic marked with the number “1” on packaging, food containers, and diapers.
Plastic number 1 is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
This material is common in water bottles, soda bottles, and medicine containers.
In certain circumstances these materials can leach chemicals, including BPA, into food and water. To be safe, it’s best to keep these materials in cool places, not microwave them, not bend or jack these bottles, and avoid reusing them.
However, if you can’t avoid plastic number 1, you should keep a few things in mind. The tips in this article will help you avoid ingesting chemicals from PET (plastic marked as 1).
Plastic #1 (PET) toxicity
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a widely used plastic that can be very toxic for the environment and human health.
Most of these plastics end up in the oceans, where they fragment into microplastics and are eaten by different kinds of marine life. A study was performed to determine the effect of plasticizer and DEHP on Parvocalanus crassirostris, a species of octopus. The results showed that adults were largely unaffected by exposure to the chemicals, but nauplii were severely affected by even low concentrations of DEHP. That’s just one example of PET toxicity.
In addition to the environmental risks associated with PET, the toxicity of PET can also be related to the material’s use as a food container. Although PET is generally considered a safe plastic, it contains antimony, a chemical with toxicity similar to that of arsenic. Although the amount of antimony released by PET packaging is very low, it increases when it is heated or put into a dishwasher. Furthermore, PET also releases other harmful chemicals, which makes it unsuitable for food packaging.
There are several types of PET, each with a different level of toxicity. For instance, isophthalic acid is often added to PET, lowering the polymer’s melting point. Likewise, ethylene glycol is often removed by hydrolysis in an effort to make the compound more stable (Polyethylene terephthalate is made from two different chemicals, ethylene glycol and propylene glycol).
In other words, plastic marked with “1” is not that good for you – or for our planet for that matter.
Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is a plastic resin used for bottles, packaging, and other products. Some of the most common PET uses are soft drinks, fruit juices, and peanut butter. The polymer is also used in film, sheeting for cups, and oven-safe trays.
Plastic marked with 1 is in fact one of the highest-valued recyclables and it is 100% recyclable and made to be re-made.
The primary benefit of PET recycling is a reduction in plastic pollution. Unlike some plastics, PET takes centuries to break down.
As a result, recycling PET is an excellent option for consumers and the environment.
In fact, the United States Department of Energy has a polymer recycling program to help recycle PET. PET can be recycled to create new products that have a lower carbon footprint, reduce energy costs, and save money.
In other words, always gather your PET plastics separately and recycle them in nearby plastic recycling locations.
Since Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most widely used plastic, it is relatively easy to recycle. Bottles made of PET are broken down into smaller pieces and recycled into more bottles. PET is also recycled into polyester fibers, which are used in clothing and other products. The most common plastic is PET, and if you recycle it properly, you’ll be doing your part to reduce pollution and save the planet. Remember: polyethylene terephthalate can leach carcinogens and other chemicals, so keep your bottles out of the sun.
PET products reuse
First things first, reusing anything only makes sense if it’s clean. There is a risk of contamination of water in PET bottles if they are not cleaned and disposed of properly. Refilling a bottle that is partially full of water is dangerous because bacteria may grow in the plastic.
The FDA has approved PET plastic for single-use and reusable applications. However, many manufacturers are still urging consumers to limit their PET bottle use. In addition, PET plastic contains a toxic chemical called nonylphenol. Nonylphenol can cause toxicity to aquatic life and affects the body’s hormones.
In fact, studies have found that these bottles leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals into water when they are stored in hot and dry environments.
If the bottle is damaged or bent that means more chemicals have been released from the plastic, so it is not safe to reuse it.
If you’re buying plastic items, look for products with a number 2 or a number 5 label.
These are generally more safe, but make sure you wash them with mild detergents to keep them safe.
And remember: don’t microwave food containers made of any plastic.
Naturally, the best alternatives are glass, ceramics, and metal containers – if you can afford them go for these options.
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