Good Plastics, Bad Plastics

Here’s a short, easy guide to plastics you shouldn’t use. As a corollary, if it’s not on this list, you can feel good about using it.

* If a plastic item has a “7” recycle symbol on it, it might be bad, most notably polycarbonate. Stay away.
* If it’s “saran wrap” style plastic wrap, ask what it’s made of. PVC plastic wrap is bad, not because of the PVC but the chemicals they add to make the PVC soft. That’s unfortunate because PVC makes plastic wrap that works the best (it’s sticky and is a great barrier). There are many plastic wraps made of other materials that aren’t toxic.
* polystyrene AKA styrofoam: bad.

I could rant at you for 20 minutes about the dangers of these plastics and how unconscionable it is that these materials are still in common usage.

The other commonly used plastics are generally safe to use! That includes polyethylene (PET, PETE, HDPE, LDPE), and polypropylene.

I gathered the most current info from this page (which is a reaffirmation of things I’ve already known)
Which Plastics Are Safe? a Care2 favorite by Annie B. Bond


  1. cynthia says:

    I recently got blood text results back on toxicity and allergies. First time about three years ago or so results were primarily aluminum which I since then almost entirely cut out, including using for cooking or eating anything made in aluminum. As a result the second text results about a month ago came back with no aluminum toxicity… however due to frequently handling ink on paper (lead) and soft plastics – do have not ‘dangerous’ but ‘second level’ high toxicity in lead and those dangerous plastic toxins. For this I’m getting ‘dry handling’ all natural fiber cloth gloves (with fingers) for handling paper\ink and plastics and have an all natural set of rubber for dealing with the industrial cleaning de-greaser and sanatisers when doing dishes at food industry job. The dish washing gloves I was able to get at local health food store but regretfully none seem to carry the dry handling gloves so having to turn to the internet for those.

  2. lee says:

    Yow, that’s some serious business. Best to you, Cynthia!

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