Blog - Materials We Leave

Learn to Live Sustainably

You know, there are some really simple and satisfying things both you and I can do every day to live more sustainably. Our humble blog hopes to share some practical tips and tricks to inspire and educate you on ways to save money, benefit our schools, communities and the environment. Happy reading!

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Materials We Leave

Materials we avoid for safety reasons are listed below. We acknowledge that toxicity of some materials (i.e. some plastics) is not fully understood or adequately tested, but as former EWG senior scientist Dr. Anila Jacob told Web MD,

"Although most of the chemicals making the culinary crossing are considered safe, that's generally not because they've been proved safe, but rather they haven't been proven to be unsafe."

"There is very little published research on the potential adverse health effects of chemicals that leach from plastic food containers, so it's difficult to say they're safe with any degree of certainty, especially with long-term use," says Jacob.

So we happily share findings from our research and assure that you won't find these nasties in our products, but always encourage you to do your own research to make informed decisions.

Unsafe materials to avoid (we certainly do):

  • Plastic #3: PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) contains phthalates and plasticisers than can leach into food and drinks. These can be found in cling wrap, clear plastic containers for fruit or take-away sandwiches and some soft drink containers. The manufacture of PVC releases a potent carcinogen that accumulates in animals and in us. It may also contain phthalates, chemicals used, among other things, to soften plastics. Some phthalates are hormone disruptors that have been linked to possible reproductive problems and birth defects. PVC workers have higher cancer rates.
  • Plastic #6: PS (Polystyrene) is found in rigid plastics such as opaque plastic spoons and forks, and in Styrofoam, such as those found in coffee cups and meat trays. These plastics can leach styrene, a known neurotoxin with other negative health effects.
  • Plastics #7 (includes Polycarbonate and Acrylic) is a catch all for a variety of plastics some of which are harmful and some that are not. Harmful plastics in this category include polycarbonate which can release BPA into food, especially when bottles are washed for reuse. This plastic may be used in bottles for sauces and condiments, baby bottles, infant drinking cups, and water bottles used by cyclists and bush walkers.
  • Plain Aluminium cookware and storage is low-cost, light-weight, and thermally responsive – but aluminium is reactive and can affect the taste of food and drink. Foods cooked or stored in aluminium can react with the metal to form aluminum salts associated with impaired visual motor coordination and Alzheimer’s disease; however there is no definite link proven. One study did find that about 20% of aluminium in the diet comes from the use of aluminium cookware and foil. More than half of all cookware sold today is made of aluminum.
  • Teflon is Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), a toxic chemical which doesn’t ever break down. It’s used to coat baking trays and cooking utensils. Increasing amounts of this substance are building up in our environment, in food chains – and ourselves. We avoid Teflon.

Should be safe but take care:

Quality ceramic with a lead-free glaze in good condition is considered safe and eco-friendly alternative made from clay and minerals. However there have been reports that some lead-free pottery can still taint food (U.S Food and Drug Administration) so caution should be taken choosing a good quality lead-free product

Disclaimer: we are parents with a passion for healthy and sustainable living, not scientific experts. We've compiled information published by industry experts and Australian & international industry bodies including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the US Food & Drug Adminisration (FDA) and shared the key bits for your convenience above. But we also acknowledge that certain aspects (i.e. the toxicity of plastics) are not fully understood or adequately tested. We always encourage you to do your own research to make informed decisions but hope this helps.

Related Articles:

> Materials We Love
> Materials We Limit