Plastic is not only bad for our planet. It's also playing havoc with our bodies.
Sadly, our children are believed to have the highest daily intake of Bisphenol-A from plastic drink bottles and lunch boxes.
BPA Free Not Enough
More and more manufacturers are putting "BPA-Free" stickers on their products. But this might not mean the product is safe. And here's why.
All of these plastic alternatives have "BP" in their title for one reason. They share the same core chemical structure. A bisphenol.
Researchers agree that these 'alternatives' still affect humans. And they're worried. But the reason they're not pulled from shelves is that they're not regulated as a class. They're regulated one by one.
As a mother myself, I am passionate about plastic free and waste-free lunches.
These are my top 5 tips to send the kids off to school plastic free, eliminating toxins from their food and drink. And at the same time you're doing good for Mother Earth.
1. Grab some Wet Bags
These strong and cute zip bags can pop into your kindy or school bag. Perfect for their wet and messy clothes to come home in. Better than a plastic bag. Great for wet togs, too. They won't leak or fall to bits, and are easy to wipe clean.
2. Snap your Snack Bags
A brilliant alternative to single-use plastic ziplock baggies. Perfect for sandwiches, nuts, popcorn, fruit, crackers - all sorts of tasty morsels. They're made from easy-wipe waterproof fabric, and zip closed. You can run them through the washing machine or dishwasher and re-use them.
They've got lots of uses at home. Good for picnics, hiking, camping, cycling, fishing, dog treats, road trips - anything to replace a plastic bag!
Just use - wash - reuse. Done.
3. Boost a Bento Style Lunch Box
These classic lunch boxes are clean and simple. And food grade stainless steel all the way. There's no place for mould to hide. The snap-on lids are tough and spill free. Bento style lunchboxes allow you to pack package and plastic free lunches.
4. Slurp a Stainless Steel Drink Bottle
Plastics leach compounds. That's part of their makeup. You don't want your kids to let their water sit in a plastic drink bottle all day. Especially now, in the sunny summer months. Stainless steel is your safe, non-leaching alternative.
5. Patch with Organic Plasters
Our sticking plasters come made from 100% organic bamboo fibre. These are totally compostable. They're engineered for the future eco-warriors of our planet - our kids.
Kids More Vulnerable
Our kids are more vulnerable to BPA and the bisphenol substitutes because their bodies are still developing. Even conservative commentators are concerned at the link between the bisphenol family of compounds and behaviour issues, ADHD, endocrine disruption and long term vulnerability to chronic disease.
Children and adolescents with the highest levels of BPA in their blood had a higher level of albumin in the blood, which is a pre-indicator of kidney disease. While the scientists haven't absolutely shown a causal link, it's a high enough correlation to be worrying.
The problem is that plastics are so widespread, and so heavily used, that nearly everyone has BPA in their system to some extent.
Cutting down daily use of plastic, switching to glass, stainless steel, and non plastic products to carry and store food, buying veggies loose and carrying them in cloth bags, and getting away from shrink wrap will only help.
We have it in our power to support our kids as they grow. We can choose plastic free as a lifestyle. But more importantly, we can show them how to make healthy choices that set them up for health and wellbeing.