Plastic Alternatives. Avoid BPA. Eco-Friendly Products
As I continue to eradicate my life of plastic, I have found some great alternatives.
My first plastic-free finds were glass bottles with silicon sleeves.
Lifefactory makes some too. I prefer the ones where you drink directly from the glass, so I choose the screw-off top versions.
I also got a glass travel coffee mug. I love it. Unfortunately, it is sold out right now, but worth the wait. Hopefully it comes back. I checked their website and it isn’t on there either.
And I just found this awesome Glass Tea Tumbler, I haven’t purchased it yet but I am a fan. Why? No plastic tea strainer. I do have a glass one currently but the tea basket does have some plastic surrounding the mesh. If I am pouring boiling water over it, I imagine eventually the plastic will break down and start leaching into my drink.
For those of you with babies. Doc Brown’s bottles are a favorite among many moms. You are in luck- they make a glass version and silicon sleeves are available! You will have to check, but I recall being able to pump directly into the glass bottles. And breast milk (or formula) does not stick to glass as much as plastic.
Ok, so you have young children, or often workout and glass is not always going to be practical.
After much research, I concluded that Klean Kanteen are an awesome alternative to plastic.
What does Klean Kanteen say about their bottles?
- In 2004 when we released the first Klean Kanteen bottle, the only other options out there were polycarbonate plastic bottles or aluminum bottles lined with plastic resin or epoxy.
- The reason Klean Kanteen exists is because we wanted to give consumers a safe, healthy, BPA-free alternative to plastic, a bottle that’s reusable, environmentally sustainable and durable enough to last a lifetime. We chose to make our bottle from high-quality, 18/8, food-grade stainless steel, one of the healthiest and most durable materials available.
- Some of the key features that set Klean Kanteen apart include easyto clean rounded corners and threads; high quality, food-grade materials that are BPA-free and don’t retain or impart flavors; and durable, all-stainless construction including bottle threads.
- We also set up our company and our manufacturing to be environmentally responsible and sustainable from the beginning. We oversee our manufacturing every step of the way, from the sourcing of the basic materials to the retail floor and we’re constantly working to cut waste and operate more efficiently
Why stainless steel and not aluminum?
Aluminum water bottles have entered the marketplace as an alternative to polycarbonate bottles, although they can not be used without a resin or liner on the inside of the aluminum bottle. Manufacturers such as SIGG and Gaiam advertised that the liners used in their aluminum bottles were safe, although studies recently uncovered that liners in these bottles contained BPA. Therefore, aluminum water bottles being advertised as an alternative to BPA-polycarbonate plastics must be paired with a BPA-free epoxy liner to serve as a safe alternative to polycarbonate plastics.
Klean Kanteen makes baby bottles, sippy cups as well as classic, everyday bottles. They come in wide mouth, double-walled insulated and classic styles with several different volume (ounces) options. You can also buy an all stainless steel loop cap.
Recent reports suggest that mold can grow inside juice boxes. They liken the type of mold to that found on fruit or bread.
The juice box manufacturers say this problem is rare, but does happen. And they caution each parent test any juice box for leaks before drinking. You should squeeze it and see if the liquid it shoots out is compromised in some way, maybe in the delivery or in the store, on maybe even in your shelves.
Yes, I realize the probability of people completely eliminating juice boxes is highly unlikely. But maybe, besides limiting juice in general (as recommended by AAP) why not limit juice from a box (or plastic) whenever possible.
A great tip is to buy 100% organic juice in a glass bottle (or make your own) and mix with 50-80% water. Not only will you save money on juice, but you will be reducing the sugar intake from juices with added sugar (even if it is organic cane sugar, it is still sugar). And by the way, I got that Santa Cruz Organic Juice on sale for $1 (at Whole Foods).
For summer camp (and in school lunch boxes) you could send your kids with 70% (filtered) water + 30% organic juice, inside a 12oz Klean Kanteen Sport bottle for smaller kiddos and for bigger kids a classic 18oz Klean Kanteen, and then they can drink directly from it. Easy to wash and be ready for next day, especially if it just a loop cap. Even if you aren’t “one of those environmentalists” it would help reduce waste.
No plastic leaching into juice, no chance of mold ingestion and better for the planet- win win.
I actually am going to do a separate post on another one of my latest product finds: filtered water pitcher. Stay tuned for that. But as you can see in my picture, I also found some old school glass pitchers for my fridge. I can’t find a link online, but I bought them at Target ($9.99) and Bed Bath and Beyond ($5.99). Perfect for storing water and you can add slices of cucumbers to create a little spa-like drink at home. Also, great for homemade nut milks.
Other useful plastic-free items include: Glass storage containers and Mason jars.
I am a big fan of these glass storage containers with locking lids. Don’t forget to bring your 20% off coupon. Tip: They work great for soaking nuts.
Bed Bath & Beyond sells 12 pack of Mason Jars for $9.99 plus you can use 20% off coupon.
Did you know that Bed Bath and Beyond will price match? They do.
Solo cup alternative?
I found these 12oz paper cups and paper plates made by World Centric at Whole Foods and was impressed with what I read on the label, what I found when I researched the company and the product itself. You can put both hot and cold beverages in these cups. The plates are made from unbleached wheatstraw fiber (but is considered gluten free). I know that sounds funny to say plates are gluten-free.
- Made from FSC certified paper (sustainably managed forests)
- Plant based bio-lining, rather than the typical petroleum-based plastic lining. This makes them compostable within 3-6 months.
What is the difference between 1) compost and 2) bio-degradable and 3) bio-based?
Meets D6400 composting standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM): Under a managed composting program, the product must 1) break down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate similar to paper, 2) disintegrate into small pieces within 90 days, so that the original product is not visually distinguishable in the compost, and 3) leave no toxic residue. 1
Capable of disintegration by biological means; typically, composed of organic matter that can be readily decomposed by a wide variety of microorganisms; technically, composed of almost any material since with enough time, some microorganisms can decompose almost anything; for example, aluminum cans will biodegrade in the ocean in about 175 years, and hard plastic bottle caps will biodegrade in the ocean in about 400 years. 2
Derived from plants; derived from living matter; derived from renewable biological resources. However, products labeled as “Bio-based” are not necessarily compostable unless specified as such.
So not only do they NOT contain bleach, they are good for planet earth.
What items are you likely to buy for your home? What are your favorite plastic-free products? Share your finds with us.