With Maharashtra set to ban plastic and with new regulations in place regarding the use of plastic bottles and bags, this is the perfect time to make your life plastic-free. Plastic is not just bad for your environment; it is unhealthy for your body too. More and more people are awakening to the dangers of plastic and its possible connection to cancers. Here are some ways in which you can limit your family's exposure to plastic.
Read the numbers: All plastic objects have a number embossed on it. It's a triangular symbol made of arrows with a number enclosed within. The numbers tell the consumers about the grade of the plastic and whether it is recyclable. Studies suggest that almost all plastics leach toxins into the food, but numbers such as #2, #4, #5 are considered safe; #1 and #7 has to be used with caution; and #3 and #6 have to be avoided at all costs.
Use metal or clay containers to store water: Now's a good time to buy a matka, but not before you throw those plastic bottles out of the window. Traditional wisdom calls for storing water in clay containers because it has many therapeutic qualities. Even copper tumblers and bottles have been used for the same purpose.
Use recyclable, cloth bags for grocery shopping: Remember those cloth jholas of the days of yore? They are environment friendly, and a good replacement for those plastic grocery bags. However, cloth bags have to be maintained properly through regular washing. Or else it could harbour germs and microbes that could be as bad for your health as plastic.
Buy a mug for work: Drinking out of thermocol or plastic cups could cause thyroid disorders and other hormonal problems. Hot beverages could cause toxins like BPA to leach into them. So it's best to carry a mug to work and have all your drinks from that.
Avoid disposable utensils: Disposable utensils are convenient but can pose a variety of health hazards. Instead, biodegradable plates and bowls made of pressed leaves can be a good replacement.
Use glass, metal or ceramic jars instead of plastic: Plastic is a convenient alternative to glass or ceramic containers because, apart from being unbreakable, it is lighter, cheaper and easier to carry and clean. But study shows that storing food like oil, condiments and cereals in plastic PET jars can cause toxins like antimony and BPA to leak into the food. So although it may cost you a little more, opt for glass, metal or ceramic containers whenever possible.
Eat fresh: Reduce dependence on canned food. Instead eat fresh produce bought from your local vegetable vendor; it's healthier and cheaper. Tin cans are lined with plastic that can leach plastic into the food.
Avoid heating plastic in the microwave: Some plastics are not microwavable. Always check the grade of the plastic container before sticking it in the microwave. Use glass or any other microwave-friendly materials inside the oven.