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I had thought I should get plastic out of my life.

Upon seeing a display selling polycarbonate drinking jugs at Rainbow Grocery, I made a note. Perhaps it was Pure Water Systems ("leaching of contaminants is no longer an issue with high quality polycarbonates").

Polycarbonate is plastic.

Here is Consumer Reports ("Eight of the ten 5-gallon polycarbonate jugs we checked left residues of the endocrine disrupter, bisphenol A, in the water").

Here's the Berkeley Wellness Letter :

Plastic containers are not as weighty as glass, but they can affect the water inside. Clear polyethylene plastic has little or no effect. Thick opaque containers can impart a plastic flavor. Big rigid polycarbonate water-cooler jugs can leave chemical residues.

Two days later, I walked by the Berkeley ecology center and picked up their flyer on Adverse health effects of PLASTIC.

Two days after that, I left my tupperware that I'd been eating out of, microwave cooking in, and storing food in for years somewhere by accident. (and my favorite metal spoon). Now that I look into it even tupperware recommends not using such a thing for microwave cooking.

From Goodwill I got a pyrex bowl and a plate to use for a top when cooking in the microwave. I already had a lightweight stainless steel cookpot. Real hobos use fire. Urban ones, whatever-

Today I see this:

The culture change letter on plastics.

And the article it links to, Get plastic out of your diet.

I have yet to start carrying around a glass water bottle or no water bottle... (at earthaven some use mason jars).

And the piping they use in new construction is plastic isn't it? This may be a quixotic endeavor.

There's nothing wrong with pyrex is there? In ceramics, lead is the killer. You avoid aluminum already?

More on aluminum:

Plastic bags are another challenge—not to mention plastic clothes, and my foam sleeping pad which visibly deteriorates over time.

I re-use plastic bags but should use light cloth... And for filling things up at the bulk bins? (Keep in mind I'm a pedestrian and without house). Small paper bags or animal skin, with tare weights... And with the animal skin, must consider tanning process. And if the animal was eating plastic.

What is most likely to kill me? Cars (made out of plastic)? But this is about aesthetics, and living a beautiful life. Remember Kitchen as Temple ?

My teeth have been sealed. I eat things from tin cans (inside coated with plastic)? I grind my teeth? This keyboard is plastic? This table? This carpet? ...

Added by colin #442 on 2004-08-05. Last modified 2004-08-05 03:08. F0 License: Attribution
Location: World
Topics: toxicology

Colin Leath <>    

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collapse Plastic alternatives?, by colin on 2004-08-08 01:33:44

Paul addressed some of my questions about his article, Get plastic out of your diet :

What I had in mind for that article is to illustrate how all plastics are regulated, which is essentially not at all. In fact most technologies such as plastics, genetic engineering, ionizing- and nonionizing radiation, and so on are not regulated in any meaningful way.

As for alternatives, there are many, but none included plastics, genetic engineering, ionizing- and nonionizing radiation, and so on.

Plastics are replacing, albeit poorly, almost all natural materials. If we do not eliminate these toxicants from our environment, we will not survive. There are no uses of plastic where the advantages far outweigh the costs.

The article does all but state this. If one reads the article, then there are two logical thoughts that should come to mind. One is that no plastics are safe or regulated properly. The other might be that we need to find less toxic plastics, but after studying this subject for more than a decade, I think the possibility of that is quite slim.

So, viable alternatives? Glass, metal, wood, hemp, and so many more natural materials.

   Plastic alternatives?, by colin on 2004-12-24 01:31:45

Here's the rest of our conversation:

Paul had this to say (cut from previous comment):

Please note the passage where I said that I had worked at a Berkeley nonprofit. It is the Ecology Center. The Berkeley Plastics Task Force asked me to join in order to give them the health effects of plastics. After I did so, they really didn't do anything with it and continue on the path of alternative plastics. It is an idea that is easy to consume, but in reality there is no such thing as a biodegradable plastic. There is also no truly useful plastic that does not use petroleum inputs. There is no such thing as recycling and all of it accumulates in the ocean, air, food, and our bodies.

Colin to Paul Aug 7:

Paul, I just wanted to note that judging from:


it sounds like the ecology center has come around-- they're not advocating any, well here's the quote:


Find alternatives to plastic products whenever possible. Some specific suggestions:

  • Buy food in glass or metal containers
  • Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap
  • Do not give young children plastic teethers or toys
  • Use natural fiber clothing, bedding and furniture
  • Avoid all PVC and Styrene products

(so maybe you have had a victory you didn't know about.)

best wishes! Colin

Paul Goettlich to cleath Aug 7:


They say "Buy food in glass or metal containers I say, "If possible, avoid buying all canned and processed foods."

They say "Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap." I say, "Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing any foods or liquids in plastic containers or plastic wrap."

They say "Use natural fiber clothing, bedding and furniture." I say the same thing.

They say "Avoid all PVC and Styrene products." I say "Avoid all plastics."

That makes one thing out of four that we agree on. The differences are great. Do you get it now. Sometimes it's more important to understand what isn't said. This is one of those times.

Best regards, Paul

PS: The reason for avoiding all canned foods is that the metal cans are coated with plastic. No matter what the food or drink is that contacts it, the plastic gets into the food. ...and the food gets into the plastic. Not only that but the food is not nearly as nutritious as fresh food.

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