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Are You Drinking Plastic With Your Hot Coffee or Tea?

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If you often drink hot coffee or tea through a plastic lid, I would encourage you to find an alternative solution to the lid.

A few sips here and there likely won't hurt us, but the most inexpensive plastics used to make coffee lids - usually numbers 6 or 7 -  are likely to leach their components into hot liquid.  Over many years or decades, having a hot coffee every day with a cheap plastic lid translates to cumulative exposure to BPA and other components of plastic that can disrupt endocrine function and contribute to development of obesity, cancer, and other common health issues.

Generally, it's ideal to minimize use of plastic when it comes to all liquids and food, but this is especially prudent when it comes to containers that are in contact with hot liquids or food.  With this thought in mind, stand-alone kettles that have plastic components like a water-level chamber are best avoided.  Kettles, pans, and pots should be plastic-free.

Thankfully, plastics - typically numbers 2 and 5 - that are used for food items like mustard, yogurt, and juice don't tend to leach their materials into food, especially when they are refrigerated or kept at room temperature.  But please be aware that natural acids present in foods like citrus and tomatoes can cause leaching from plastic, so where storage alternatives exist, it's best to choose an inert material like glass.

What about food wrap?  The most common brands of food wrap are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), also known as plastic number 3 which contains phthalates that can cause disruption to the endocrine system.  When food wrap is in contact with food in the refrigerator, there is little to no risk of leaching of phthalates as long as the food isn't acidic.  But wrap should never be microwaved along with food whether the food contains an acidic component or not.

Getting back to coffee, if you can use a suggestion for an alternative to the cups supplied by coffee shops, I can suggest the following:

Kleen Kanteen Tumbler

If you wish to use a straw for cold drinks, Kleen Kanteen also makes a stainless steel straw with a flexible and removable silicone tip:

Kleen Kanteen Straws

Please consider sharing these suggestions with family and friends who may not be aware of everyday plastic containers leaching BPA and phthalates into food and liquids.

 
 

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