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My boycott of BPA


Credit: Nicola Saltman

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By guest-blogger Nicola Saltman, a concerned mother who lives without harmful plastics.

I first heard about the evils of bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic baby bottles five years ago. As a first-time Mum with primal protective hormones surging through my veins; knowing that this chemical could find its way into milk and poison my bub got me all fired up.

So I went on a BPA-boycott, sourced an alternative – albeit with great difficulty – and found inner peace.

Little did I know then that this sneaky little chemical had been lurking in other items around my home, secretly threatening our family’s health. Plastic ain’t so fantastic after all. Luckily I’ve discovered that barring BPA is much easier today. Here’s how:

1. Tackle the tupperware:
Plastic food and drinks containers can be a BPA nightmare. You’re probably thinking as you scan the mountains of tupperware stacked in your pantry – like I did – ‘how in the world do I get around this’? Since the big brands now all carry BPA-free products, I just upgraded. Simple. I have also opted to use glass jars for dry goods like pasta and nuts - like these ones or reused ones. Besides, they’re prettier. And as for drink bottles, we’ve been using reusable metal ones for ages – tick!

Tip: CHOICE’s listing on plastic food containers helped me work out the goodies from the baddies so not everything needed replacing. Interestingly, takeaway containers are in, sauce bottles are out.

2. Clean up the cleaning:
Dishwashers and harsh detergents can accelerate BPA leaching. So, I’ve pulled up my sleeves at the sink and use mild eco-friendly soaps to clean plastic containers.

Tip: You get bonus points since (a) hand-washing saves water, and (b) these kinds of detergents are better for the environment.

3. Relegate the receipts:
Hurting more than your hip pocket, shopping receipts carry BPA which can seep into your bloodstream (urgh). Whilst I can’t completely give up shopping (or spending!), I do carry a travel hand sanitiser in my bag for when basins are scarce, to wash away the ‘sins’.

Tip: I stash receipts away from cash and cards to minimise contamination.

4. Cut down on cans:
Don’t get me wrong – I live by the words ‘fresh is best’, but I do like using the odd tin of beans and tomatoes. This is a tough one though. The main culprit in canned food is the lining, and mainstream can brands are yet to offer BPA-free alternatives. Thankfully, I’ve found specialist brands in health food stores and online that do me well.

Tip: Corn off a cooked cob is way tastier than from a metal tin, plus it comes without the added sugar and salt.

Have you got any handy advice to share about BPA-free living? Send us an email at letters@gmagazine.com.au or leave a comment below.