Posts Tagged ‘bisphenol A’

BPA Banned in More EU Countries

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Belgium has become the fourth European Union (EU) member state to stop the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in containers which come into contact with food. Belgium joins Austria, Denmark and France in limiting the use of BPA which has been shown to negatively affect the brain and nervous system in humans, particularly children.

The French ban will come into force in stages. Beginning in 2013, BPA must be eliminated from food packaging aimed at children up to the age of three. From 2015, BPA will be illegal in any other type of packaging which comes into contact with food.

Unlike other packaging materials, glass does not contain any BPA. In fact, glass is still the only packaging material which is exempt from BPA legislation and EU regulations on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances (REACH).

Glass Is All You Need for Life

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Have you ever stopped to think that humans are the only species on Earth which produces rubbish? Bit by bit we are clogging up the world’s oceans, streams and land with the non-biodegradable stuff we throw away. And we are ruining the planet for all of the other species we share it with in the process.

We were again reminded of our impact on the Earth when we read the Plastic Is Rubbish blog entry about travel. Not wanting to do more harm to the planet in their wanderings, the people behind this blog have come up with some innovate ways to reduce their waste.

One of the easiest ways we can all reduce our waste footprint is to stop using packaging materials which cannot be recycled easily. It’s actually fairly simple to do and glass has the answer!

Think about your parents and grandparents who lived perfectly well before plastics became widespread in our lives, and our seas! They bought packaged food in glass jars and drinks in glass bottles and took them home from the shop in paper bags or boxes. When they wanted to store leftovers or take a picnic they reused those glass jars and bottles. If they needed a drink they used a glass which could be washed and reused. As a baby you might have been fed via glass bottles which do not contain BPA or other harmful substances.

Today we can also recycle those glass containers. Around 70% of all glass packaging is recycled across Europe today with recycling rates as high as 95% in some countries. Recycling reduces the need for landfill and dramatically reduces the environmental cost of producing new glass.

Glass is still one of the only packaging materials which are not subject to the European Union’s regulations on chemicals and their safe use. So in the unlikely event it ends up in landfill or the sea, glass will do no harm to the environment.

Changing the future of our planet is not difficult. It just takes a little thinking and small changes in our behaviour as consumers to make a huge difference!

Switch to Glass – It’s Better For Your Health

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives has found that much of our exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) comes from foods packaged in plastic. During the study, five families ate their normal diet for the first few days, then switched to just fresh foods. For the final few days of the study the families started eating their normal diet again.

Each family was measured to determine the level of BPA in their system. During the period they ate the fresh-food diet, the levels of BPA in their systems dropped by more than 60%. When the families returned to their normal diets, the amount of BPA rose back to initial levels.

BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical which affects the hormone system of human beings. The chemical has been linked to obesity, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer, and behavioural and neurological problems – especially in young children. One of the safest ways to avoid BPA is to only buy products packaged in glass jars and bottles.

Unlike other packaging materials, glass does not contain any BPA or other harmful substances. Glass is considered to be completely inert by regulatory bodies including the EU (it is exempt from REACH) and it is the only packaging material to receive a GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) rating from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Glass also does nothing to the taste or vitamins of the food and drink it preserves. That’s why glass is the only packaging material you can trust in – even with your eyes closed!

 

 

 

US Bans BPA in Baby Bottles

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally joined the European Union (EU) and Canada in banning the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles and cups. Scientific studies have shown that BPA can leach into the contents of the packaging, causing development problems in young children.

Unlike other packaging materials, glass does not require BPA. In fact, glass is still the only packaging material that has the designation ‘Generally Regarded as Safe’ (GRAS) in the US. It is also the only packaging material to be exempt from the EU’s REACH regulations on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. That’s because glass is a completely inert substance which does not affect the taste, chemical composition or nutritional quality of the food or drink it contains.

Does Your Refillable Glass Water Bottle Reflect Your Personality?

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Waste from non-recyclable water containers is becoming a major issue, with a recent study showing that litter in the North Pacific Gyre has increased more than a hundred-fold in the past 40 years.  This week members of the European Parliament called on the European Union to seek more environmentally friendly alternatives for water, such as recyclable or refillable glass bottles.

Refilling glass bottles when you are at work or home is an excellent solution and will help to reduce the waste circulating in the world’s oceans. While any glass bottle with a resealable lid can be utilised, innovative companies are coming up with designs for refillable bottles that look attractive and can be tailored to the owner’s own personality. Like all glass, the bottles can be recycled at the end of their life and they are free of the Bisphenol-A (BPA) and other chemicals that are found in some packaging materials.

Flaska is a European company which sells refillable glass bottles. The company claims that their bottles are ‘programmed’ to change the structure of the water and make it taste like more spring water. Flaska’s bottles come in a protective sock made from either cotton or neoprene. Socks are available in different colours and patterns so you can personalise your bottle. The glass in a Flaska is thicker than that in normal bottles, making it more resistant to knocks and falls. You can become a fan on their Facebook page if you’d like to stay informed!

Tap is Terrific is another range of reusable glass bottles which is made by Faucet Face. They come with a BPA-free cap and are dishwasher safe. When you buy four of the bottles, Faucet Face donates a Biosand filter to a family without access to potable tap water. The filter eliminates around 90 to 95% of the impurities, bringing fresh clean water to remote communities around the world.

For the ultimate in personalised bottles, take a look at the range offered by Love Bottle. As well as being partially made from recycled glass, you can make the Love Bottle uniquely yours. Simply write or draw on the printed area of the bottle to personalise it. The Love Bottle also comes with a swing-top so you never lose the lid.

Do you use a refillable bottle at home, the gym or at work? How do you personalise yours? Why not share your creations, and your reasons for using reusable glass bottles at the Friends of Glass Facebook page.

Baby knows best – Good food comes in glass

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Parents with babies often have little time to spend preparing food for their youngsters and many rely on store-bought packaged food. But these products are often packed with preservatives to extend their shelf life.

For parents lucky enough to live in New York City, there is now an alternative: Farm to Baby NYC. Using fresh local and organic ingredients, Farm to Baby NYC prepares healthy fresh jars of baby food and home delivers them to its clients in the city.

Farm to Baby NYC only uses resealable glass containers for its baby products as glass has absolutely nothing to hide! Using glass also ensures the food is free of Bisphenol-A (BPA) and that the taste and quality of the baby food is not affected by the packaging. It alters nothing to the taste or vitamins it preserves. And that’s why it’s the purest packaging for everything.

Next time the company makes a delivery they collect the empty jars and reuse them again, avoiding the need for the packaging to be sent to landfill.

We believe that this might be the first home delivered baby food service in the world. But if you know of similar providers closer to home, why not let us know through the Friends of Glass Facebook page or tweet us at @GlassFriendsEUR.

And if you’re inspired to make your own baby food, the BabyCentre has some tips to get you started. Just remember to keep your baby healthy by packaging your results in pure natural glass!

 

 

 

For more, check out the Nothing is good for you website.

Glass is Better for You and the Environment

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Glass is the greenest packaging material according to a report by Chloé Hecketsweiler which was published in the French magazine L’Expansion late in 2011. Using five criteria (raw material cost, carbon footprint, recycling rates, impact on health and cost to consumers) Hecketsweiler sought to quantify which packaging material was the greenest using data relating the French market. Over all five criteria, glass packaging scores 17/25, well ahead of plastics at 13/25.

Glass Ahead in Recycling

On average, every French person adds 86 kilograms of household packaging to the waste stream each year. When comparing plastic and glass, Hecketsweiler notes that 75% of glass packaging containers are recycled in France, but that just 20% of plastic containers find their way to recycling centres. Hecketsweiler believes consumers find it easy to recycle glass as it simply needs to be sorted into clear and coloured glass. By comparison, there are many different types of plastic and it is impossible to treat each type in the same way.

Glass Reduces Emissions

Hecketsweiler notes that less energy is used and less CO2 is emitted if recycled glass is used to create new glass. However, she bases her emissions calculation on the use of 100% virgin materials and does not take into account the major progress manufacturers have already made to reduce the weight of bottles.

A European Life Cycle Assessment for glass bottle production shows that, on average, every tonne of recycled glass saves 670 kg of CO2. Increasing the amount of recycled glass in the furnace by 10% decreases energy use by 3%. When glass is recycled, there is no need to produce, process and transport the virgin raw materials or to transport them, so less fuel is used. Glass bottles can now be produced with up to 100% recycled content – infinitely. This is certainly not the case for plastics.

Glass is Healthy

An area where glass shines is in terms of its health properties. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a component of many plastics, has been found to disrupt the hormone system of human beings. Plastics can also contain phthalates or antimony. Baby bottles containing BPA have already been banned in the EU, and toxicologists have also raised concerns over the effects of phthalates and antimony. By contrast, glass is 100% inert – a major advantage for consumers.

Glass Protects Vital Resources

In terms of the expense of raw materials, Hecketsweiler points out that glass is made of natural ingredients which are found in abundance in nature. Glass container production efficiently uses resources and does not depend on oil. If renewable energy is available and secure, glass can be produced without the need for any fossil fuels.

By contrast, plastic is derived from oil. Around two kilograms of oil is required to produce one kilogram of PET plastic. Overall, the manufacture of plastics absorbs 4% of the world’s limited supplies of oil.

Glass Represents Real Value

While glass comes out ahead of plastics in most areas, the one area in which Hecketsweiler believes plastic can compete is price. However, her survey only covered two products in one French supermarket. As European consumers already know, most products are priced the same despite the packaging material used.

It is true that high quality products are often packaged in glass because it is the most reliable material in terms of taste preservation. Glass also guarantees a much longer shelf-life for the product, helping to reduce food waste in the supermarket and at home. That has to be good for both your purse and the planet!

Nestlé switches back to glass for baby food

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

International food giant Nestlé has announced that their NaturNes baby food supplement will be offered to German consumers in glass containers once again. The switch comes just two years after Nestlé changed from glass to plastic.

In an article in the German food industry magazine Lebensmittel Zeitung (25 November 2011), Nestlé points out that their decision is part of an evaluation of the packaging concept for NaturNes. While the company has not announced plans to change the packaging in other countries, they do say that they will adapt to local demands.

 

European consumers are likely to demand glass according to a survey conducted by InSites in late 2010. Results showed that 14% of the consumers surveyed bought baby food in their household and glass was their preferred packaging material (14%) compared to other materials (3%). So hopefully we spot more glass containers in other countries very soon!  :-)

Choose for your health – Make Soup!

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

A new study from the US-based Harvard School of Public Health has shown that eating canned soup every day for five days can raise the level of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in your body by up to 1,221%. The study divided seventy-five volunteers into two groups, one of which ate canned vegetable soup for five days, while the other group consumed fresh vegetable soup.

While the research is concerning, the positive side is that the group who ate the fresh soup had significantly lower levels of BPA. As we have mentioned before – BPA is fairly easy to avoid. Use fresh or frozen foods where possible, and limit your use of plastics with food.

And make your own soup! It’s very easy to do and can take as little as an hour to prepare – check out this recipe for apple and squash soup that the kids will love. If you make a lot, freeze it until you want to use it. Just remember that pouring hot food into plastic or microwaving plastic containers can release BPA. You don’t want all your hard work ruined, so make sure you store and defrost your soup in glass containers. Unlike other packaging materials, glass is completely free of BPA.

Fresh soup can also be placed in a canning jar and refrigerated until needed. As long as the soup is hot and the jar is clean, the soup should last for a week. Just pop a jar in your bag and you have an instant soup to reheat in the microwave at work.

Jars also make the perfect containers for instant soup mixes which you can easily prepare at home. They even make eye-catching gifts – ideal for the holiday season. Here are some recipes for a curried lentil soup mix, a hearty instant beef or a fun alphabet soup to entertain the kids in the holidays.

If you have other recipes to share, why not add them to the Friends of Glass recipe book!

Making Christmas dinner BPA-free is easy with glass

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

It’s almost Christmas time and here at the Friends of Glass we’re starting to think about what we will serve the family for our special dinner. One thing that is definitely off the menu is the chemical compound Bisphenol-A (BPA) which is found in many non-glass packaging materials.

It’s easy to avoid BPA – just use fresh ingredients wherever possible. And for those out of season treats, we will be using products that are packaged in glass jars and bottles. Sweet corn or garden peas take seconds to warm out of the jar and are almost as fresh and healthy as the day they were picked.

Too yummy to give

You can also try making your own accompaniments to the Christmas feast. Pack Nigella Lawson’s beetroot and ginger chutney into a Kilner jar and you have a delicious accompaniment to your Christmas roast, or a delightfully colourful gift for your food-loving friends.

While on the topic of Nigella, you should also try her delightful gingerbread stuffing. Much better than canned alternatives, it makes any Christmas bird sing! The bird will also need gravy, so why not try the US Breast Cancer Fund’s simple but yummy recipe? Vegetarians should substitute the meat stock with a suitable alternative and serve it with Simon Rimmer’s veggie Wellington.

And what do you think about a cream of mushroom soup, pumpkin pie or green bean casserole? And let’s not forget some homemade cranberry sauce. SafeMama shares her cooking tips & tricks on her blog.

There are loads of other yummy recipes on the Friends of Glass site and they are all BPA free! Why not add your suggestions?

Glass also adds class to the table!

Don’t forget the decorations – delicious healthy celebrations deserve an appropriate ‘glassy’ setting. Put out your best glassware and fill empty glass jars with a little sand and a candle to make a safe and cosy table decoration. Check the décor tips on Friends of Glass for even more inspiration. You can also add pictures of your festive tables to show us how glass adds class to your Christmas.

Looking forward to see your ideas :-)