Posts Tagged ‘bpa’

Glass and World Cancer Day

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

When we think about myths, the first things that usually pop to mind are images of brave heroes, gods and goddess…and maybe an evil witch or two. Unfortunately, when it comes to cancer, there are common myths that are a lot more deadly than just a pesky poisoned apple.

World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on February 4th with the goal of saving millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer under the tagline, ‘Debunk the Myths’. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that a basic package of cost effective strategies to address the common cancer risk factors (tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity) would cost only USD 2 billion per year. By encouraging governments on both a national and a global level to take action against cancer, we can ensure that those suffering from this disease get the help they need and deserve.

But how does someone – on an individual level – help in raising awareness?

While doctors and scientists are still working on pin-pointing the exact causes for cancer, there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to preventing this disease. Besides exercising and reducing your tobacco and alcohol consumption, your diet plays a crucial role in preventing diseases. While most people know that eating more vegetables and fruit is important, few people are aware of the role that packaging plays in the health and safety of their food.

While other food packaging has been found to potentially leach harmful chemicals into the food and drink they contain, glass is an inert material which means that there is no risk of any contamination. Not only is glass a safer packaging material for your health, but for the health of the environment as well. Unlike other packaging materials, glass can be recycled an unlimited amount of times without losing its strength or integrity. Try making little changes, like using more glass products, when considering what you can do in your life to help raise awareness and prevent cancer.

Do you have any activities planned for World Cancer Day? Let us know on Facebook, or share with us on twitter at @GlassFriendsEUR!

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.

Wine + Glass = Taste

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Ever wondered why bag-in-box wine doesn’t taste quite as good as wine from a glass bottle? French researchers at the Joint Research Unit for Agropolymer Engineering and Emerging Technologies (UMR IATE) may have the answer. UMR IATE have found that wine loses key flavour and aroma compounds to plastic packaging as it ages.

“The material in contact with wine is known to interact with aroma compounds,” says Pascale Chalier, lead author of the of the UMR IATE study. “These phenomena could induce losses and modify the aromatic profile.” The phenomena is known as ‘flavour scalping’ – the gradual reduction of flavour over time as compounds interact with packaging.

The UMR IATE findings reflect the results of a 2009 study by researchers at Brock University (Canada) and the University of Athens (Greece). Over 18 months the team measured the level of odour compounds for two wines in different types of packaging. The study found that the number of compounds decreased by between 26 and 45% over an 18-month period. The biggest changes were noted in wines stored in Tetrapak containers. Similar levels of flavour loss were noted in wines closed with synthetic corks, compared to natural cork and screw-tops.

Unlike other materials, glass is chemically inert; it does not alter the taste of its contents and has no reaction to the food or drink it contains, nor will it affect the level of aroma compounds in the wine. Aroma compounds are incredibly important to our enjoyment of wine. That’s why wine glass are designed to taper towards the top, allowing the aroma of the wine to collect and concentrate in this area. Experts believe that balloon- or tulip-shaped wine glasses provide the best sensory experience.

At the Friends of Glass, we’re interested to hear about your experiences. Do you notice a difference in taste between wine packaged in glass bottles and wine in other types of packaging? Which types of wine glasses help to enhance the taste of your favourite tipple? Why not share your thoughts through the Friends of Glass Facebook page or tweet us at @GlassFriendsEUR.

Water Bottled in Glass has Nothing to Hide

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

As we reported a couple of weeks ago, members of the European Parliament have started a campaign to reduce the use of plastic water bottles permanently. According to estimates from Dutch MEP Judith Merkies, the EU disposes of more than 32,000 plastic water bottles per week – or more than 1.5 million each year. She notes that an analysis by the European Parliament’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) has shown that, “…out of all the possible ways of providing drinking water, the use of plastic water bottles is the least environmentally friendly.”

One of the most environmentally friendly ways to deliver bottled water is in glass containers – naturally! The glass industry uses a closed-loop recycling system which was established over 35 years ago and provides significant CO2-emission reductions. Unlike plastics, glass can also be recycled over and over again without losing its properties. Glass recycling is already very common in Europe – 68% of all glass packaging is recycled in the region leading to reduced emissions for all types of greenhouse gases.

Water bottled in glass also preserves the taste of the water and the nutritional elements that it contains. At the first-ever water-tasting held in the European Parliament during 2011, MEPs who thought ‘water is just water’ were quickly convinced that is not the case by leading sommelier, Andreas Larsson. See the results of this event in the following video: http://www.feve.org/Water2011/quicktime.html

As he explained: “Mineral waters are a ‘terroir’ product, just like wine. The nature of the source, the mineral composition and the pH level all influence the taste of the water.” Larsson also recommends glass packaging for water: “Only glass protects the purity and delicacy of mineral waters. Water is so clean that every other packaging would affect the taste.”

The clear, healthy and environmentally responsible solution to the EU’s growing mountain of plastic bottles is already available – water bottled in glass! Let’s hope the EU, like many consumers in Europe, makes the switch soon!

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!

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!