Health Tips: The Scoop on Plastics

(July 2009)

Not all plastics were created equal and it is important to know which types of plastics are safe, and which are harmful. Make summer healthier for you and for the planet by following these positive approaches to plastics:


  • If you must microwave foods, use ceramic or glass containers. DO not heat or freeze foods in any plastic.
  • Store food, especially fatty food in glass or ceramic containers; avoid plastic wraps when possible, especially when heating food
  • Look for a number in the recycle sign on all of your plastic containers. If there is no number inside the triangle consider your plastic harmful and DO NOT USE.

Follow this quick guide for understanding plastics:


  • AVOID COMPLETELY: #3 (PVC's), #6 (Styrene), and #7 (Bisphenol A, also commonly referred to as BPA)
  • OKAY for MULTIPLE USE but not for heating or freezing: #4 (Low density polyethylene, also known as LDPE) and #5 (Polypropylene). These plastics are considered safe but hard to recycle
  • OKAY for SINGLE USE: #1 (PETE) and #2 (HDPE)

You should carry your water in stainless steel or glass bottles. Find out more about plastic bottled water at


Avoid other PVC products (blinds, flooring, siding). Visit for alternatives.

The first time you share tea, you are a stranger. The second time, an honored guest. The third time, you become family.
- A Balti saying from Pakistan