Bento lunch box with berries and oatmeal

Why you should avoid plastic lunch boxes - and what you should do instead

The toxic effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a common chemical found in plastic is not new news. We’ve become used to looking out for ‘BPA free’ plastic products. And when this was big news, we parents rushed to replace our plastic baby bottles and kids lunchboxes with the BPA free version, feeling relieved that our kids are now safe. However, plastic is made from harmful chemicals and research is now suggesting that BPA free containers are also unsafe. My opinion is to avoid any confusion, or possible exposure your kids might have to harmful chemicals found in plastic and opt for a stainless steel lunchbox instead.

WHY AVOID PLASTIC LUNCHBOXES?

A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2011 suggested that a BPA free label, does not guarantee the product will not leach the chemicals used in the plastic production. In fact they found that over 90% of products tested - many of which were BPA free baby bottles and plastic food containers - leached chemicals that can act as endocrine disruptors, just like BPA.

Endocrine disruptors are compounds that interfere with the endocrine system (or hormone system) in humans and other mammals. Health problems and diseases that may be linked to excessive exposure to these chemicals include attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, impaired brain development, deformations of the body, breast cancer, prostate cancer, infertility, to name just a few.

It doesn’t end there though, as not only is plastic unhealthy for us, it’s clogging up our landfill and oceans too. Did you know that every single piece of plastic ever made, is still on our planet in some shape or form? And the plastic produced in the last 10 years is equal to the amount made in the whole of the last century! It has got to stop, and it is up to us to make those changes.

BUT WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE TO PLASTIC LUNCHBOXES?

We highly recommend avoiding all plastic used for food and drink purposes. Stainless steel is considered one of the safest materials to use with food and drinks, and switching your kids (and yours!) lunchboxes to a stainless steel lunchbox is the safest option. But don’t stop there! Using stainless steel water bottles for you and your kids is also one of the best alternatives to plastic bottles, they are unbreakable just like plastic but are naturally BPA free so will not leach any nasty toxins into your drink.

The great thing about stainless steel lunchboxes, is that there are so many great lunchboxes with compartments and stainless steel divided lunchboxes making packed lunch fun, quick and easy to make. 

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