I’d like to know if plastics are safe to microwave and if so, how can I tell?
Justine from Vancouver, B.C.
The answer is simple: Do not microwave plastic containers or plastic wrap, ever. Heating up plastics can cause phthalates (a toxic petroleum derivative) to leach into your food.
Instead, reheat last night’s dinner in glass or ceramic dishes. Safely cover food with a plate or lid to avoid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic wrap and to prevent a mess in the microwave.
Finally, take stock of plastic containers spilling out of your kitchen cupboards. Check for cracks and scratches. Damage like this will ruin leftovers because toxic chemicals can leach out. But before tossing them in the blue bin, repurpose them throughout the home. Worn plastic containers — with or without lids — make great storage. Organize a cluttered closet or nuts and bolts in the garage.
A plastic diet will help you reduce your exposure to toxins in the home and lighten your environmental footprint at the same time.
Start your plastic diet today with these steps:
- Step 1: Avoid plastic packaging on your next trip to the grocery store.
- Step 2: Store leftovers in reusable glass or stainless steel containers.
- Step 3: If you reuse plastic containers in the fridge or freezer, only reuse those numbered 2 (HDPE), 4 (LDPE), or 5 (PP). These are found on the bottom of most containers and lids.
Lindsay Coulter gives you the straight goods on living green. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more great tips, visit The David Suzuki Foundation at davidsuzuki.org