Picnics using plastic are best left a thing of the past. So are plastic water bottles, plastic food wrap, and plastic children’s toys. Research is mounting by the day that everyday plastic consumer products are responsible for a wide array of serious health problems at very low levels. The problems range from alterations of the brain, to prostate and breast cancer, and reproductive disorders.
Food, especially hot food, can easily migrate into plastic. Here are 10 tips for avoiding ingesting and breathing plastic when on a picnic:
1. Plastic water bottles.
The Alternative: Stainless steel water bottles.
For information, click here. Another alternative is to buy corn-based “plastic” water bottles.
2. Plastic drinking straws.
The Alternative: Danny Seo offers an interesting idea for alternatives to throw-away drinking straws in his book Simply Green Parties. He suggests you use Twizzler candy–long strands of licorice that are hollow inside–as straws by snipping the ends. You can serve them in glasses, and kids can drink their beverages and then eat the straw!
3. Plastic plates.
The Alternative: Stainless steel plates, wooden plates, paper plates (which are better for health than plastic but wasteful of trees unless they are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled content).
4. Plastic cups.
The Alternative: Stainless steel cups, paper cups (see about paper plates, above).
5. Plastic utensils.
The Alternative: Metal utensils.
6. Plastic table cloth.
The Alternative: Cloth tablecloth.
7. Plastic wrap on food.
The Alternative: Aluminum foil, wax paper, cellophane.
8. Plastic beach ball.
The Alternative: Leather ball.
9. Plastic kite.
The Alternative: Paper kite.
10. Plastic containers.
The Alternative: Japanese bento boxes; Chinese take out boxes (many Chinese restaurants will sell these cheaply); stainless steel bowls covered with aluminum foil (and set upright in a picnic basket).