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Pledge for Plastic-Free Food

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Sponsor: The Hunger Site

Pledge to protect yourself and the planet from the dangers of nanoplastic and microplastic particles. Sign the pledge for a safer future!

Microwaving plastic containers for quick meals may come with an unexpected cost to our health. Findings from the World Health Organization reveal that plastic baby food containers1 release billions of nanoplastics and millions of microplastics per square centimeter, posing potential risks to human health, especially for children2. As we delve deeper into the implications, it's clear that responsible practices and viable alternatives are crucial for a healthier future.

Scientific studies demonstrate that microwaving polypropylene and polyethylene containers3 leads to the release of vast quantities of micro- and nanoplastics. While the full health impact is not yet fully understood, the damage to cultured embryonic kidney cells is concerning. High particle concentrations resulted in the death of approximately 75% of these cells within two days2. Such findings necessitate a better understanding of the risks associated with these tiny plastic particles.

Prioritize Awareness for a Safer Future

Knowing the extent of plastic particle ingestion is just as crucial as understanding the nutritional content of our food. The level of exposure to micro- and nanoplastics plays a significant role in their toxicity. Thus, it is essential to be aware of the number of plastic particles present in our food and take steps to minimize exposure2.

Infant and Toddler Vulnerability

Infants and toddlers are particularly vulnerable to harmful compounds released from microwaving plastic containers4. The highest relative concentrations of substances like BPA, phthalates, and polyvinyl chloride can be found in their food and drink5. To safeguard their health, responsible choices and awareness are vital.

Demand Viable Alternatives

Though avoiding plastic entirely may be challenging, selecting containers with lower particle release is a significant step toward reducing risks. Companies manufacturing plastic containers can lead the way by seeking alternatives that release fewer micro- and nanoplastics6. As consumers, our choices can also drive companies to adopt sustainable practices prioritizing human health and environmental conservation.

Pledge to Protect People from Plastic!

Let's take proactive steps to minimize risks associated with plastic containers and particles. Embracing responsible practices can make a considerable difference in safeguarding our well-being and the planet. Together, we can drive positive change, ensuring a healthier and safer future for everyone. By adopting responsible practices and advocating for alternatives, we protect ourselves, our children, and the environment from the unseen dangers of nanoplastic and microplastic particles.

Make a commitment to creating a better tomorrow where plastic particles no longer threaten our well-being. Sign the pledge today and protect your food from plastic's harmful effects!

More on this issue:

  1. Kazi Albab Hussain, Svetlana Romanova, Ilhami Okur, Dong Zhang, Jesse Kuebler, Xi Huang, Bing Wang, Lucia Fernandez-Ballester, Yongfeng Lu, Mathias Schubert, and Yusong Li, Environmental Science & Technology (21 June 2023), "Assessing the Release of Microplastics and Nanoplastics from Plastic Containers and Reusable Food Pouches: Implications for Human Health."
  2. Scott Schrage, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2023), "Nebraska study finds billions of nanoplastics released when microwaving containers."
  3. Dunzhu Li, Yunhong Shi, Luming Yang, Liwen Xiao, Daniel K. Kehoe, Yurii K. Gun’ko, John J. Boland & Jing Jing Wang, Nature Food (19 October 2020), "Microplastic release from the degradation of polypropylene feeding bottles during infant formula preparation."
  4. Julia Belluz and Radhika Viswanathan, Vox (4 December 2018), "The problem with all the plastic that’s leaching into your food."
  5. Lisa Zimmermann, Zdenka Bartosova, Katharina Braun, Jörg Oehlmann, Carolin Völker, and Martin Wagner, Environmental Science & Technology (17 August 2021), "Plastic Products Leach Chemicals That Induce In Vitro Toxicity under Realistic Use Conditions."
  6. Maxi B. Paul, Valerie Stock, Julia Cara-Carmona, Elisa Lisicki, Sofiya Shopova, Valérie Fessard, Albert Braeuning, Holger Sieg, Linda Böhmert, Nanoscale Advances (2020), "Micro- and nanoplastics – current state of knowledge with the focus on oral uptake and toxicity."
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The Pledge:

As an individual committed to safeguarding our health and the environment, I pledge to take proactive steps to minimize the health risks associated with microwaving plastic containers. I recognize that microwaving plastic can release tiny particles, including nanoplastics and microplastics, into our food and drinks, which may pose potential health hazards.

The health effects of consuming plastic particles remain unclear, but research has shown that these particles can infiltrate our food and beverages during microwaving. Nanoplastics and microplastics are minuscule in size and may be ingested unknowingly. These particles have been associated with potential risks to human health, especially in the long term. By pledging to take the following responsible actions, I can help reduce exposure and protect the well-being of my loved ones and myself:

  1. Avoid Microwaving Plastic: I pledge to opt for microwave-safe alternatives like glass, ceramic, or microwave-safe plastics.
  2. Check Container Labels: I pledge to choose containers labeled as "microwave-safe" to minimize particle release.
  3. Use Glass or Ceramic Dishes: I will use glass or ceramic dishes for heating food in the microwave.
  4. Reduce Single-Use Plastics: I pledge to minimize the use of single-use plastic containers that may release more particles.
  5. Choose BPA-Free Containers: I pledge to select BPA-free containers to reduce potential chemical leaching.
  6. Transfer Food to Microwave-Safe Containers: I pledge to transfer food to safe containers before microwaving, especially for takeout meals.
  7. Opt for Silicone Covers: I pledge to use microwave-safe silicone covers or wraps to cover food items.
  8. Inspect Container Quality: I pledge to check containers for cracks or damage, as these may release more particles.
  9. Be Mindful of Storage: I pledge to store food and drinks in glass or BPA-free containers to avoid particle release from plastic during refrigeration.
  10. Spread Awareness: I pledge to educate family and friends about the risks and encourage responsible microwave practices.

Every small step counts in reducing the potential risks associated with microwaving plastic containers. By taking this pledge and implementing these actions, I can minimize exposure to plastic particles and contribute to a healthier future for ourselves and our communities.

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