As World Environment Day comes back around, it’s important to remember why going plastic free in your household is so important for you and your baby, as well as for the environment.
Cutting out plastics is not just a choice for the environment, it is a choice to support the health of your baby.
Phthalates and BPA are endocrine disrupting chemicals found in most plastics; these particular plastics can have very negative effects on you and your developing baby. Exposure to chemicals in our environment begins even BEFORE birth. Studies have shown that some chemicals, like PFAS and flame retardants found in everyday products, can pass from mother to foetus through the umbilical cord, and after birth through breast milk.
Phthalates are an endocrine-disrupting group of chemicals used in plastics, cosmetics products and food packaging, have been found in breast milk and infant formula, as well as packaged and fresh foods. Endocrine disruptors have varying health impacts depending on the time of exposure, with foetal development, infancy and early childhood, especially critical windows. In infants and children, phthalates have been linked to asthma and allergies, male genital deformities and neurodevelopment issues like lowered IQ, ADHD and behavioural problems.
Children under the age of three are more at risk from phthalates because of their developing, smaller body size and ever-present exposure to plastic children’s products.
Young children use their mouths to explore, and consequently, can be exposed to higher levels by sucking on products made of phthalate-containing plastics.
BPA, another prominent endocrine-disrupting chemical found in plastic, was removed from approved use in infant bottles and sippy cups by the FDA in 2012 and formula can linings in 2013 (in both cases, manufacturers said they had already phased out use of the chemical). However, scientists have found common replacement chemicals, such as BPS, have been linked to health effects, including early puberty, disrupted metabolism and thyroid function and behavioural effects, among other impacts. Bisphenol A (BPA) is oestrogen mimicking and so is a particularly bad actor on the female side, increasing risks of fertility challenges, but likewise it can affect men. Men occupationally exposed to BPA have shown decreased sperm quality, reduced libido and higher rates of erectile dysfunction.
Swapping out those nasty plastic products in your home is so important as your little one is developing.
AND! by cutting plastics you are supporting Planet Earth by consuming fewer plastics which can make their way into landfill or waterways, leading to toxicity in the soil and the seas.
Here are some essential baby products which you could consider for keeping your baby or little one safe from plastic-based chemicals, and are also good for the Planet Earth too:
Organic Muslin & Bamboo Cloth
These handwoven muslin and bamboo cloths are a perfect swap for your home, they are 100% plastic free and therefore safe for you and your child. Swap these for baby wipes and enjoy a safer home as well as more pocket money as you won’t have to buy any more disposable baby products! My son loves these as they are beautifully soft and so easy to use! These are an essential swap to not only keep your baby healthy but to help save our environment and keep the world a cleaner and safer place.
Hydrophil kids bamboo toothbrush (pack of 2)
Change those plastic kids’ toothbrushes for this wonderful bamboo toothbrush from Hydrophil, this stylish toothbrush comes in a pack of two and is toxin and BPA free. It can be used by kids and babies, perfect for when your child is learning to brush their teeth all by themselves and are therefore a great substitute for plastic alternatives.
2 Biodegradable Bioplastic Cups
These plastic cups are made of 100% BIOplastic and are much better than those plastic cup alternatives. Great for when your child is still in their clumsy stage and able to break glass cups. They are reusable so you can use them over and over again, just wash them out after use!
Pack your kids school lunch in this plastic free bamboo lunchbox, this product is lightweight and therefore easy for travel. It has a sleek design and therefore perfect for you or your child to take to school or work to help reduce single use plastic as well as reduce the amount of plastic.
With just a few small changes, you can significantly reduce the toxic load felt by your little one from plastics.
About World Environment Day:
REIMAGINE. RECREATE. RESTORE.
This is our moment.
We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature.
Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid.
Have a lovely week,
Plastic Free Baby founder