Bye-Bye BPA

16th August in Blog

With sustainable living and eco-friendly products on the rise, we are all aware that plastic usage can detrimentally impact the planet. However, did you know that plastics can also have an effect on our overall health and fertility?

Bisphenol-A (or BPA for short and simplicity!) is a chemical found in certain plastics. Research has shown that excessive exposure to BPA may hinder ovarian function, foetal development and overall fertility. Because of this, many individuals aim to reduce their contact with BPA, especially whilst trying to conceive, during pregnancy and when breast feeding.

Please do not beat yourself up about years of plastic exposure. The stuff is everywhere! It is also entirely unrealistic to expect individuals to never touch plastic again. The good news is that even taking small steps may help to improve your fertility, whilst also giving a helping hand to the environment.

Additionally, many manufacturers are clocking on to this news and more plastic goods are being made as BPA-free. To find this out, some items will have a BPA-free logo on the product, outer packaging or listed in the website FAQs.

You can also glance at the ‘recycling symbol’ on the product, which is a number surrounded by a triangle. Items with 1, 2, 4 or 5 normally do not contain BPA. Whilst, 3, 6 or 7 are much more likely to.

Older plastic items are also more liable to contain BPA. Therefore, if you own some vintage Tupperware or kitchen utensils, it may be worth leaving them for decorative use only!

One of the most important pieces of advice, if using plastic products, is to limit their exposure to high temperatures. This is because heat facilitates the release of BPA. For example, even if an item states it is microwave safe, never heat food up in plastic containers. Just because it is safe for the microwave does not mean that it is safe for you! Additionally, when using plastic products, try to wash them up by hand opposed to putting them through the dishwasher.

But how can we cut back on using plastic all together? Below are some straight forward, day-to-day tips that may be simple to set up:

  • Where possible, try to choose foods that are not wrapped in plastic or packaging. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • It is becoming more popular again to shop locally at market stalls, bakeries, butchers and fishmongers. Try to take your own cotton bags, paper bags or glass Tupperware if they cannot offer a plastic free experience.
  • You may be lucky enough to live near a zero-waste, refill supermarket or shop, where you can take your own choice of packaging or opt for paper bags. You can normally get everything from pasta to rice, lentils to walnuts, and turmeric to chilli flakes. For example, ‘Sugar and Scoop’ (Ware), ‘The Refill Room’ (Leigh- on- Sea), ‘Refill’ (Chelmsford), ‘REco Store’ (Tiptree), ‘The Sustainability Store’ (Billericay), ‘SILO’ (Maldon), ‘The Refill Pantry’ (St Albans), ‘Unpackd’ (Hitchin), ‘The Wholesome Weigh’ (Hitchin), ‘Bamboo Turtle’ (Letchworth) and ‘Eat 17’ (Bishop’s Stortford).
  • Explore to see if your area has a local milk man or is supplied by ‘Milk&More’. This means you could start getting your milk, fruit juice and yogurt delivered to your door step in glass opposed to plastic. The added bonus is that companies often take these back, clean them up and reuse them!
  • Try to switch your old, plastic Tupperware for BPA-free or glass alternatives.
  • It is unlikely that we can entirely avoid purchasing food in plastic packaging. Just aim to do what you can! When possible, remove outer packaging before storage or pop the items into glass Tupperware. For example, bananas, courgettes and carrots do not need to remain in a plastic covering!
  • Avoid using plastic chopping boards, utensils, colanders, water bottles and kettles if possible. Instead, gradually replace these items with glass, wooden or metal alternatives.
  • If you enjoy a take-away coffee, when out and about, try to take a glass or stainless-steel coffee mug with you instead of using the disposable, plastic options provided. Alternatively, give yourself a few minutes to sit down and be served with a proper mug!
  • There are now many plastic-free and reusable alternatives for clingfilm. For example, natural food wraps made from cotton or beeswax.
  • Try growing some of your own fruits, vegetables or herbs at home! This does not need to involve an abundance of space. Just a few pots, windowsills or growbags can put you on the right, plastic-free path.

If you would like more information about nutrition and lifestyle, please go to Website: or email to enquire about an appointment.

Written by Alex Ballard, UK Registered Dietitian
Instagram: @alextalksdiet


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