When we talk about packaging materials, the term BPA is showing up more and more often. Especially the food and cosmetics industries have got a lot of negative attention throughout the past couple of years when it comes to BPA in their packaging and the possible ways in which this may affect the products stored inside. After all, BPA is one of the world’s most commonly produced chemicals that can be found in many commonly used packaging materials. As of late, however, it’s stated that the presence of BPA in packaging materials may affect the products stored inside which, in turn, may to health-related risks upon consumption of these products. This is especially the case with products that are consumed or applied onto the skin such as foods and cosmetics. As a result, more and more people are searching for products that are stored in BPA-free packaging.
So, what exactly is BPA? Most of us have likely heard the term BPA before, however, we may not fully understand what it is. To keep things easy, BPA is a chemical that is most commonly used in the production of solid and transparent plastics. BPA plastics are extremely durable. This durability along with its high level of transparency makes BPA plastics extremely popular in the packaging industry. This for example about clear plastic jars, bottles, and containers. All these plastic packaging materials are likely to contain BPA. Besides being used in the production of plastics, BPA is also used to produce waterproof coatings in the form of resins. These coatings are often used to line the interior of large tins and jars that are used for holding liquid foods and preservatives.
BPA is mainly used due to its positive features. These include that it’s extremely cheap to produce and the fact that the end product is durable and transparent. The downside of this material, however, is that it’s extremely toxic. As a result, you may suffer from health effects when you accidentally consume a product that contains BPA. Naturally, consumable products such as foods, cosmetics, and medicine do not contain BPA. However, there is the possibility that BPA leaks out of the packaging materials used to hold these products when it’s exposed to high pressure and temperatures. When this happens, the BPA chemical may leak out and enter the products stored inside. When the product is consumed or applied onto the skin after that, it may lead to certain health effects including an increased risk of diabetes and cancer.
Due to the reasons stated above, it’s no surprise that more and more people tend to stay away from packaging materials that contain BPA. Although it has to be stated that the real danger of BPA and its potential health effects still have to be proven, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The problem is, however, that plastic packaging is everywhere. And although not all plastic contains BPA, it’s very hard to know which plastic packagings are safe when you don’t know what to look for. As such, the easiest thing to do is to stay away from plastic food and cosmetic packagings in general and to search for alternatives. Luckily for us, there are plenty of BPA-free packaging materials available today. Below, we have listed down the three most commonly used packaging materials that are safe when it comes to BPA.
Besides plastic, metal is a commonly used packaging material in the food and cosmetic industries. When it comes to metal packaging and BPA, there is one thing to keep in mind: it’s better to stay away from tin-plated iron tins. Traditional metal packaging that is made from tin-plated iron is easy to corrode and rust. As such, it requires a chemical coating for protection. As you might have guessed already, this coating contains chemicals, one of which can be BPA. Although not all traditional metal tins contain a BPA-positive coating, chances are high that most of them do.
So, what to do? Instead of traditional metal packaging, pick products that are stored in aluminum packaging. Aluminum is a natural material that does not rust or corrode. As such, it does not need a chemical coating. Thanks to this, aluminum packaging materials are 100% food-safe and toxic-free. This type of packaging can often be found in the food and cosmetics industry in the form of aluminum bottles and custom tins. When you purchase goods that are stored in an aluminum container, you can be 100% certain that it won’t contain BPA.
Glass is another commonly used packaging material in the food and cosmetic industries. This type of packaging is especially popular in the form of glass bottles and jars. For food, glass is often used for sauces and dairy products such as milk and yogurt. For cosmetics, glass is seen as a premium packaging material often used for cosmetic jars and perfume bottles. Although glass is, generally speaking, a bit more expensive compared to plastic or metal, it does bring along the benefit that it is the safest packaging material in circulation. According to the FDA, glass tops the list when it comes to safety and sustainability. Just like aluminum, glass is a natural material that does not corrode. As such, it is completely toxic-free and does not contain any BPA. It furthermore creates a highly effective barrier to outside moisture, air, and sunlight, which helps to increase the shelf-life of your goods. If you want to be 100% certain that your packaging contains no chemicals that may affect the product stored inside and has no bad influence on the environment, glass is a perfect way to go.
Last but not least, there is paper packaging. Paper packaging and brick carton are not often used for cosmetics, however, it can be found back quite commonly in the food industry. Here, it is mostly used to store liquids such as drinks and sauces or to hold frozen foods such as pizzas. Paper packaging is extremely easy to make and cheap to produce – making it attractive to use. When it comes to health, paper packaging is, generally speaking, safe to use. Paper is a natural material, however, it may contain certain chemicals from its production process. Most of these chemicals are, however, not known to be harmful to your health and do not include BPA. You do, however, need to be careful with printed paper as the ink used may contain more aggressive chemicals that can be toxic.