Archive for March 2011

New Study: Food Packaging Impacts BPA Levels in People

New Study: Food Packaging Impacts BPA Levels in People

It seems that plastics are being more and more closely scrutinized for their potential role in impacting our health (not to mention the environment).  This new study asked the question, “What happens when you remove BPA from your diet?”  To get to the answer they replaced common food packaging for families for three days – and the results? Their individual BPA levels dropped more than 60% – that’s right more than 60% in just three days, amazing. And it wasn’t just BPA they tested for, they also tested for phthalates (DEHP and others) and other hormone-disrupting chemicals and every level dropped.

How’d they do it? They replaced canned or plastic packaged food with fresh foods for three days, testing families before, during and after. You can get the full details of the study here.  What really strikes me though, is the dramatic impact after only three days.  The takeaway from The Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute which conducted the study:

“…you can reduce your BPA exposure by cooking fresh foods at home, avoiding canned foods, choosing glass and stainless steel food and beverage containers, and not microwaving in plastic.”

Better still, they offer a handy wallet card or mobile card listing 10 top packaged foods to avoid.  They also recommend using glass or stainless steel food and beverage containers.

The study was conducted by Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute, with funding from the Passport Foundation.

Amping Up the Durometer: Building a Stronger Cap

You know glass can be technical, but so can silicone. Our grippers and cap are made of 100% food-grade silicone and we use a durometer to measure its density or firmness. (Feel free to use that in your next Words with Friends game.)  The durometer we have ensures that the material will hold its shape and maintain the seal on your glass water bottle. 

This past week, we made a move to amp up the durometer of our caps. Why? While it functions perfectly this move to a slightly denser cap ensures that if you bumped that cap with your fingers or hand, it wouldn’t just pop-off.  So now you have a fully-sealed, bump-proof cap. And a great new word to play.

And if you want a bit more of the science of how we measure – durometer ratings go from “A” to “D” and from low numbers to high numbers.  So a piece of silicone with an A20 rating, think of a flexible food mat, is much more flimsy than a piece with a rating of D70, think of a rollerblade wheel.  Can we get this nerdy? For a better bottle, we can.

How Clean Do Recyclables Need to Be?

So I’ve had this question for longer than I care to share – how clean do the recyclables I put at the curb need to be? You know, you have the plastics, the cans, the glass, the cardboard and paper – but just how clean does that salsa jar really need to be?  To find the answer, I called my local waste company that manages our curbside recycling and here’s the journey they take:

Our recyclables are gathered together in one by bin by our local waste company.  Their journey takes them to a processing center where they are sorted, first, by type – plastic, paper, aluminum, cardboard and non-recyclable). From there, they are sorted by quality or what you and I would call cleanliness.  The cleanest stuff gets a go ahead while dirtier materials head off to get a better bath.  After that, all materials are given a good basic washing before being recycled. (Wouldn’t you love to see the size of those cleaning machines?!)

Do you need to clean it before you recycle it?  It helps shorten the journey from trash to usable recycled material and it saves on water. So before you chuck the salsa jar into the recycle bin, give it a good rinse – because now you know.

New Study Confirms Everyday Plastics Leach Chemicals

Should we all be surprised?  A new study from the researchers at Environmental Health Perspectives confirms that plastics – from plastic sippy cups to plastic water bottles to plastic wrap – release chemicals that mimic the sex hormone estrogen. 

The researchers bought more than 450 products that come in contact with food or beverage from your everyday stores like Whole Foods and Walmart.  In lab testing, which isn’t as volatile as the real-world where we get hot sun, cold refrigeration, microwaves and freezers, more than 70% of the products leached estrogenic chemicals.

This chemical release even happens from BPA-free plastic, long thought to be the only plastic chemical culprit to potentially affect our health. In the study, researchers took plastic water bottles and plastic baby bottles that are BPA-free and 100% of them leached estrogenic chemicals.

You can read the full study here and decide for yourself. For our team at BottlesUp, you can understand why we’re committed to zero plastics in our products and our packaging.  Join in and take a vow now to minimize plastic and when you can – go glass.

Take a Look! BottlesUp at the 2011 Housewares Show

Finally back in the office and I had to share some great photos from our debut at the 2011 International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago.  We were in a wonderful section of the show, Discover Design, highlighting products that blend beautiful design with great function.  We wanted our booth to highlight the product and also stand out – our blue definitely popped out and the wood floor was a great way to stand out. Take a look:

What do you think?