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Let's talk glass and food packaging and safety - share your thoughts and you could win a £250 JL voucher NOW CLOSED

(133 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-May-14 11:31:03

We have been asked by the team at Friends of Glass to find out your opinion about health risks from food packaging.

Friends of Glass are an influential European consumer forum that supports and promotes the right of consumers to be able to choose food and drink products in glass packaging. It unites all those who believe glass is the clear choice for their health, their families and for the environment. Friends of Glass was created by British Glass and the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) in 2009. Their mission is to promote glass packaging and glass recycling.

They say "According to some new research launched today, 2 out of 3 parents in the EU are concerned about the migration of harmful substances from packaging into their children's food and drink. Are you one of these parents? We'd love to find out more about these concerns. We know that chemicals found in some types of food packaging can diffuse into the food and drink they contain in small amounts. There is a body of scientific research that says not enough is known about the effects of these chemicals on the human body and could be harmful to health over the long term. One of the more well-known chemicals, BP-A (Bisphenol A) is banned in children’s food and drink packaging in some countries such as France. You may be aware of the Breast Cancer UK campaign against BP-A called 'No More BPA'.

"We love glass as it's inert and therefore requires no chemical layer to protect its contents, unlike other packaging materials. Of course, glass can break but major advances in the way glass containers are produced have resulted in much lighter yet more resilient bottles and jars. Glass is also 100% recyclable so good for the environment and can be safely used in the microwave, steriliser and dishwasher over and over again with no deterioration".

So please share on this thread your opinion on the following: all comments welcome
~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?
~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Friends of Glass are interested in your views and whether you would like to see more products available in glass packaging and any other views you have on the topic.

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 JL voucher.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

PS Friends of Glass are interested in speaking to some MNers directly after this thread - if they'd like to speak to you we will PM you (no obligation)

ouryve Tue 13-May-14 12:08:07

I don't overly worry, but plastic uses oil which is such a finite resource and not all plastics can be recycled. Glass jars are so much easier to recycle. They even seem to

I don't mind drinks being in plastic bottles, though. It gives my DS more independence when he wants to prepare himself a drink. He's pretty clumsy and a lot of things get dropped and spilt.

I can't say I worry much about the safety of plastic packaging. The sustainability, yes, but not the safety.

As for a preference for glass - well, we don't buy all that much which comes in plastic bottles TBH (fizzy water, milk, and ribena are the only examples I can think of and ribena is a very infrequent purchase as I am mean and nasty mother and make my DC drink water most of the time ) but I think if glass bottles were the same price as plastic then I would probably choose glass - but they are not the same price, because they cost more to produce and transport, so making them the same price would mean either the manufacturer or the retailer accepting lower margins on glass packaged bottles, which I can't see happening somehow. That's being so, I will continue to choose the lowest cost per litre for the product I want.

rootypig Tue 13-May-14 12:24:00

I do worry to some degree - I would never drink bottled water unless I had no other option, for example. But then I buy things like milk in plastic bottles and never give it a second though confused. I suppose since we're offered no choice, I never think about it.

I would like to see more things in glass - in Ireland and France I buy farm yoghurts in glass and ceramic pots which I love, and reuse endlessly. I remember well the system of milk in glass bottles when I was a child - washing them and returning them to the doorstep for the milkman. Seems eminently sensible now.

Presumably the issues for migration are at their worst for liquids? so this is the main one for me, milk. I live in a city and buy milk from the supermarket, and I buy organic because it is such a large part of DD's diet. I would love to be able to get organic milk and raw milk for her from local farms.

On another note, I live in east London near a grocery shop called Unpackaged, where dry and some other goods were sold from bulk bins, by weight - you brought your own packaging. It's full circle, really, isn't it - it reminds me of reading Little House on the Prairie, and the way the town stores worked! I like this. The more life goes on, the more I think I'll end up shopping the way my nanny used to - greengrocer, baker, butcher. I see the advantages as being: support for community businesses; better and hopefully more local food; reduced packaging.

JonathanGirl Tue 13-May-14 12:31:44

I've never thought to worry about it, from a safety point of view.

My main concern when shopping is weight, because I have to carry it all home - no car; that probably puts me off too many glass bottles and jars.

Our local shop does sell milk, juice and water in glass bottles, but I don't usually buy them.

Roseformeplease Tue 13-May-14 12:35:22

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging?

Sometimes, particularly as packaging always seems to be changing and I am concerned about the way in which chemicals in the packaging might get into the food. Milk, for example. As children, we had glass bottles, now we have tetrapak or plastic bottles.

In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Apart from chemicals, there are some kinds of packaging that can easily and cheaply be recycled. Glass bottles used to go back to the shop for a 1p return on the bottle.

Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I think I do, to an extent, but I am always keen to be more informed.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be? There are safer options, but are they always available. I don't have a choice as to what type of carton I buy things in and I barely have a choice of brands in our local shop.
~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference? I would prefer it as long as recycling in my area was made easier. Glass is not collected, you have to transport it yourself so this can cause issues.

doradoo Tue 13-May-14 12:45:05

I live in Germany and here we have the choice for most items of glass/plastic/tin cans etc. I love the fact that I can choose a resealable glass jar for things - and then know it can be properly recycled / reused.

Most of our bottles (beer/water/juice/milketc) still have a deposit on them (even for the plastics) and many are reused several times before being recycled.

There is no particular price differential either between products in glass -v- tetrapak for example.

I think it would be beneficial for both health and environmental reasons if more glass were available in the UK - and hope to see it continue to be easily available here in Germany.

BeCool Tue 13-May-14 12:53:29

Yes I am concerned about food packaging and potential leaching of chemicals into our food - plastics, tin, tetrapack too. All have issues.

I would love to see more glass used and more products available in glass - however there are issues re weight and breakage.

I love the Germany system where you pay a refundable deposit for glass containers. Not only does this assist recycling, but I think attaching a value to glass in this way will support the value and importance of glass that other packaging doesn't have.

Of course with jars etc you still have an issue with the lids to be addressed.

I would always choose glass over plastic, but to be honest there is very little choice available in the UK. I find that plastic packaged goods also tend to be over-packaged too…plastic and cardboard which then have to be separated out before recycling, adding to waste in terms of time and convenience and not just materials.

As for safety concerns with plastic - it is all the unknowns that are a concern - how are different foods affected? Do the chemicals that are leached out at high enough levels to cause harm? You know where you are will glass - the dangers of breakage are easily understood and mitigated against and on top of that you have something that remains useful long after its original purpose ends.

gottasmile Tue 13-May-14 13:05:18

My dd was born in Canada where there seemed to be a lot more awareness about plastics not being good for people. I used glass bottles for dd (after the breast feeding stage when out and about). I had to replace a few, but it was worth it considering the risk of leaching plastic that was being talked about a lot over there.

I also use glass containers instead of Tupperware. (they do have plastic lids but the food doesn't touch the lids) I freeze food in them and they can go straight in the microwave if needed.

I would love to see milk in glass bottles in the supermarket. I buy tomato sauce for pasta in a glass bottle but I can't buy things like chopped tomatoes and tuna in glass. I've heard that the lining of these tins/cans can leach into food too.

There are enough environmental hazards that can affect our health, I wish the food industry would look more closely at the effects of their packaging. I'd love not to have to buy things in plastic and tins/cans.

UniS Tue 13-May-14 13:07:08

I'd like to get milk in glass bottles but our new milk delivery service does plastic only.

mistlethrush Tue 13-May-14 13:13:04

Yes, I would like more opportunity to buy in glass - but only if there was a lot more standardisation of product packaging so that a large range of things were packed in the same jars - which could then be returned to the store you got them from and sent back to the original manufacturer for washing and refilling. You could easily use the vehicle that is delivering the goods to the store to take the bottles away, and they would go back to the depot, waiting from the next delivery from the producer of the products and that delivery van (now empty) could take them back then. There would be some costs - added weight of delivery vehicles - however, surely this would be a more sustainable use of resources than the current?

Ellisisland Tue 13-May-14 13:15:06

Yes I do worry about it. I think that it is an issue particularly with plastic bottles being reused in the home.

I always prefer glass bottles to plastic but it is very hard to find glass options. I have seen covers for glass bottles available that you can put over the glass bottle so if it gets dropped it won't smash.

zen1 Tue 13-May-14 13:26:10

I worry about the use of BPA in food / drink packaging and where there is an option (eg children's drinks bottles) buy BPA-free products. I am concerned about the packaging used in breakfast cereals and would like to see 'safe' materials used for these and for companies to not just go for the cheapest packaging.

Given the choice between plastic and glass, I would go for glass though I do seem to remember there was an issue with some of the sealing processes used for food stuffs packaged in jars where toxic chemicals were found to have seeped into the food due to these particular processes.

NomenOmen Tue 13-May-14 13:26:48

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging?

Not all the time, but if I think about it, I do worry about the various health-scare claims I've read (with regard to plastic, etc., packaging).

In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned?

Simply that there may be health-risks to food/drink stored in plastic.

Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I can't claim to understand this topic fully, that is, what the science behind it might be. However, I am also aware that certain (anti-scientific) industries can over-exaggerate the 'risks' of certain practices, so I try not to worry unduly. But I think there is a real issue here (as evidenced by practice in other countries).

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

Obviously I think glass is a safer option.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

I think I would be inclined to think so, although, as I've said above, without knowing much about it scientifically, I can't say this is anything more than a suspicion or prejudice! I do prefer things in glass, for a number of reasons:

a) more recyclable (I don't have to spend any time worrying whether it goes in the blue bin or not!) and possibly marginally less wasteful of a finite resource (i.e. fossil fuels);

b) aesthetically, sensually: I prefer the look and feel of things in glass. It's just more attractive. I think that - given a choice - I would always pick the foodstuff in glass over that in plastic (if it were the same product).

I don't worry particularly about breakage or weight, but then I tend to do the bulk of my shopping in the supermarket, to which I drive in my car, so these things don't have to be a consideration. I would imagine that if you have to do your shopping on foot, the additional weight of a lot of glass bottles, etc., would be off-putting.

clairedunphy Tue 13-May-14 13:35:49

Yes I do have concerns about plastics, but as others have said there aren't always alternatives. I'm also not nearly well informed enough about health risks etc, there isn't enough public information about the leaching of chemicals into food and risks attached to reusing or microwaving plastics.

ContinentalKat Tue 13-May-14 13:50:31

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I do and I am concerned.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

Glass is a great alternative. Not for everything, but for drinks especially.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

I do, and it would be a preference for me. I do see a safety issue for children, though, and currently use Sigg bottles for them as they don't break.

I would love to buy all of our drinks in glass bottles, with a European style deposit and return to be refilled/recycled system.

Letitsnow9 Tue 13-May-14 14:02:31

I don't worry about it and recycle all plastic that can be. I think things look posher in glass bottles but like the saftey of plastic not breaking when dropped and being able to squeeze things like tomato ketchup

OrdinaryGirl Tue 13-May-14 14:05:48

I always use glass over plastic for cooking, heating and storing unless it's completely impractical. Not only do BPA and other chemicals worry me, but food definitely tastes better in glass. And it's so much prettier!

sharond101 Tue 13-May-14 14:12:14

Ism pretty laid back with this subject. See safety issues with all being glass as DS likes to throw everything.

CMOTDibbler Tue 13-May-14 14:18:27

I'd like to see more things, especially liquids, sold in glass as its so easily reused and recycled.
There are plus points to plastic, such as dropability, and the airtight seal - I found milk in glass bottles goes off much quicker than in plastic cartons

Hermancakedestroyer Tue 13-May-14 14:21:36

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I worry about the effect of chemicals seeping into food through packaging. I believe we live in a throw away culture where the cheapest, nastiest packaging is used regardless of it's affect on health.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

Having read the article, I believe glass could be the way forward. It does not contain harmful chemicals and so wouldnot pose a threat to health.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?yes, for the reasons above. If we can do anything to improve the quality of packaging then it can only be a good thing.

Bingbongbinglybunglyboo Tue 13-May-14 14:28:27

I don't worry about food packaging, and think glass would be more dangerous as I am more likely to drop it and have broken glass in my house!

B3nnyB0y Tue 13-May-14 14:34:53

Yes I am concerned about food packaging my DS has Eczema and we believe chemicals introduced are the cause.

I would like to see more glass used but am concerned now he is getting taller and stronger about smashing the container.

As BeCool said though with jars etc you still have an issue with the lids to be addressed.

LadySybilLikesCake Tue 13-May-14 14:39:50

I worry about plastics. I wonder what chemicals are in them and whether they can leach into the food inside, especially with things that are designed to be heated.

I think glass/natural packaging like cardboard or paper is better and I try to cook from scratch where I can, so using things which don't require a lot of packaging.

I do prefer glass but it's heavy to carry. Easy to recycle though smile

WowOoo Tue 13-May-14 14:41:55

The fact that many plastics are not recycled and the environmental cost of their production worries me the most.

I've always been a great lover of glass. But, I am well aware of it's limitations. It's weight can make it heavy; it's so easy to break and shatter (plus the danger of cutting oneself/having tyres damaged by glass in the road etc) and the fact that so many lazy people don't bother to recycle it.

Some glass things I have were built to last though. I have a Pyrex jug that I've dropped and it still did not break. I wonder if it's mixed with a plastic. I love it - easy to clean and see through. My favourite glass is an arcoroc French one that has far outlasted any plastic cups the kids have used.

I love the money back thing that a poster said they still do in Germany for glass. That would encourage more people to recycle.

LadySybilLikesCake Tue 13-May-14 14:44:38

IIRC the 'pop man' used to give my parents a tiny refund for the glass bottles, WowOoo. Pyrex is fab, and it doesn't melt if I accidentally put it too close to the cooker blush

CheeryName Tue 13-May-14 14:44:46

I never give contamination from plastic into food a second's thought. I do hate excess packaging though and prefer glass, except for bottles of squash, because the children would probably break them!

I like to think the wine I drink so conscientiously is helping the glass bottle cause wine

CheeseEMouse Tue 13-May-14 14:51:42

Like many others I had never considered this a risk either. I suppose what I would like to understand is how much of a risk there actually is - as nothing in life is risk free and there are carcinogens in lots of things. Probably living on a busy road is doing my lungs no good...

I agree that glass is easily recycled - but plastic is becoming easier too and I am more concerned about the environmental impact. I do my best never to take plastic bags, for example. Similarly I try and avoid pre packed fruit and veg if I can help it.

spottydolphin Tue 13-May-14 15:03:20

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

yes, I am and it does affect what I buy in some instances.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
glass, paper/card

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

yes, I do and it would certainly be preferable esp if you could reuse rather than recycle!

Kairos Tue 13-May-14 15:07:27

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging?

I am no fan of plastic packaging, but I also understand that plastic is flexible (unlike glass) and water-tight (unlike cardboard/paper). That's why it's so prevalent. I do not like packaging waste, but I also do not like food waste: plastic packaging protects food very well. If I drop a glass jar, it will probably smash, resulting in unusable food and dangerous shards of glass.

In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned?

We know toxins transfer from plastic packaging onto the food it contains.

Do you understand the issues around this topic?

Yes, I think I do.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be? There are 3 types of safety here: a) food protection b) protection from toxins c) packaging that can be safely handled. Glass falls foul of the latter condition.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

I prefer how it looks and I prefer not to use plastic, but I am generally very nervous if my children handle glass.

starfishmummy Tue 13-May-14 15:21:06

I am not overly concerned about plastic being a health risk but have a preference for glass. I think its just what I am used to - I'm a "fifty something" and remember a time when glass was the norm - even fir things like shampoo.
Mostly if there were two similar items and one was in glass and one in plastic, I would go for glass. I know that it can all be recycled - rather than the "can I can't I" associated with the different plastics

sleepyhead Tue 13-May-14 15:30:49

Until fairly recently we used to build up a stash of glass Irn Bru bottles and then take them back to the shop for the deposit (which we spent on chocolate). Haven't bought fizzy juice for a while now though.

I would like glass to be more easily recyclable - we don't have a bottle bank particularly near by, and the council collections are plastic & cardboard only (flat, so communal bins).

I don't particularly worry about plastic packaging as a health risk, but I do hate that it builds up in landfill - I'm not convinced that our council pays more than lip service to recycling, and our recycling bins are routinely contaminated by lazy arseholes shoving anything and everything in.

If I have the option, I'll go for glass over plastic all else being equal, but I do look carefully at price per 100g/ml and would probably not pay much of a premium for glass.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 13-May-14 15:31:20

I miss milk in glass bottles, but am on a budget and am not sufficiently convinced of the risks to spend more to get it that way.

I also wonder who is funding Friends of Glass and what they stand to gain?

NettleTea Tue 13-May-14 15:52:59

i prefer glass, and often reuse the bottles myself for making cordials and preserves/oils/herbal medicines.
Not keen on plastic full stop really

MrsLoada Tue 13-May-14 16:10:11

I would love to see more things packed in glass as a child we got lemonade in glass bottles and when we returned them to the shop we some money off the next bottle ( not much 2-5p) but these bottles we reused over and over again. Not like the glass now, I just pop it in the recycling which is good but surely energy is used to break it up and make into a new bottle/ jar were as if it could go back and be washed and reused for the same thing surely that would be better.
I do worry about bpa can since reading about it and losing my aunt to breast cancer, I'm trying to buy in glass instead of plastic where I can but it's so hard to find many things in glass jars and bottles, plus schools always say now glass bottles in packed lunches.

I never even thought about this from a safety point of view! Something else to worry about now......I appreciate that glass is easier to recycle but I don't drive so it's heavy to carry and I do worry about it breaking. But really, this isn't even on my radar.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 13-May-14 18:44:42

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?
I can't say I've ever given much thought to the safety of food & drink packaging. I really don't have much idea about the issues at all and the thread intro is probay the most information I've ever got.
~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
I've never really thought about it. Non-plastic packaging such as glass would make sense.
~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
I suppose so. In theory glass is preferable, but in practice it's often more expensive, heavier to carry home and more difficult to recycle (not all councils will collect glass) than plastic.
I'm going to put a bit more thought into choosing glass packaging in future.

ScrambledEggAndToast Tue 13-May-14 18:54:38

I have had my concerns for years re.plastic. When DS was younger and I was weaning him, I bought loads of glass jars and used them to fill the food mush with. I know you can reuse plastic pots but the glass ones lasted so much longer because they didn't stain and just seemed to be so clean out of the dishwasher. There was no funny smell which you sometimes get with plastic pots when you have been using them for a while. I would definitely advocate the use of glass everytime. From an aesthetic point of view, it just looks so much nicer too grin

mammamic Tue 13-May-14 19:01:02

concern about safety of food /drink packaging?
YES

In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned?
I do worry a lot about this issue. Whenever possible, I purchase BPA free packaging. I also have spoken with supermarkets (eg Waitrose, Tesco etc) about safe packaging. Waitrose are commmitted to have all their 'own brand' goods in BPA free packaging but they cannot control other suppliers. Tesco didn't seem to care, to be honest.

For those goods which don't go off too quickly by being opened, I usually put them in my own containers - BPA free and glass.

Do you understand the issues around this topic?
From a consumer perspective, I believe I do (but of course, you don't know what you don't know!)

What don't you understand?
Why poisonous, carcinogenic, unsafe materials are allowed in any packaging - especially food?
Why is it always money above safety?

Are you aware of the safer options?
Yes

If so, what do you consider them to be?
BPA free, glass, paper based (eg cardboard)

Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
Absolutely yes to both

I also think that if we had more glass, there would be more recycling - re-use in the home rather than throwing away.
Many plastics do not recycle well and have 'long lives' - and what do we do - dig big holes in our countryside or, worse still, illegally throw in our seas.

We now have to worry about the Great Pacific garbage patch as well!

Theincidental Tue 13-May-14 19:06:49

I worry about plastics in safety and environmental terms. Local authorities are so picky about what plastic they will and won't recycle and our oceans are full of plastic bags and packets. It's quite disturbing.

I don't worry about glass. I really like he new douwe egberts ad where they show the lifespan of their packaging - pots for pens, food storage etc. I also (like most mners) have a cupboard of gu pots!

Jam jars still rock for reusing for jam or crafts, or storage.

I hadn't really considered any of this until I read this thread, but am now really interested!

addictedtosugar Tue 13-May-14 20:38:22

While I'm concerned about plasticers leaching out of plastics, and would prefer glass, this would be for adult use product.
Glass drinks bottles in places like parks are a recipe for disaster (as proven by the broken beer bottles in the teenage hangouts round the corner from the supermarket).
Weight for e.g. drinks for a picnic would also be a consideration.

Would there be a way to commercially reuse glass bottles, rather than crush and reform at every recycling (like I assume milk bottle and the milk man used to do!)?

Shallishanti Tue 13-May-14 20:49:10

I'm not too concerned about the health implications of plastic. Am more interested in environmental issues which are complex- glass packaging is much heavier so costs more (£ and CO2.) to transport. Recycling glass - better than it going to landfill but MUCH better would be to reuse the container (as in milk bottles)- I think if there was some standardisation of shapes of jars and bottles this would be workable. Some packaging can be reused in the home (plastic or glass) but really, will only be a small % of what is used- I make a fair amount of jam but still have surplus jars, and how many yoghurt pot shakers can one family use?
Plastic uses petrochemicals which are a finite resource and so should be recycled- but LA's often don't do this well and we all end up wondering if we can or can't put margarine tubs in the recycling.
so- to conclude- I'd be happy to see less plastic used, but can see environmental as well as practical problems replacing it with plastic.

xlatia Tue 13-May-14 20:58:30

Oooh, exciting! We do worry about plastics that come into contact with food and are in the process of phasing out all plastic kitchen gear. We also had glass feeding bottles when the DC were little.

Someone summed up the whole problem around plastic containers quite neatly, saying something along the lines of "glass has been used for food storage for centuries, but plastic's only been around for the last 50 years and in that period cancer rates happened to explode as well" a bit simplistic probably but you get the point.

Apparently the biggest issue is when the plastic gets hot, it starts to emit dangerous chemicals, so toaster, kettle and spatulas had to go first. We now use glass/steel applicances (stylish!) and wooden utensils. DP takes lunch into work to reheat in the microwave and over the past couple of months we've collected quite a selection of glass jars, just empty food containers from jams, gherkins, cabbage... Breakage is a problem, particularly annoying when the jar is still full of food because then it's wasted completely. I'm not aware of a more sturdy alternative, so for the time being he just has to be careful if he doesn't want to go hungry. wink

I would like to see more recyclable packaging available. I'm German, so used to recycling everything/taking bottles back to the shop for a refund and would be more than happy to continue doing so here!

JamJimJam Tue 13-May-14 21:02:03

Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging?

I dislike plastic packaging as a rule, but I understand its suitability for many foods/drinks.

In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned?

I am concerned regarding the transfer of harmful toxins from the packaging into food.

Do you understand the issues around this topic?

From the perspective of a consumer, as opposed to a scientist, yes.

Are you aware of the safer options?

Yes

If so, what do you consider them to be?

Glass, paper based packaging.

Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Yes, definitely. Eg we always buy fizzy water in glass bottles.

KateOxford Tue 13-May-14 21:11:31

I am always careful to buy BPA free packaging for storing food however dont give much thought to how food I purchase is stored since I assume it is stored in the safest way. I am always careful not to keep liquids in plastic which could become warm and then cool again such as in a car as I understand this can cause chemicals to be released into the liquid.
I store liquid in insulated containers which keep the liquid at one temperature.
Plastic would be my preferred storage vessel in case of glass breaking and hurting my children.

Pinter Tue 13-May-14 21:13:43

I would much prefer to buy things in glass than plastic

When I take food out of the house I use bpa free plastic. Easier for 11 month old DC & I don't worry about things getting dropped & broken

I have a glass jar in the fridge that is like a salad dressing jar, so left over flavoured oil (from anchovies or sardines) & vinegar (from artichokes or chillies) goes in

It would be great if you could rinse & return pop bottles like in days of old!

Juices taste better out of glass I think too smile

Teaat3Ten Tue 13-May-14 21:18:49

Yes I do have some concerns about the use of plastic for food and drink packaging and I try where possible to buy products packaged in other ways.
The transfer of toxins and chemicals is a concern particularly when heat is involved. I had been made aware of this by the Breast Cancer UK campaign.
Safer options are glass and paper, not always practical I know.
I will always try to buy glass over plastic containers, not always easy.I have recycled all my glass containers for years and years. My local authority at the moment doesn't recycle plastics, another strong reason for me choosing glass.If refunds were given on glass bottles/jars I am sure consumers would soon make the switch to safer packaging!

AndHarry Tue 13-May-14 21:24:54

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I have done a bit of reading on the subject. Generally I'm not particularly worried but I do avoid cooking in plastic containers.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

I suppose safer options in terms of chemical transfer are glass and wooden boxes.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
My concerns about plastic packaging are far outweighed by knowing that containers won't break into tiny sharp pieces that I'll have to spend hours cleaning up (and then still stand on a splinter) though, especially with young children who like to empty our food cupboards as a game! I'd like to have a choice but generally I'm not too bothered either way.

GetKnitted Tue 13-May-14 21:57:37

I would say that I am slightly worried about packaging safety, particularly since there are mixed messages about the safety and prevalence of BPA in plastic packaging. I do think that glass is safer from a chemical perspective, though of course a tetrapac can't really smash like glass.

TheHouseatWhoCorner Tue 13-May-14 22:02:22

I'm not honestly overly concerned with safety issues around packaging.
Having said that. I'm vaguely aware of the research around BPA and feel slightly guilty that I'm not better informed.
I'm generally the sort to take time reacting to 'health scares' but once I'm convinced of the argument, I take precautions seriously.

tinypumpkin Tue 13-May-14 22:56:00

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned?

I'm not but perhaps I should be. Life is too crazy at the moment to worry about this (I have enough to worry about!)

Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

Like another poster, I know that there are some issues around BPA. I am not well informed though and probably should be,

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

Not really sure in all honesty. I imagine glass / cardboard (if appropriate) rather than plastic.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

I prefer glass.

TigerTrumpet Tue 13-May-14 23:04:35

I'm not very well informed about any health concerns associated with plastic packaging for foodstuffs and drinks. However, I don't like the way water or diet coke tastes out of a plastic bottle and think it's easier to clean/sterilise glass containers than plastic. I prefer to use Pyrex or ceramics for leftovers and lunches, for example, than Tupperware or similar.

Safer options in terms of safety glass? Or BPA(?)-free plastics?

I have a toddler and tend to use plastic for anything she's likely to handle for now. But I'd much prefer glass, far more convenient, clean, durable and food smells don't linger, either.

idleweiss Tue 13-May-14 23:05:10

I really hate the idea of phthalates in plastics, and also the coating inside a lot of tin cans, I try to avoid such packaging unless it is stated that it is free from such chemicals,when it comes to my LOs. I am an avid recycler and recycle as much as I can. I love the fact that cardboard/glass is so easy to recycle and reuse, and buy a lot of products in such packaging. As my children are still quite young, I decant drinks from glass bottles, ie water, into more suitable cups as I would be worried they would drop them and cut themselves. That's the one thing with glass, the shards when broken. I especially hate it when out and about with my LOs and some idiot has smashed glass and it is all over the ground!so dangerous...I really dislike the fact that a lot of plastics cannot be recycled....and also get frustrated that a lot of people do not recycle (or can't be arsed to do it properly!) or understand how important it is!! Grrr!

Hopezibah Tue 13-May-14 23:16:48

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I've heard of the BPA issue but don't know much about it and don't buy specifcally BPA free - but do feel reaasured when kids plastic drinks bottles eg baby feeding bottles are BPA free.
~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
BPA free plastic. I didn't know about glass as a safe alternative before now - so more awareness raising would be good.
~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
I would worry about the safety aspect of glass for kids in terms of breakages. I like the feel of glass - makes products 'feel' nicer quality like when you get glass bottles of water in hotel rooms and those little glass bottles of cola always seem more special.
If there was some reassurance about less likely to break / smash and harm the kids that way, I would feel happier about glass packaging.

Glass always feels more 'recyclable' than plastic and feels better for the environment too.

I live in Canada where we have more regulation of plastics. I love glass and stainless steel for my DD's food. I do use plastics but would rather use glass, especially if it is to be repeatedly heated and cooled. I would HINT always buy glass if it were the same cost HINT.

Sweetmotherfudger Wed 14-May-14 06:10:51

I would love to seem more foods in glass rather than plastics but I have to admit my main concern is sustainability as I love that glass can be formally or informally recycled.

I'm not sure that the heaviness put me off as I walk to the shops so do several shops a week rather than one big one.

I do try and use options like cardboard and now I've given it more thought I will more!

Bubbles85 Wed 14-May-14 07:08:54

I do t really worry about things being packaged in plastic. I do however make a point of not heating food up in plastic containers. When we are being lazy and getting ready made meals from the supermarket I always remove the food from the packaging before microwaving as I worry that chemicals leak out at high temperatures. I like the idea of glass instead.

DurhamDurham Wed 14-May-14 07:27:23

I never used to give it a thought. I confess to thinking that people who went on about the dangers of using plastic items for babies were slightly nutty.

However I have seen information recently where there was a clear demonstration of the chemical reaction to plastic bottles of water which were left in a car for a few days. I wouldn't drink water out of a plastic bottle now...unless I was desperate. When my girls were little I used to worry about having glass bottles and glasses near them, in case it broke and they got cut. If I had to to it all again I think I would be more worried about all the plastic I exposed them to.

SixImpossible Wed 14-May-14 07:30:15

I don't know enough to have an informed opinion. I know that plastic degrades and that there are concerns regarding leeching.

solastyear Wed 14-May-14 10:26:29

I am slightly concerned about chemicals in plastic leeching into bottled water etc. Glass is preferable but not always an option / more expensive , heavier to transport / carry and risk of breakage.

ilovereading Wed 14-May-14 10:53:09

Glass, for me, is infinitely preferable over plastic packaging. I loathe all the millions of plastic milk bottles and microwaveable containers on sale, and find it really difficult to find alternatively packaged products when shopping for food (I do actively look for these, and am even prepared to pay a premium for more environmentally friendly packaging such as Tetrapaks). All the plastic food containers pile up so fast; and, in our area anyway, aren't apparently recycleable either. So I presume they have to go to landfill / get incinerated, eventually.... no doubt thereby releasing toxic chemicals in the process ... which will then leach into the water supply, and come back to us.

Wasn't there some alarming research done, a while back, showing how these chemical by-products are already having a feminizing effect on males, in both the human and animal worlds? (as they create harmful dioxins which mimic female hormone effects on males). Also increasing cancer risks. Since I read this, I always decant any readymade product from a microwaveable container into a glass one for heating up. You can tell just from the smell of hot or burning plastic (eg in bonfires) that it can't be good for you. I find it so ludicrous to consider that a quick 10 minute microwave meal can be over so quickly, yet leaves packaging that will probably take decades to disappear/degrade in the earth.

I just can't understand how the major supermarkets can remain so insouciant about the obvious, serious environmental implications of all their use of plastic. More glass packaging would be great, but I think - for it to work properly - there really would need to be much more powerful effective consumer incentives, ie: returnable deposits on glass containers, so more people (not just the conscientious ones) would be much more motivated in recycling the glass to get their money back. Also, glass can be heavy, and there is the breakage/safety issue; but if it could be made lighter and more shatterproof, that would help. I do like the idea of buying 'unpackaged' products from bulk shops (see upthread) - but for me the issue here would be that I'd need to be able to keep the food I'd bought this way, fresh, for as long as possible, and that has to do with the quality of packaging as well.

ilovereading Wed 14-May-14 11:14:30

Just want to add also that some recycled glass products can be really attractive, and it would be nice to see more of them available generally in the UK. I'd buy them.

BTW, can we actually be sure that all our trips to the bottle banks in this country do actually result in all the glass being recycled? I have heard once that the glass gets collected, but that sometimes, it just ends up in landfill anyway! (depending on the local authority) - I wonder if that is sometimes true? Local councils/MPs do need to be proactive, have integrity and commitment and take a proper lead on this, IMO - for effective recycling, it's a team effort and everyone needs to be doing their bit as much as possible. Not recycling needs to be made more socially unacceptable too. (Maybe those who don't recycle could be named/ shamed/ fined? - a bit like those who don't clear up after their dogs! - Don't people have to recycle, by law, in Germany? A bit harsh maybe, but it could be the only real way forward....)

SacreBlue Wed 14-May-14 12:51:33

I have heard of BPA and generally the concerns over chemicals leaching into food - particularly when microwaved. I find this concerning enough to prefer glass over plastics, and to decant into glass if microwaving, nit not so much as to stop me buying things in plastics which I can't find in glass.

We have kerbside collection for glass here in Belfast but often I will just wash and reuse glass jars for other things e.g. decanting things I've bought in tins if we aren't using the whole tin in one go, or as little vases/tealight holders.

I would love to have milk in bottles again as well but would be buying lots <teenage boy at home> so deliveries again would be superb - we still have Maine lemonade deliveries.

I expect it might be difficult for deliveries when so many of us are out of the house at work these days, and we are all a bit more aware of theft, but some organic farms round here are doing delivered boxes in the city so it's not impossible.

The major safety factor about plastic packaging is ending up wanting to kill someone with the scissors you had to break three nails, wrench a tooth and stab repeatedly with a knife in order to get them out of their plastic pack.

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

Not really that worried as I don't use bottles but breastfeed and don't use pouches of food but cook from scratch.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

Glass, BPA free plastics, tetrapaks

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Yes, but I'm more concerned about the inability to recycle plastics locally and their being oil based.

TitusFlavius Wed 14-May-14 14:39:59

I long for the return of the proper milkman/milkwoman, who drops it off at the door in a glass bottle and takes the empties away.

Wickeddevil Wed 14-May-14 19:50:45

do I worry yes a little, and I look for BPA free if available (childrens drink bottles) for example. I also think food tastes better from glass; DH and I were discussing this re tomato ketchup last week. Sensibly it shouldn't taste different, but we both think it might grin. I also don't like drinking water from plastic glasses, I prefer the real thing, and I can't ever imagine drinking wine from a plastic bottle.
safer option I have limited knowledge here other than when something is glass or says BPA free on the label. Given the choice I would chose either of these though so long as it is practical.
glass vs plastic I would consider glass as long as it is a practical alternative for the person or activity. For small children or frail elderly the weight of glass can be an issue, and there are potential risks from breakages.
In terms of how green, while I like the idea of recycling glass, I genuinely don't know how environmentally friendly this would be if it meant an increase in the weight of products carried by road, and then further transportation of the empties for recycling, thus requiring more journeys/fuel use etc.
I do think this is an interesting debate and would like to learn more

violetlights Wed 14-May-14 20:22:37

I worry about plastic packaging but mainly when it is designed to be heated or has been exposed to heat. I prefer not to but ready meals mainly for this purpose. I also would have preferred to have glass babies bottles. I fear that heating plastic results in chemicals being transferred into the food or drink.

I was be very interested in an alternative to plastic packaging. Rather than purely recycling glass packaging though, I'd like to see a return of the 'reusing' system that was used for milk bottles. Why can't this be applied to all packaging?

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Wed 14-May-14 20:50:33

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I do worry about plastic packaging, in terms of the chemicals involved and their impact upon the environment. I wouldn't say I am fully aware of the issues though, I'm no expert by a long shot. I never keep plastic water bottles in the car and try to avoid heating plastic.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

The children's drinks bottles are BPA free. I think glass and tetrapack are better alternatives.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Safer and nicer, but I would be concerned about the environmental impact of using more glass. I know it can be recycled but the energy use involved is pretty significant. If packaging could be reused more that would be the way forward in my opinion.

Back2Two Wed 14-May-14 21:03:04

Hi
Yes, I do think/worry about it. For my children's health as well as my own/my husbands.
I would attempt to buy glass rather than plastic bottles for example.
It's a sort of "niggling" issue rather than a pressing issue but I would like to be better informed in general.
I am less likely to buy bottled water now because of my little bit of awareness that it may be a health risk ( something was circulated on Facebook about BPA and breast cancer and plastic bottles left in the warmth of the car?)
I'd also not re-use plastic bottles (I used to refill them with water) because of the risks so they seem a more wasteful purchase even if I re-cycle them.
Recycling glass seems like the best option and I would buy glass over plastic.
Basically, I much prefer glass and would expect that the drink tastes way better too.

ChasedByBees Wed 14-May-14 22:57:00

I worry about plastics and try to avoid heating things in plastic containers mainly ready meals, ahem, even though the damage has already been done

I transfer things to ceramic or glass containers for the microwave for example.

I'd much prefer to be able to buy things in glass but there's very little choice.

telsa Wed 14-May-14 23:04:05

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging?
I am very very worried about plastic packaging and the leeching of harmful or unknown materials into food. I also think that they are a burden on resources and wish that there was far less packaging and that we could collect things in our own bags, boxes etc. Much prefer shopping at the market.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
For drink containers I have always chosen steel and BPA Free stuff.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
Glass is a preference in many cases....for fruit and vegetables, rather than in tins, I. Did have a glass baby bottle once, though I know that these seem to be unpopular because of breakages, but that never happened to me. I use glass food boxes for packed lunches. I would rather have the risk of this inert and easy to clean material breaking than use nasty toxic plastics.

k8vincent Thu 15-May-14 08:05:22

I don't worry so much about the safety of the packaging, more the waste and the fact that in spite of better recycling capabilities, our local council don't seem to recycle half the plastic stuff. I would love to buy stuff with less packaging, but often the 'greener' products are just out of our budget. So, it is eat or recyclable packaging.

If glass packaging were price on a par with plastic I would definitely prefer it, but it isn't.

flamingtoaster Thu 15-May-14 09:53:37

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

Yes I am concerned and avoid plastic if there is a glass option available. I do understand the issues. I will choose my oils in a glass bottle, only microwave in glass etc.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

The safest and most eco friendly option is glass. It doesn't react with anything and it can be recycled.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Always.

BikeRunSki Thu 15-May-14 13:26:07

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I dislike plastic packaging, and am concerned about the effects of plasticisers on long term health. As an undergraduate Applied Science student, I was involved in a project to monitor the movement of plasticisiers through cheese. We could not get a "clean" cheese sample, even from the centreal core of a pillow-sised lump of cheddar. I don't think we know the full story on the very hydrocarbon heavy lifestyle we live now.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
I try to deliberatley shop in places where I can get paper and glass packaging. I live in the countryside, so I can visit farm shops easily, and get my milk delivered straight from the farm in glass bottles. Lots of stuff still in plastic pots - yoghurts - but cheese is cut from a larger cheese and wraped in paper.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference? I suppose glass is marginally less safe on a day to day scale as there is always the possibility that I might drop a bottle. However, I think I have only dropped two milk bottles in 10 years of milk deliveries, so it's not something I worry about. My 2 and 5 year olds manage to get the milk in from the doorstep quite safely. I consider the long term effects of plastic packaging to be much less safe than the short term effects of breaking a glass milk bottle!

On a global scale, I don't think we can continue the whole manufacture/use/throwaway cycle we have with a lot of plastics still. The reusability of glass is a very strong benefit, and paper is reused for many things or cheaply, easily and widely recycled.

CointreauVersial Thu 15-May-14 17:54:28

I can honestly say I've never given a moment's thought to chemicals leaching into food from plastic packaging. Call me naive, but I assume these kinds of things are tested for during development?

Anyway, glass to me often means "premium" but also "heavy" and "fragile". Glass bottles for things like ketchup often result in waste, because the last bit of food is tricky to remove. Recycling-wise it is no different for us, as both glass and plastic is collected by the council.

FreckledLeopard Thu 15-May-14 18:04:05

I can't say I am particularly worried about chemicals or plastic packaging. In terms of presentation, I'd say glass 'looks' nicer (glass jars of chutneys or pickles etc), but it certainly has limitations for its use. I mean, you could hardly store raw meat in glass packaging, could you?

Also, glass is not particularly practical for certain foods. The reason I buy mayonnaise or ketchup in plastic bottles is because it's easy to squeeze out the contents. Trying to get ketchup out of a glass bottle is a massive pain.

I recycle all plastics at home (apart from black plastic which the council won't take for some reason), so don't feel as if I'm damaging the environment particularly.

So, all in all, I can't say I'm very concerned at all.

HeartStarCircleSquare Thu 15-May-14 18:38:28

I am not super concerned about the health aspects, I am much more disappointed by the environmental impact of too much plastic.

When we lived in Germany all of the glass bottles had a deposit on them. I was happy to pay them- as I got money back! The plastic bottles were even more expensive as they are more important to bring back and recycle.

The best bit was that even people who were not interested in recycling were inadvertently recycling as people would collect the discarded bottles themselves to turn in for the deposit.

hunhun007 Thu 15-May-14 19:06:17

I do worry about plastics, especially plastic containers which go into microwave or bottled water.
I read quite a bit about harmful properties of plastic containers after they got heated up ...
We used to always keep bottled water in the car, you know just in case... we don't do it any more. We keep water in glass bottle, but they are heavier and can break so it is not ideal as well.
It scares me that I do not know it all. Media do not share this "revelation" with public and despite existence of Mr. Google access to real information isn't as easy as most would think.

JulesJules Thu 15-May-14 19:20:08

We still have a milkman and a morning milk delivery in glass bottles which we wash and return - I think this is far preferable to plastic bottles. I really dislike plastic packaging, our recyc will only accept plastic bottles and although we try and reuse containers as much as possible, ultimately they are all going to end up as landfill.

I have to admit the environmental aspect has concerned me more than possible adverse health issues, but I am not very well informed on these

missorinoco Thu 15-May-14 19:26:20

I don't worry about the harmful effects of plastic containers, but a niggling part of me wonders if I am naive - I read an article about reusing plastic water bottles and potential harmful effects.

The environmental aspect concerns me, in part when I realized how putting a single wrong plastic item into the recycling renders it all unstable and unable to be recycled.

I agree with he comment about the weight of glass and carrying it home. But if there was a switch i I would probably go with it and switch to internet shopping or more supermarket shopping. I manage to cope with the weight of glass wine bottles....

GrasshopperNchipmunk Thu 15-May-14 21:02:59

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

It's never really crossed my mind to be worried about packaging as I assumed (maybe naively) that it all would be safe. I have found shards of glass in food before on more than one occasion so I guess that I always thought glass would not be a safer option.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

This isn't a subject that I know much about but I would guess that substance wise glass and natural packaging are likely to be safest. I do like it when fruit and veg are in paper or cardboard packaging.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Plastic is not as heavy as glass to carry, which makes shopping easier. If plastic is safe to use then I would probably prefer that, as long as it is recyclable.

serendipity1980 Thu 15-May-14 21:17:37

I'm not too concerned about BPA because I think that it is phasing out now that people are aware of it. We don't buy many plastic bottles but I am favour of glass - I don't like the amount of plastic we use in this country, it isn't good for the environment. The only downside of glass is that it doesn't bounce on a tiled kitchen floor!

PlumpPartridge Thu 15-May-14 21:25:25

Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging?
I can't say it's occurred to me until now, to be honest.

Do you understand the issues around this topic?
Only from what I've just read. I think I'd be more concerned about the immediate risk of hurting myself on broken glass than the more nebulous risk posed by plastic poisoning.

What don't you understand?
Many things grin

Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
I hadn't considered it, really. I suppose I prefer packaging to be reusable and preferably not brittle, so that does mean I lean towards the inert, moldable plastic side of the spectrum. There are so many biological substances out there which are unproven anyway (and I trained as a biological scientist, so am not just a Luddite) that I'm not going to spend my time worrying about yet another one. I'd barricade myself in my house if I went too far down that road.

Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
I think no and no are my answers there. Sorry, probably not what you want to hear!

nerysw Thu 15-May-14 21:27:03

I've never given it much thought really but always prefer glass as I doubt have any doubt about whether I can recycle it or not. Now I've thought about it I have a new food related worry. Sigh. Glass as often as possible then to reduce stress levels when shopping!

I don't have big concerns from the safety point of view but I do like the recyclable aspect of glass. I do sometimes worry about the amount of plastics we are putting into the world which don't biodegrade and in many cases can't be (or are not) recycled.

Ruthiemutch333 Thu 15-May-14 22:22:18

Not really how we make glass environmentally friendly I suppose but I am passionate about collecting both plastic and glass bottles left behind on our local park after 'picnics'.
How can we persuade mums back to the good old days of taking drinks in flasks and thermos jugs or am I just plain old fashioned?

ataraxia Fri 16-May-14 07:08:02

I do like glass as it's reusable, recyclable and have a feeling it's healthier e.g. no nasty chemicals and the aftertaste that can sometimes be left on food. However, having broken a glass just this morning, I'd be a bit concerned about safety around children.

lolancurly Fri 16-May-14 07:11:02

I don't worry about plastic packaging, but now I am worried that maybe I should be worrying!!! I don't like plastic food containers as it's just plain annoying and a waste; I am never certain if you can recycle all packaging and it seems almost impossible to buy some kinds of fruit of veg without it, certainly in supermarkets. It's hard to envisage glass packaging and how this would work; it makes sense to use it for sauces and milk and juice but not sure that it would work for everything. Also, this could make shopping bags a whole lot heavier! Unless we go back to the good old days of the milkman and get glass packaged goods delivered. But yes, easy to recycle and we all love a trip to the bottle bank, don't we ;)

deels Fri 16-May-14 09:25:07

i do worry about the chemicls etc in plastic bottles however with glass bottles my main concern would be it getting smashed and glass being everywhere etc.

id love to get some more info on this issue.

Lillabet Fri 16-May-14 11:09:42

I don't worry so much about safety as sustainability. Although plastic can be recycled it has a finite recycling life and once discarded it does not bio degrade. New plastic uses oil resources that are finite and inherently poor for the environment when drilled for, transported and cracked for its constituent parts.
If someone drops a plastic bottle in the sea it stays there and joins the refuse islands in the various oceans our causes wildlife major problems, if someone drops a glass bottle in the sea it sinks and stays there, occasionally being washed up on shore in pieces all ground and smooth.
From the point of view of using it as packaging day to day, it would not bother me in regards to safety or cost much of what I buy us already in glass containers anyway.
I think I've just realised I'm pro glass!

Carriecakes80 Fri 16-May-14 12:03:44

I always prefer glass,
we recycle all the time,
just hate using plastic,
glass is just fine!
We re-use all our jars
fill them with milkshake,
we even use jam-jars and
fill them with cake!
Glass is easy to wash,
easy to re-use,
using horrible plastic,
just gives me the blues!
Do you know what goes into
everything that is plastic,
believe me now that
glass is more than fantastic!
From the bins outside,
to the food that we eat,
plastic is everywhere,
even under our feet!
but glass containers are air-tight
better for our food!
while plastics are full of
rubbish that for us is no good!
I wish more things were packaged,
in fabulous glass,
but plastic is everywhere,
it is truly a farce!
So if you want to go greener,
don't look to the past!
Just do your best for the world
and recycle your glass!

EmLH Fri 16-May-14 19:21:56

I am a born worrier so this is something I have concerned myself with way too much! I won't buy plastic food storage/drinks bottles/kids plates etc unless they state bpa free on them and I try to use aluminium drink bottles over plastic if I can.

I also remove anything that is supposed to be put in the oven/microwaved in its packet and put it into a Pyrex dish or something before heating because I'm paranoid it's bad for you to heat in the plastic.

I would love to buy items in glass packaging and like the idea of returning/recycling it afterwards. I think it would take a lot to change our country's habits though so I'm not holding my breath. It's a shame because initiatives to use glass or bring your own containers to fill would cut out so much waste and help with landfill etc. Can only be a good idea in my opinion and I would even be prepared to pay a premium for it. Plus, everything just looks so much nicer, think GU puds and bonne maman desserts. Appetising and nice to keep afterwards! Also love the retro milk bottles with advertising on, would so buy them if they were revived.

WhereAreMyGlasses Fri 16-May-14 20:13:36

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging?

I don't actively worry, but know I prbably should.

In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned?

I just don't feel I have enough understanding about what it's made of.

Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

What the issues with plastic are. Public friendly information is not as prevelant as other 'issues'

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

I would say glass is

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Yes, but less convenience. For me, currently, ignorance is bliss and I will continue to use plastic for convenience but am attempting to slowly switch over

BettyBotter Fri 16-May-14 20:50:30

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

Yes, I worry about the safety of food contained in plastics from chemical leaching but my main concern is environmental including the wastage of individually wrapping items and packaging inside packaging. I don't understand the energy costs of the recycling different materials. (e.g. I have heard that plastics we put in the recycling box are shipped to China at great environmental cost.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

I believe natural materials to be safest (paper, bamboo etc with glass safer than plastic.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
Yes safer in some ways but not always my preference due to weight, less portable and more fragile e.g. in heavy shopping bag. I'm happy to buy my milk in large plastic bottles that I can chuck in the freezer. Glass bottles would be a pain to bring home.

ImGoingForATwix Fri 16-May-14 20:53:30

I've got a 7 month old who's been on solids for a month now so this issue is something that's recently come on to my radar as I'm using plastic tubs to freeze/heat/store food that I'm preparing for him. The BPA thing is a worry. Seems to be no clear guidance on it in the UK, but I do need to research this better myself. I don't understand where the biggest risk lies, is it just food being stored in plastic or is it being heated in the plastic that's dangerous? On the face of it, I'd be up for seeing more glass used. I feel like I can trust it! And it's recyclable.

SueDNim Fri 16-May-14 21:08:04

I don't heat food in plastic containers, but beyond that I don't worry about using plastic packaging.

I haven't really paid much attention to the risks, so my information comes from my mother's reading of the Daily Mail - which I am sceptical about. She has implied that the risks are worse for boys than girls, so not having a son, I don't worry much.

I'm rather clumsy and have a very hard kitchen floor. The chemical risks of plastic have to be weighed up against the risk of shards of glass all over the floor.

SagaNorensLeatherTrousers Fri 16-May-14 21:29:54

I think with all the infinite things to worry about as a parent, I didn't really put much thought into this because as others have said, when you're not offered much choice in packaging you just buy what there is, but since reading your campaign it's really made me think and question what might be going into the dcs' bodies!

FWIW I love glass packaging, Nutella jars and jam jars being my fave. I make my own candles ok, twice so these are great for that. There are so many positives to glass, really.

I think your new slogan should be "if it doesn't come in glass it can kiss my..." wink

prettybird Fri 16-May-14 21:41:16

Not particularly bothered about the safety of plastic (although am aware that some research has raised concerns but think the risk is minimal in the grand scheme of things) but do have a preference for glass.

I recycle as much as possible. All glass jars get kept for home made jams/chutneys/Christmas gifts (eg spiced almonds) and also some smaller bottles (eg to make ever-lasting vanilla essence).

Ds also likes Irn Bru in glass bottles and buys them as a treat for himself (and building up a wee collection to take back for the deposits).

I think in the same way that attitudes have changed towards reusing plastic bags and people now accept keeping their bags to resuse, it would be nice if we could effect the same change in attitude towards glass bottles. It might go some way to compensating for the increased transport costs of the heavier packaging material.

MerryMarigold Fri 16-May-14 22:15:07

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?
I don't really think about this. The only time I have thought about it is in relation to water bottles and try and get the ones that say 'something-free' but I don't even remember what the 'something' is. This is because my children use water bottles every day. But, I wouldn't want them to use glass water bottles. If I think about it, I worry that something is leaking into the food, but I would only really think about it in terms of liquids for some reason, not yoghurt, or peanut butter. I don't understand anything about the issues around this topic. I think there is very little awareness unless I am particularly ignorant (I will go back and RTFT afterwards!).

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
I am aware of the safer plastic, but can't remember until I see it and only really thought of it in terms of water bottles anyway. We drink juice from cartons and milk from milkman in bottles. But I didn't really change to the milkman because of the glass. Thinking about it now, maybe it is a good bonus! I exclusively breastfed my kids so never needed baby bottles.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
Not really a preference to be honest. I get annoyed with the large glass nutella jar (the huge one) as it is so heavy. The peanut butter is in plastic. Also our area does not recycle glass on the bin round, so we need to go to a dedicated recycling area which means we always have a mountain of glass in our front garden and look like alcoholics. I guess it is also habits, so it would be very odd to drink beer or wine out of plastic. Something like yoghurt, I really wouldn't want in glass as we have a lot of it, and it would be very heavy. Unless plastic was proven to be extremely unsafe (eg. more unsafe than chemicals sprayed on fruit and veg.).

MerryMarigold Fri 16-May-14 22:17:12

Oh BPA free. That's the one!

littlecabbage83 Fri 16-May-14 22:18:39

I feel I've been a little ignorant to the entire issue until reading this thread. I had always assumed anything that our food was packaged in was safe? After reading this I do worry a little and hope that the government will take action to ensure packaging is free from harmful chemicals. I would always prefer a natural and recyclable packaging over any other. I would need to know more to make informed decisions, but it seems glass is the most viable option and is something which has been safely tried and tested over many years.

Amyellow Fri 16-May-14 22:46:28

This discussion caught my eye as it's exactly what I'm thinking about at the moment. I've been vaguely aware of the health implications of plastic for some years, but not been highly motivated to change my lifestyle. By chance I came across a blog post about baby bottles just a few weeks ago - I hadn't even put 2 and 2 together that the plastic bottles I used could be leaching chemicals into my daughter's milk. Now that I've learned more about this issue, I will be gradually making changes to minimise all plastic contact with my family's food/drink. My friends will think it's a bit OTT, but I'd rather find out in 20 years I'd been overly cautious than regretful/guilty about exposure to dangerous toxins.

So yes, I am very interested in glass alternatives for food packaging - I am currently trialling a couple of different glass bottles for feeding my baby. I'd be interested in products that also use silicone, e.g. as a sleeve to protect the glass (From what I've read, silicone does not have so many safety concerns, plus if it's just protective it won't contact the food directly anyway.)

allyfe Sat 17-May-14 07:56:04

I'm a little ashamed to admit I don't really think about it. I didn't really realise that plastic was so harmful. I do prefer natural packaging because often plastic is so wasteful.

I wouldn't be adverse to glass, and if it was healthier I would be in favour. But it is VERY heavy, and there does need to be a balance for people who are not lucky enough to get internet deliveries and who therefore have to carry their own shopping home.

StainlessSteelCat Sat 17-May-14 08:19:42

I am concerned about food packaging. it's more that I don't think we know if there are any risks from apparently safe materials than that there are definitely risks. given that, I would prefer glass to plastic packaging. However I do wonder about how glass has been improved, is that by adding different chemicals to it or changing the manufacturing process? if it's by adding different chemicals then I would like more information on that.

another aspect of glass that appeals is it's reuse. Although recycling has improved I'd prefer it to be re used. I like deposit schemes, it makes it seem that you are getting free money!

Another question about the weight is the cost of transport - does the bottle weight increase the carbon foot print of the drink? or does reusing/not using other materials make up for this?

So yes I'm in favour of glass over plastic for food packaging, but I'm not convinced it's that simple!

MakkaPakkasSponge Sat 17-May-14 17:36:38

I know a bit about plastic leachables and it does bother me. I would welcome more glass packaging, but also more recycling points for glass, as weekly recycling collections tend not to take it now.

I wouldn't use glass jars of baby food though, in case of broken glass in there. I'm really overly paranoid about that.

lessa2 Sat 17-May-14 20:12:17

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?
NI don't tend to worry about it. I think I assume that any packaging being used will have been tested to ensure it is suitable for contact with food. I have been vaguely aware of some plastics labelled BPA free but I am not aware of the implications of this. As a family we do tend to prefer to purchase more environmentally friendly options - therefore we have our milk delivered in glass bottles, we have our (organic) veg delivered by a local supplier and don't purchase much processed food so we probably have less exposure than some.
~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?
I would consider glass to be safer.
~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?
Yes

misshoohaa Sat 17-May-14 20:48:21

This issue is one that concerns me greatly, what's also very worrying is the lack of knowledge about the dangers of BPA and other chemicals in plastics.
I always opt for BPA free if I can, but know that even with the best will in the world harmful chemicals can't be avoided, so am always pleased to see a glass option. Even BPA free options worry me as I'm sure there is some form of man made chemical replacing the BPA which is just as harmful.

I am due a baby in 5 weeks and would like to express a feed so my husband can give the baby a bottle. Even if I use a glass bottle to feed my baby, the expressing machine will be plastic and the bottle that attaches to the expressing machine will be plastic - hence making it another situation where my baby could be exposed to harmful chemicals.

I would very much like to see a better range of glass products, mainly to replace tins (find it hard to understand if many brand tins are BPA free) and for drink bottles etc.

CaptainSinker Sat 17-May-14 22:57:16

I do worry about plastic packaging, particularly where the food is cooked in plastic i.e. Ready meals.
I would favour glass though not always practical as it is not allowed in my workplace and as I wouldn't give my toddler drinks in glass bottles. I do specifically avoid BPA.
I think glass could be used more. Our major local drinks manufacturer (Barr's) still supplies drinks in glass bottles which can be returned for a 20p refund. They are known as glass cheques... Shops cope fine with the process and it encourages repeat custom and reuse of packaging.

miljones1 Sun 18-May-14 07:20:37

I would love to have more packaging made from glass - I hate the waste involved in using so much plastic and have no idea of the long-term health risks from using plastic packaging. Would be great to have the choice of milk in glass bottles at supermarket, for example!

LaTrucha Sun 18-May-14 07:52:33

I don't consider myself to be at all knowledgeable about the health risks associated with food and drink packaging, beyond a sense that I don't like mineral oils used in printing inks and I'm sure better alternatives to chemical plastics could be used.

I would think that glass, maybe the kind of waxed paper you sometimes get on sandwiches and cheese might be good. I like glass but it is heavy to carry and I worry about it smashing for a picnic etc as I have young DCs. It is also heavy, but I do like that you can recycle it easily.

ditsygal Sun 18-May-14 09:28:10

I don't worry too much about this - but my main concern is for things where I use part of them and put them in the fridge - passata, beans, etc, I feel that glass is safest for this, but I don't really worry about cardboard cartons etc either. I am most worried by cans, and to a lesser degree plastics. Having to decant food into a different container is hassle, so its easier if these products are in packaging that is safe to go in the fridge half used and wont deteriorate.
I do have to say though that when something is in glass I generally feel it is more expensive and you are paying for the extra cost of glass over other materials. And although it is recyclable I assume it takes much more energy to recycle and recreate a glass bottle then to make a carton for example. It also must cost more to transport due to it being more fragile, and heavier, so that would be a concern if it would make things more expensive. I also worry about my son getting hold of things(he can get in the fridge) and glass being more dangerous for him to hold.

mercibucket Sun 18-May-14 11:44:48

i definitely avoid plastic esp if heating or warming a product but also for drinks bottles. i would like to see tgose glass deposit schemes again

Willemdefoeismine Sun 18-May-14 19:04:41

It's not something I've given too much thought to but probably should have done....I know I always think stuff is over-packaged! And there's an issue about using empty plastic bottles for water (chemicals leach into the water from the bottles particularly if it's hot!)

I think that I understand that there's an issue about chemicals having an adverse impact on male fertility etc.....

I would imagine glass and tetrapaks to be far safer options than plastics!

I do prefer glass for packaging drinks etc....but it's very heavy to carry for those of us who are car-free households!

I much prefer glass for packaging, due to the chemical issues (which are unclear but quite scary), it's 'reusability' and the fact that plastic packaging - the thicker stuff - can be quite sharp and dangerous.

kmills Mon 19-May-14 03:04:38

I don't necessarily think glass wine bottles are safer than plastic. But I think I would prefer my wine from a glass bottle, I think maybe plastic could effect the taste.

MissWing Mon 19-May-14 10:15:03

Up until now- I hadn't worried about the safety of plastic containers (I probably will now). Some googling for me now then.

I would want to choose the option that is safe for us (no checmicals) and environmentally friendly.

OsMalleytheCat Mon 19-May-14 14:21:19

I've never really worried in terms of my own health or safety, but I do make sure that all of the baby's plastic items are BPA free, and I would definitely prefer to buy his things in plastic and not glass.

I do worry about plastic as a finite resource and a non biodegradable object, if more incentives could be used (perhaps recycling bins on the streets?) or harsher punishments (although who knows how you would enforce them!) to try and get more people to recycle, and more research into making ALL plastics recyclable.

In the current climate however, cost is a factor for many people (myself included!) and unfortunately sometimes you have to choose between cost and what's "good" ( for you and the environment). It's a shame that we can't have a similar system to the one that was in place with the milk floats, everyone is assigned their milk bottles and they are "recycled" effectively.

Tyranasaurus Mon 19-May-14 15:55:17

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

i understand the issues but they don't concern me greatly

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

glass, stainless steel, paper

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

breakages seems more worrying. faffing about recycling them seems annoying. also what about the extra fuel involved in transporting heavier glass packaging?

Cherryjellybean Mon 19-May-14 17:20:50

I haven't really thought much about it, but it is something that is hard to get away from, as a lot seems packaged in it. I try not to reheat in plastic containers. I think I roughly understand it.

I think glass is probably one of the safer options, also brown bags and wooden boxes.

I'm not sure of my preference.... I have a young child so I'm worried about breakages at the moment, but the chemicals in some plastics aren't good either!

ISeeIt Mon 19-May-14 17:53:03

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

I do worry, but find it quite hard to get my husband on board. We buy glass where we can (for example we would choose passata in a glass jar rather than chopped tomatoes in tins) and store everything in glass kilner jars at home. We have a young child and another on the way and I hate to think of chemicals building up in their bodies as a result of the migration from packaging.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

See above

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Yes

RubySparks Mon 19-May-14 19:02:17

Yes I prefer glass containers especially for drinks, some things just taste bad from plastic. There is an issue with disposal and recycling though. Plastic stays around forever in the environment but so does glass and broken glass can be more dangerous - I would like to see the deposit scheme again, so glass bottles have value and people won't just throw them out of their cars the way they do plastic rubbish.

Stripytop Mon 19-May-14 20:20:45

I am somewhat aware of the health risks reported about plastic packaging, and try to minimise our use of it as a family, but what bothers me more is the wastefulness of it. i am sometimes horrified at the amount we throw away despite our best efforts at reducing, reusing and recycling.

I try to buy products where the packaging can be re-used such as Nutella (drinking glasses) and douwe egberts (storage jars). I have bought ready made desserts because they came in glass ramekins, and will buy jam or honey in a 'pretty' glass jar that I can pass on to a jam-making relative. I would like more food to be packaged in similar ways to this.

wibblyjelly Mon 19-May-14 22:03:39

I've never considered the safety aspect, if I'm honest. I find glass a lot easier to recycle, but do find it can take up a lot of room. With plastic, I can squish it down if need be. There is also the weight issue to consider as well!

FrontForward Mon 19-May-14 22:09:36

So please share on this thread your opinion on the following: all comments welcome
~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned? Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?

No... I don't really pay much attention and regard it as yet one more thing to get us all worried

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be?

Since I don't consider plastic unsafe I've never considered other options

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference?

Yes and no. Splinters of glass in my food would worry me

Nodrogetak Mon 19-May-14 22:14:19

~ Do you worry or are you concerned about the safety of food and drink packaging? In what ways do you worry/ are you concerned?
I don't worry about the safety of the packaging - I don't cook the food in the packaging so the fact that chemicals may be slowly leaking into the food isn't something I normally think about (until now )- I do think about the fact that my local council are not great at recycling and so a lot of plastic is possibly going into landfill - we are leaving a mess for future generations. We ought to go back to how it used to be when I was a child. Returning glass bottles and getting cash back. I would be willing to pay more for a product packaged in glass if I could return the container and get the difference back.

Do you understand the issues around this topic? What don't you understand?
I understand that the use of glass packaging is being promoted. I think glass packaging is a great idea.

~ Are you aware of the safer options? If so, what do you consider them to be? Not sure what is meant by safer options.

~ Do you consider glass packaging safer than plastic, and would it be your preference? Apart from the fact that clumsy warehouse staff / delivery drivers would be wrecking a lot of stock (but should they be throwing food items around warehouses anyway??). Glass is my preference for food packaging - we end to protect the environment as much as possible and it needs to start ASAP.

ClairityVerity Mon 19-May-14 23:16:02

I've long been concerned about the use of plastics in food packaging - and especially in ready meals which are meant to be oven heated in their plastic containers. Even before the BPA scandal I never heated food in plastic containers, though of course I occasionally receive it from takeaways.

As far as I'm aware it's only the heating and freezing of plastics that causes micro drops to leach into the food - unfortunately I can't afford glass tupperware otherwise I'd gladly replace my plastics for freezing food.

I once tried metal drinking bottles for the children but something strange happened to the interior - not sure what - so I went back to plastic. I generally don't worry about using plastics in lunch boxes, but I always make sure any plastics containing food do not warm up on hot days/ in warm cars, etc.

Happy to be PM'd.

stephgr Tue 20-May-14 01:31:22

I don't really think about packaging except when it comes to recycling. I don't prefer glass because it's heavier and some members of my family are pretty clumsy so I worry about breakages. Having read the information from Friends of Glass I'm going to have to find out more about BPA.

Gen35 Tue 20-May-14 14:50:25

I would definitely like to see more glass packaging and would even pay a small premium for particularly children's food in glass containers, I do worry about the effect of chemicals leaching from plastic although I couldn't do without some convenience foods for children.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-May-14 18:46:46

Thanks for all the comments - am pleased to say HeartStarCircleSquare wins the £250 John Lewis voucher. Well done!

Wjjkl Sat 24-May-14 19:32:55

I do not overly worry about food packaging. I do think in general, things are far too over packaged and not enough is recyclable.

I would prefer glass where possible due to concerns over plastics, but sometimes it would simply not be practical - eg you couldn't have a single 6 pint glass container for milk as it'd be too heavy and 6 individual pints would take up too much space.. Bring back the daily milkman!!

I do worry about plastic bottles being reused. tetrapaks don't seem to be widely taken by kerbside recycling. I'd prefer more glass though hadn't though of the poster up thread's comment that due to higher distribution costs for heavier weight this will make it more expensive. I would probably not be put off if was only say 50p or so more but my husband is a scrimper and probably would!

ScrambledEggAndToast Sun 08-Jun-14 10:29:07

In all honesty safety is not really a concern for me with regards to chemicals from the plastic seeping into the food or anything like that as I know there are strict rules surrounding how it is produced. I never go out of my way to buy products in glass containers, although somehow milk seems to taste nicer out of a glass bottle, maybe it's a psychological thing though. My only concern about plastic containers is the issue surround recycling and sustainability so obviously glass is much better in an environmental sense. I would never give a young child something glass to eat/drink from as I would be worried they would drop it and cut themselves.

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