Is Food Grade Silicone a better option than plastics?
As more and more people become environmentally conscious consumers and waste has become an issue that even sceptics can embrace, plastic items are becoming less and less desirable!
Plastic when it was first manufactured was once thought of as a product that ‘freed us from the confines of the natural world, from the material constraints and limited supplies that had long bounded human activity’ Susan Freinkel Plastic: A toxic love story but now sadly all it seems to epitomise is waste, pollution and mass consumerism. With news such as the recent story of scientists in Norway that found more than 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste inside the stomach of a whale stranded off the coast and whole movements dedicated to being plastic free more and more people are looking for plastic-free alternatives for everyday items. Making silicone a more and more popular choice, so . . . . . . .
What exactly is Silicone?
It is a man-made polymer, but instead of a carbon backbone like plastic, it has a backbone of silicon and oxygen. (Note that I’m using two different words here: silicone is the polymer and silicon, spelt without the “e” on the end, is an ingredient in silicone.) Silicon is an element found in silica, i.e., sand, one of the most common materials on earth. However, to make silicone, silicon is extracted from silica (it rarely exists by itself in nature) and passed through hydrocarbons to create a new polymer with an inorganic silicon-oxygen backbone and carbon-based side groups. What that means is that while the silicon might come from a relatively benign and plentiful resource like sand, the hydrocarbons in silicone come from fossil sources like petroleum and natural gas. So silicone is a kind of hybrid material.” Beth Terry – My Plastic Free Life
Want to know a little more about Silicone?
Fade & Scratch resistant
Odour and stain resistant
and can withstand extreme heat or cold!
Is Silicone Non-toxic?
“There are no known health hazards associated with the use of silicone cookware. Silicone rubber does not react with food or beverages or produce any hazardous fumes.” as stated by Canada Health Associates
Food grade silicone is chemically inert and won’t leach into food or react with food or drinks.
Why choose Silicone over plastic?
- Plastic is made with carcinogenic and endocrine/hormone-disrupting chemicals that in certain amounts can cause adverse effects whilst silicone is chemically inert, so non-toxic and will not leach into food or drink.
- Plastic whilst it can last a lifetime (actually on average 450 years) is prone to damage such as scratches and cracks with items often being disposed of within a few years. (We’ve all owned a plastic sandwich/Tupperware box, they never lasted very long before the lid cracked or the container became discoloured!) Silicone is a more durable, flexible material being able to withstand extreme temperatures without degrading.
- Plastic due to scratches on the surface can harbour germs, silicone is hypoallergenic and will not harbour bacteria.
Can it be recycled?
Whilst silicone will not decompose it is not considered a hazardous waste product as it is not toxic to aquatic or soil organisms and is actually fully recyclable, though you may need to find a specialist recycling facility which is why we offer all our customers the option to send any silicone items they purchase from us back to us and we will recycle the items for them!
Silicone is in fact very durable so any items made from this material are super resilient so should last a lifetime making it the perfect material for people who are trying to live a less disposable lifestyle.
Whilst we are not heralding silicone as a perfect material we feel its all about reading the information you have and making an informed choice, we feel silicone is more environmentally friendly than plastic & can be the first step away from a plastic filled lifestyle. Given the choice between a plastic or silicone product, we would choose silicone every time!
All of the placemats we stock are carefully selected, they are all made from only 100% food grade silicone, free from any fillers which can compromise the quality and durability of silicone, we make sure all placemats are lead, PVC, phthalates and of course bisphenol-A (BPA) free.