Is Silicone a Safe Alternative to Single-Use Plastics?

If you spend any time perusing zero waste lifestyle blogs and social media feeds, you’ve likely seen silicone bags suggested as an alternative to disposable Ziplocs and plastic food storage containers. They’re becoming quite popular, perhaps due to how photogenic they are, available in an array of colors and just transparent enough to reveal what’s inside.

At first glance they’re an ideal solution, offering all the benefits that plastic bags do – lightweight, flexible, stretchy, washable, waterproof. Some advocates argue silicone is more like rubber than plastic and that because it’s derived from sand, it’s a natural product.

The Pushback Against Silicone

The experts at Life Without Plastic disagree. Silicone, they explain, is “something of a hybrid between a synthetic rubber and a synthetic plastic polymer,” which means it’s still a plastic, no matter how it’s spun. While it does contain silica, which is derived from sand, it also contains synthetic and chemical additives that come from fossil fuels. Read more…

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