What are Microwave Safe Plastics?
One of the oldest and still most well-known stories and at this point a terrible myth is that all plastics are not food safe and not microwave friendly. This is because older plastics were made with the chemical “BPA or Bisphenol A”. This hardening chemical is the main reason why people are scared of microwaving their plastics because studies have shown that BPA can cause a lot of health problems such as high blood pressure. Cancer, and growth problems.When food is stored or heated inside a Plastic made with BPA, it can absorb the chemical which leads to the cause of the health problems.
However, the modern plastics that are used for food consumption do not use BPA. These BPA-Free plastics are also known as food grade plastics and microwave safe plastics. These modern plastics are the de-facto plastics used in storing food.Microwave Safe Plastics are also known to have a higher temperature limit which makes it easier to cook almost any kind of food with, but they are still susceptible to melting when in direct contact with fire.
Are Humans the Only Ones Affected with Non-Microwave Safe-Plastics?
The quick answer is no. Animals have also shown some problems when they come in contact with plastics that are not Microwave Safe and not BPA Free. Studies have shown that animals also have the same hormonal imbalance problems when they come in contact with BPA. This is important for pet owners since some pet feeders are made up of plastic.
Can Microwave Safe Plastics Be Reused?
Reusing plastics is a bit of an interesting topic.Most of the conversation leads to “why reuse, when plastics are made to be disposed”. The statement is certainly true, since plastics are very inexpensive and is one of the most mass-produced items in this world,which makes it the container of choice for the food industry, industrial industry and especially the home. However,not everyone has the luxury to throw away used plastics. Some people prefer to reuse to make more economic choices in life. But, in the end it really it really comes down on the plastic’s state and if it’s BPA-Free which also means it’s Microwave-Safe.
Microwave-Safe Plastic can be totally reused as long as its physical integrity is intact.A microwave-safe plastic that have physical deformities or holes can have leave plastic debris inside that can cause some internal damage to its user.
Are There Specific Cleaning Methods for Microwave Safe Plastics?
When it comes to microwave safe plastics, it’s important to remember that this kind of plastic mainly used for direct human contact. This means that there are some requirements and no=no's when it comes to cleaning microwave safe plastics. A very good example is using softer cleaning chemicals such as the basic dish washing soap, or organic cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda.Vinegar and baking soda is perfect for deodorizing microwave safe plastics, which is important some foods can leave a pretty strong lingering smell when stored for a long time.
Another factor when cleaning microwave safe plastics is to use free flowing water or something like a bath where the plastics can soak in the soapy water.Avoid using high pressure cleaning, it's important that microwave safe plastics keep their physical shape and integrity to make sure that they are still reusable.Last but not least, do not put microwave-safe plastics into a dish dryer. Dish Dryers can overheat and melt the microwave safe plastic’s physical shape and integrity making it useless and pretty much a piece of garbage.
How To Identify Microwave Safe Plastics?
One of the easiest methods to identify microwave safe plastics is to know it if it’s BPA free and food grade. These3 factors are usually interchangeable since they all have the most important factor which is being safe to use. However, epackasupply’s plastic guide can help in further explaining all the types of plastics.
A quick way to learn if a plastic is microwave safe is to check for the microwave sign on the bottom of the plastic, but if there is no microwave sign, the plastic numbers can help.
Also known as HDPE or High-density polyethylene. Plastic #2 is mainly used for storing drinks and beverages.The best example of this is the plastic used for milk jugs and juice jugs. These plastics are quite thick because they need to make sure that the beverages won’t get destroyed during delivery.They also have a temperature limit which is great for storing different kind of beverages.
It’s also good to remember that food containers have different recycling laws depending on the state.
Plastic #5 is the plastic used for portable cutlery. This plastic is known for its flexibility and durability, the perfect qualities for portable cutlery. It also has a high temperature limit which is perfect for handling really hot food.
Styrofoam or Plastic #6 is made up of polystyrene which is not microwave safe. It has a very low temperature limit and can easily melt. Styrofoam is also very brittle and light, which is not a good quality for carrying food.
Plastic#1 is definitely not microwave safe. This plastic is also known as Polyethylene Terephthalate. It has a very low melting point is mostly used to pack with single-use foods such as hamburgers and fruits. They are also very brittle.
This plastic is the only kind of plastic that uses BPA as a hardening agent. These plastics are mostly used as industrial containers and building materials. These are the kinds of plastics are not reusable and should never be in the presence of food.
Microwave Safe Plastics are The Safest Kind of Plastic
The idea of plastics being harmful to people is a thing of the past. Microwave Safe Plastics have proven that plastic containers can provide a safe environment for food.