Is BPA-Free Plastic Safe?

Like you, I thought that by buying plastic containers labeled “BPA-free”, I was keeping myself and my family safe.

Many of us know that BPA (bisphenol A) is harmful and contains hormone-disrupting chemicals that mimic estrogen in our body. This can affect brain development, disrupt your hormones and have a negative impact on fertility.

According to an article titled 5 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Toxic BPA by The Environmental Working Group, “Evidence suggests the developing fetus and young child are most at risk, but adolescents also appear uniquely vulnerable. BPA has also been linked to cancer, heart disease, and other serious disorders.”

Clearly, these are important reasons to avoid BPA. However, are BPA-free plastic alternatives safe?


This became a burning question for me when one of our plastic, reusable straws had fallen to the bottom of the dishwasher overnight and landed on the heating element.

When we woke up the next morning, the whole first floor smelled like burnt plastic, i.e., toxic chemicals! It was even worse when we opened the dishwasher and found that all the “clean” dishes smelled like plastic. The odor was so strong that all the dishes had to be rewashed.

I thought to myself, “Well, this can’t be good.”

I had known for some time that putting plastic plates and containers in the microwave was not recommended since the chemicals could leach out into the food when the plastic was warmed. Yet, why had it not occur to me that this could also be true in the dishwasher?


So I dug a little deeper and read a lot about the topic, including this blog post published by the Norwex Movement called Plastic in the Dishwasher? I Don’t Think So.

As you can probably imagine, my research revealed that most plastic products, even those that are BPA-Free, release harmful hormone-disrupting chemicals especially when the plastics are stressed or heated.

The Environmental Working Group and a study by the University of Texas both discovered that the BPA alternatives can be just as harmful or even worse for your health.

So it became clear to me that BPA-free plastic is not safe and can have similar, harmful effects on our health, just like BPA. I knew that we needed to avoid plastic products and start looking for healthier alternatives.

Yet, if you’re like me, the thought of eliminating ALL plastic products from your kitchen right away may seem overwhelming at first, and you may be wondering where to begin.

The good news is that I have 5 simple, easy steps that you can take to get started.


  1. Never microwave food in plastic containers.
  2. Handwash your plastic plates, cups, and containers. If you do put them in the dishwasher, do not use heat during the drying cycle.
  3. Replace your plastic food storage containers, like Tupperware, with glass alternatives.
  4. Consider buying food in bulk and limiting individually-wrapped convenience items.
  5. Download the FREE shopping guide to Healthy Alternatives to Plastic for your home.

These simple tips will help you avoid BPA and BPA-free plastics and find safer alternatives for your family and home. If you are ready to take the next step and reduce your eco-footprint, check out my Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Family.

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Is Your BPA-free Plastic Container Safe? Pinterest image

Are you already on a journey to a clean living lifestyle that reduces the number of chemicals you are exposed to? What changes have you made in your daily routines? Leave a comment below and let’s help inspire motivate each other!

P.S. – Do you want to eliminate harmful chemicals in your home? Sign up to receive my Ultimate Guide to Shopping without Chemicals! Plus, I’ll share easy-to-implement, weekly tips for living a healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle. I’ve found that many busy moms struggle with just trying to keep up with life’s daily demands and that they don’t have enough time to focus on making healthier choices for their families. I am passionate about helping women find simple ways to make healthy changes. 

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  1. July 15 / 7:27 AM

    I love this post!! My kids make me crazy because they want me to buy them plastic waters bottles. Although they are reusable, the water sits in then all day while they are at school. Not ok with that!

    • Rebekah
      July 17 / 9:42 PM

      Thanks, Valerie! I feel the same way!

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