Fatal Conveniences™: Ziploc Plastic Storage Bags: Toxic for Humans & the Ocean

Fatal Conveniences™: Ziploc Plastic Storage Bags: Toxic for Humans & the Ocean

They’re in your kids’ lunchboxes, your kitchen drawers, and probably in your refrigerator. Ziploc storage bags have been a part of American culture for decades. But those toxic plastic baggies are leaching harmful chemicals into your food – and killing marine life. 

Welcome to Fatal Conveniences™. 

The average American uses over 500 plastic storage baggies a year.

Plastic baggies are so much a part of our everyday life that we don’t even blink an eye at that number. But if you think about the consequences of that number, it brings it into perspective. We’re killing seabirds, sea turtles, fish, whales, dolphins – for what? For convenience? I don’t know about you, but that’s not ok with me.

And it’s not just wildlife that Ziploc and other plastic storage bags are affecting. Those little baggies are full of BPA, a toxic chemical that seeps into your food and your body. BPA mimics estrogen in your bloodstream, causing countless health problems. Remember, the more flexible and squishy a plastic is, the more BPA it contains. Sure, some of these companies say they’re no longer using BPA. But they’re using similar chemicals that the FDA doesn’t yet regulate. 

It’s so easy to quit using plastic baggies like Ziploc, guys. There are so many safer, environmentally-friendly options out there. Sure, you may have to change your routine a bit, but it’s worth it. I promise. Will you commit to giving up plastic storage bags with me? I know you can do it!

SEGMENT BREAKDOWN:
  • [00:01:55] A brief history of plastic storage bags
  • [00:03:48] Why you should care
  • [00:04:50] BPA-free isn’t necessarily better
  • [00:07:45] What plastic does to your hormones
  • [00:09:18] Plastic and marine life
  • [00:13:00] How to wean yourself off of Ziploc baggies

Episode Transcript

Darin: It’s that time of the week for another fatal convenience. This is a bite-size segment that addresses some of society’s fatal conveniences and the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of them. I define fatal conveniences as the things we may be doing because the world we live in makes us believe we have to, tap water, shampoo, sunglasses, food. I dive into the hidden truths behind some of our everyday choices that could not only be harming us but even killing us, so let’s dive in.

Darin: Hey, everybody, welcome to the show. This is another installment of Fatal Conveniences to liberate you, to release you from the grips of things that you may not know about, or that you’re denying exists that’s affecting you. This one, obviously, I’ve talked a lot about plastic and we know that plastic and single-use plastic is detrimental in many different ways. I’m gonna zero in on this one. And this fatal convenience is Ziploc storage bags. The convenience of this is so convenient. Man, grabbing a Ziploc storage bag with a little zipper to seal your food and everything. It seems like such a great idea if it wasn’t plastic, if it didn’t have Bisphenol A, negative effects on our hormonal system, negative effects in that huge degree on our environment.

Darin: So a little history, Steven Ausnit was the original developer of Ziploc in 1954. Then his father, Max, and his uncle Edgar purchased the rights of the original plastic zipper designed by a Danish inventor named Borge Madsen, who had no particular application in mind for this plastic type zipper. So they bought it for him. They formed a company called Flexigrip to manufacture the zipper, which used a plastic slider to seal two interlocking grooves together. We all know about that. When the slider proved to be costly to the manufacturer, Ausnit, a mechanical engineer created what we now know as the press and seal type of zipper which made it a lot easier. Some of the facts around it, the average American uses 500 plus plastic bags per year. So imagine that, 350 million Americans using 500 plus plastic bags per year and the numbers are staggering. The first bag was created for Columbia Records. They made a sleeve with a zipper on the Top Albums to seal and protect. So we don’t need to even get in what makes this convenient, we know what it’s convenient. Man, plastic is so user-friendly. It’s amazing. No cleanup, we can wrap stuff in, we can put things in, put our food in, zip it up, take it away, go on trips. Man, it is just so convenient in so many ways, but why should we care?

Darin: Well, we should care because that plastic has some bad chemicals that are undermining your health. And with the numbers that add up with all of us using these things, they’re dominating the world and polluting the world and then infiltrating our environment into the oceans, into the fish, into the birds. It is just strangling us. So why is it directly harmful? We know now that of course, it comes from petroleum and especially the Ziploc bags. The more something is squishy and malleable when it comes to plastic, the more Bisphenol A, BPA, it has in it, but it also mimics the sex hormone estrogen.

Darin: A new crazy unfortunate fact is now companies are saying, “Hey, our plastic is BPA free,” but they’re experimenting with other highly criticized and toxic compounds. We don’t even know the side effects of that. So even when a company is saying BPA-free, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe. I’m not saying all companies. The harder the plastic, the more chances it doesn’t have leaching Bisphenol-A. So be careful of the marketed BPA-free plastics because they’re trying to get around this whole aspect. And that’s coming by way of us pushing back. We don’t want chemicals in our food and in our water. The researchers of environmental health perspectives bought more than 450 plastic items from places like Walmart, Whole Foods. They chose things like the packages and from the deli, flexed bags, baby bottles, products designed to come in contact with food. So then they sent all these to CertiChem, a testing company, chopped them up in pieces, and soaked them in alcohol and or saltwater to see what came out. And what came out, more than 70% of the products released chemicals that acted like estrogen. So it didn’t even have to be BPA. So understand that that is undermining those are binding up receptors in your body, in your children’s body and changing the chemistry and the hormonal system causing a lot of problems down the line. George Bittner one of the study’s authors and Professor of Biology at the University of Texas Austin said, “This was before they expose the stuff to the real world conditions simulating sunlight, dishwashing, microwaves, heat, etc.” As he keeps saying, “Then you greatly increase the probability that you’re going to get chemicals having estrogenic activity released.” He added that more than 95 of the products tested positive after undergoing this sort of stress. So all plastic, virtually all of it is leaching harmful, mimicking estrogenic compounds into your food 95%. The National toxicology program, a division of the National Institutes of Health says it has some concern about potential BPA exposures to the brains and prostate glands of fetuses, infants, and children.

Darin: I have a lot of concerns. I love that these people just kind of blow this off. I have some concerns. Because you know what that does? gives them an out. There shouldn’t be an out. We are poisoning ourselves. Why is there an out? Why are we not flagging this? National Institutes of Health, you know it’s dangerous, you know it. You’ve called it out, so do something about it. So that’s like, holding my breath expecting to get oxygen. Is that going to happen? No, it isn’t. So we have to know about it. We have to push back on these companies. Not only plastic is bad for your health and messing up your hormonal systems. And guys, it’s neutering us, it’s affecting our testosterone because it’s gumming up our estrogen receptors and other hormone receptors and throwing off our balance of our endocrine system, but it’s also affecting our environment. So we don’t even need to see this, but from the Science Direct, “Plastic pollutions are distributed in the ecosystems in different forms and different size variations as mega plastics, macro plastic, mezzo plastic, and microplastic. It’s all over and it’s permeating everywhere. “Plastic trash is found in the guts of more than 90% of the world’s seabirds.” Sit with that. In the stomachs of more than half of the world’s sea turtles.

Darin: And it’s even choking the life out of whales at the rate at which plastic is accumulating in the oceans of the planet. It’s predicted that by 2050, the mass of plastic in the world’s oceans will exceed the mass of all fish and all life there. You know what? I don’t even like the word climate change. I don’t because it’s frickin political and it pisses me off. But as you just heard what I just said, it’s common sense that we don’t strangle and pollute our oceans and kill the birds, the sea life, the turtles, the whales, and every bit in that chain. We’re killing them. Does that make sense to you? Of course, it doesn’t. So I’m pleading with you. Don’t choke yourself with chemicals, and don’t choke our Earth. So in this case, don’t buy Ziploc Storage Bags ever again. Are you with me? Because then you take out 400 to 500 of them a year if you make that pact with me today. Are you ready to do that? A new study in the Environmental Science and Technology says it’s possible that humans may be consuming anywhere from 39,000 to 52,000 microplastic particles a year with added estimates of how much microplastic might be inhaled, that number is more than 74,000 bits of microplastic per year per person. So when I’m doing fatal conveniences, this has massive effect on your individual life, period, your child, your spouse, your loved ones, your family. And guess what that does, it affects directly the planet because that’s one less fish, one less bird that’s gonna suck down your Ziploc storage bag because you wanted a convenience to put your sandwich into your lunch pail. You get me, you feel it? I get pissed off about this stuff. I’m passionate about your health. I’m passionate about us doing things that are more of common sense in the world. We can do a lot, people, we can do a lot. Researchers from John Hopkins looked at the impact of eating seafood contaminated with microplastics. They too found the accumulated plastics could damage the immune system and upset gut’s balance, not to mention, you affected the earth, you affected the ocean, you affected the animal, the fish, and now you’re consuming it. All of these things are leading to demise. It’s against nature. So let me just say if we go with nature, everything thrives. There’s a lot of things you can do to wean yourself off this detrimental toxic plastic that you’re putting your food in, and giving it to your children or taking to work. Don’t let your food touch plastic anymore, especially Ziploc storage bag. And if you have Ziploc storage bags, don’t just throw them away right now.

Darin: Use them. Put your batteries in them, put your spare change in them, don’t put your food in them, but use them. Don’t just throw them away because you’re just going right into it. So use them and reuse them and wash them and reuse them. So that’s number one. That’s an imperfect solution, but it’s at least not just throwing all this stuff away. But I would say please don’t use them in your food anymore. Another easy thing to use, glass, recyclable mason jars. I have them all over the place. I put my food in, I put my nuts, my seeds, make salads, put the dressing on the bottom, make salads, shake that up. Boom, you have a salad. You get me? Put dressing on the bottom of a mason jar, put your salad all the way up, and when you’re ready to use it, flip it upside down, shake it around, you got a ready-made salad. You don’t need plastic. Get a mason jar. There’s an incredible company that I found called Lunchskins, compostable unbleached paper sandwich bags, resealable, reusable. Well, it seems like a great company. Another solution which I found was just great. I love it because I find these things that I didn’t know about, these other conscious companies. It’s called Bees Wrap, beeswrap.com. They are a proud B Corp and Green America certified company. Bees Wrap which is an alternative wrap is committed to using their business as a vehicle for social change. I love that. I had to pull that off the website. Bees Wrap is made of certified organic cotton, sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. This combination of ingredients creates a malleable food wrap that can be used again and again and again. Amazing, right? So you don’t have to give up the convenience. We’ve got better solutions. Another great company Full Circle Home, plastic neutral, so they’re using a little bit of plastic. But what they’re doing, every ounce of plastic they use, they work with what’s called a plastic bank to recover and recycle the same amount of plastic that they’re using in their lunch like resealable bags. So that’s what they’re doing. This Full Cycle Home has got these what looks like a Ziploc storage bag but they’re also using bamboo and cellulose, and they have a pledge of being 100% plastic-free by 2021. So this year, amazing. So imagine, everyone who’s listening to this podcast, let’s just say 10,000 of you who are listening to the podcast decide to give up for the rest of your life or at least this year. Let’s start with this year. Statistically or mathematically, if you give up using Ziploc Storage Bags this year, that’s each one of you of the 10,000 is giving up 400 of these are not in the environment. If all 10,000, that’s 4 million plastic bags that are not in the environment, they’re not in the oceans, that are not in the bird’s stomachs, that are not in the turtle’s stomachs, that are not in the fish stomachs. And then they’re not back in you if you still choose to eat fish. That is a huge impact, people. So make that pledge with me today. And say no to Ziploc. And you know, Ziploc storage bag, if you’re listening, do better. Innovate. Take all of your profits that you’re making off of us and do better. Change it right now. Don’t use plastic anymore. You hear me? If you want me to help you, I will. I have some good connections. Let’s do this. Ziploc, it’s on you because we don’t want it as a population. We don’t want it around our food anymore. And we don’t want it affecting the environment, our oceans, and our animals. Boom. That’s it. Okay, people. That’s the call of action, #nomoreziplocstoragebags. See ya. Love you all.

Darin: Thanks for tuning in everyone. I hope that left you feeling inspired to take a closer look at the everyday choices you’re making and how they could be impacting your health and even the planet. If you want to learn more about life’s fatal conveniences, head over to fatalconveniences.com. You can sign up for the exclusive access to Fatal Conveniences episodes, news, insights, and more. And all this great stuff gets sent each week straight to your inbox, making it really easy. Now, that’s a convenience without the negative side effects. It only takes a few seconds to join. Just fill in the form and take that amazing step towards making better choices. Remember, small changes can have big impact. So, keep diving my friends, keep diving. And if you haven’t had a chance to check out the interview, I released earlier on the week, here’s what you missed:

Aidan: Once we got someone on the phone, who was a farmer in Van Nuys, I ran a warehouse, had a bunch of eggs into Los Angeles. He was like, “Yeah, I’ve got them. You can have them because I’m going to throw them out, but I have no way of getting it to you.” So we’re like, it’s that simple, really? So we figured out how to get a truck from there down to Los Angeles. So what I’m saying here is it was like a shock at the beginning. I think growing up always had this idea that these systems were way more impenetrable and way more complex than maybe they actually were. And it just took reaching out and talking to someone being like, what’s your problem and how can we help solve that? And that’s still what we do and all the student volunteers we have. That’s like their opening line every time they get on the phone.

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