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The Dirty Truth About Plastic Cookware

The Dirty Truth About Plastic Cookware

When it comes to eco-friendly living, many of us search for organic or chemical-free foods, cut down on single-use plastics, and recycle. But what about cookware? When we started bambu, we had a goal to provide non-toxic bamboo cooking utensils to our customers. Before that, we discovered a few things about plastic cookware that they’d prefer you didn’t know. If you’re wondering about the safety of your cookware, you’re going to want to read along. Let’s talk about the dirty truth behind plastic cooking utensils- and the non-toxic cooking utensils you can use instead!

Is plastic cookware safe?

Above all else, you’re probably wondering, “are the cooking utensils I’m using safe?”  When it comes to plastic cooking utensils, the truth is, no. Here’s why. A few years ago, a lot of information came out about the detrimental effects of BPA, a chemical that’s found in hard plastics that are often used in plastic cooking utensils. BPA was linked to issues such as infertility, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. And it was removed from many plastic products. But, the chemicals that replaced it were not tested before being substituted.  Now, studies show that many BPA-free plastics still leach the same harmful chemicals. The crazy thing? Plastic cookware has been documented to leach harmful chemicals since the 1990’s.  Nonetheless, plastic cooking utensils are still sold today. Many households use plastic cookware without knowledge of the detrimental effects it brings. But silicone, a relatively new invention, is becoming a more popular material for cooking utensils every day. Is it any better?

Are silicone cooking utensils safe?

After finding out the truth about plastic cookware, the search for non-toxic cooking utensils leads many to silicone.  Silicone cooking utensils have many benefits: they’re non-stick, very durable, and easy to clean. But what is silicone? Silicone is categorized as a type of plastic or rubber. It’s made from silica (sand), but uses fossil fuels in the production process. So, it is not a naturally occurring material. Even though it’s not a natural material, is it safe for cooking? This answer is less straightforward. Technically, yes. The USDA determined that silicone was safe for food-grade use back in 1979. But new research tells a different story. Recent studies show that chemicals can leach from silicone bakeware.  The level of danger associated with these chemicals is not well studied. What we do know?  Silicone is not 100% non-toxic. 

What’s the environmental impact of plastic and silicone cooking utensils?

The dirty truth behind plastic and silicone cooking utensils doesn’t end with your kitchen.  There’s a reason that the eco-friendly living community has been moving away from plastic for years. Plastic waste can survive for hundreds of years in landfills, leaching chemicals into soil and water sources. It’s also a large contributor to ocean waste and harmful to animal life. Over 180 species of animals have been found with ingested plastics. Neither traditional plastics nor silicone are biodegradable. With this in mind, it’s easy to see that plastic and silicone cooking utensils last for a long time after their time in the kitchen is up. When considering purchases, it’s helpful to look at the end of life of the product.  What happens when you’re done with it? If it’s not biodegradable, where will it end up? Choosing non-toxic cooking utensils made from natural materials is a quick switch that will lessen the number of cooking utensils living in landfills.

Why make the switch to non-toxic cooking utensils?

If you’ve already got a kitchen full of plastic or silicone cooking utensils, it can be quite the task to swap them all out for non-toxic cooking utensils. But it’s well worth the effort. Information from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment states that plastics from cooking utensils can leach poisonous chemicals into your food. These chemicals are especially detrimental to infants and children. If you’re already committed to eco-friendly living by choosing organic, chemical-free foods, ensuring they stay clean through the cooking process is equally important. The cooking utensils that you use are in contact with your food at high temperatures and often for extended periods of time.  This contact has a great effect on the safety of your food. To ensure your food remains chemical-free and non-toxic, choose your cooking utensils carefully.

Best plastic-free cookware

What are the best non-toxic cooking utensils?

Searching for non-toxic cooking utensils will result in a slew of suggestions. Look carefully to ensure that what you’re buying is as eco-friendly as it sounds. Silicone products are often touted as non-toxic cooking utensils, even though they’re not proven as such. 

First, find out what the cookware is made out of.  Is it made from natural materials? Non-toxic cooking utensils made from natural materials like bamboo come from a naturally renewable source. Other types of cookware, such as silicone or plastic, use non-renewable resources in their production. When looking for non-toxic cooking utensils, the best solution is to choose cooking utensils made from natural materials such as wood or bamboo. Choosing non-toxic cooking utensils is the best way to know that your cooking utensils are chemical and pesticide-free. 

Plastic free cookware

Why use non-toxic bamboo cooking utensils?

When looking through options for non-toxic cooking utensils, wood and bamboo are the main natural materials used.  Here’s why we choose bamboo. Bamboo is a type of grass, not wood.  This means that it can be cut without killing the plant. Talk about renewable. When it comes to cooking utensils, bamboo is a heat, stain, and odor resistant material.  That means it won’t hold the taste of last night’s dinner when it’s time for breakfast. Plus, bamboo is an abundant and fast-growing plant, resulting in some of the most affordable non-toxic cookware out there.

Here at bambu, we began with a goal to provide homes with the best bamboo cooking utensils possible. To keep you and your family safe. That’s why bambu only makes non-toxic bamboo cooking utensils that are certified 100% biobased - the first and only company to do so.  Keeping your kitchen stocked with non-toxic cooking utensils doesn’t have to be difficult, so we keep it simple. Only non-toxic, pure bamboo cooking utensils that are sustainably sourced and made.

Bamboo cookware

Upgrade to a more eco-friendly home this year. Shop non-toxic bamboo cooking utensils.


Jan 04, 2024

Hi Adeline,

Bamboo naturally has some anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties which have been shown to stand up against bacteria like E Coli and Staph Aureus. While this doesn’t make bamboo germ-proof, the best way to prevent germs is to wash with a gentle soap and warm water quickly after using, as well as occasionally conditioning with a food safe oil to build up a protective barrier. This will also help protect against stains developing.

Sometimes stains can occur with certain stubborn foods, however we recommend removing them with a paste made from a mix of lemon juice and baking soda. A touch of sanding with a fine-grit paper will also do the trick for tougher, deeper stains.

If you’re curious for details on how to get the most out of your utensils in the long run, you can read more in our article on care practices here:

Kind Regards,

Jan 03, 2024

But don’t bamboo utensils absorb germs etc over time?? I know they get stained and it never washes off.


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