Packaging is very important when buying anything these days. With the state of the environment, it’s our responsibility to make sure we choose responsibly by choosing nontoxic and recyclable packaging. Glass is (in my opinion) the best option as it is easily recycled and has no toxins that may leak out of the glass into the product within. Plastics are a bit more complicated...
The safest plastics are polyethylene terephthalate (PET, or #1) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE, or #2). These two plastics are accepted by most municipal curbside recycling programs. A middle-ground plastic is polypropylene (#5)--it is food-safe, but is less easily recycled than #1 or #2. The first “Big Bad” of plastics is polycarbonate, also known by its recycling code as #7. It may leak an endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A, more commonly known as BPA--into foods or products within.
The next plastic to stay away from is #3, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC poses great environmental and health hazards from manufacture to disposal. Because it releases hydrochloric acid, carcinogenic dioxins, and other pollutants into the air, water, and land during production, it is called “the poison plastic”.
PVC also contains additives and chemical stabilizers such as lead, cadmium, and diethylhexyl phthalate--a suspected carcinogen that is known to cause a host of reproductive and developmental defects. All in all, it is best to avoid plastics and stick to something that is definitively chemical free like glass!