How Plastic is Harming Our Periods and Our Planet - and What You Can Do About It

By now, we hope that everyone reading this will be aware of the global plastic crisis. Only 9% of plastic is being recycled for various reasons, and the recycling models in many countries (NZ included) is broken.

 

6300 million metric tons of plastic waste has been generated since we started using this material in the fifties. Disturbingly, all 6,300,000,000 metric tons of this waste still exists in landfills, in our communities, environments, and our oceans.

Plastic is contaminating and polluting our planet, but did you know that plastic is also contaminating and polluting your health, and your hormones?

 

Have you heard of BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is now one of the most widely produced synthetic chemicals in the world, and is added to most plastics. Manufacturers use BPA to create plastic that is shatter-resistant, lightweight, transparent, and has high resistance to electricity and heat. Due to these properties it’s found basically everywhere...

Drink bottles (both single use and refillable), plastic bags, receipt paper (which is coated in BPA-containing plastic), food packaging, food wrap, lunch containers, the inside of tin cans and disposable coffee cups. Children’s toys… The list goes on and on.

BPA can be ingested (through leaching into the food you eat through packaging and lunch boxes, or into the liquids you drink from bottles), or absorbed through skin contact (e.g. through touching till receipts, and other plastics).

 

So, what’s the problem?

When tested, BPA has been found in 93% of people’s urine in the USA. Here in NZ, we live very similar lives to our friends across the pond and it’s highly likely that similar results would be found here. This essentially means that plastic is being detected running through our veins, and our digestive and detoxification organs.

Research has linked BPA to a variety of nasty health conditions such as heart disease, various forms of cancer, and asthma among others. BPA is also an endocrine disruptor, which basically means it’s a big fat hormonal troublemaker.

BPA is a xenoestrogen, which is the name given to chemicals that mimic the sex hormone oestrogen (produced and used by men and women), and over long term exposure has been linked to increased risk of hormonal issues such as:

 

That’s awful! How can I reduce my risk?

We know, it’s pretty scary. While it’s currently impossible for us to avoid plastics and their environmental residues entirely, there are some incredible kiwi companies doing amazing things to make it possible for us to limit our exposure. Save our planet, save our hormones.

Inspired by a passion for sustainability, GoodFor is on a crusade to banish plastic from our daily routines. GoodFor a whole foods refillery with three stores in Auckland (and more in the works) that offers nationwide shipping for a plastic-free shopping experience. The Eve team are obsessed with GoodFor as they are also a hub for plastic-free products to help you revamp your pantries, bathrooms and daily routines to cut out plastics and BPAs at every turn. If we could pick a single destination that would have the biggest impact on your exposure to plastics and hormone disrupting xenoestrogens it would, without a doubt, be GoodFor .

 

I’m in. Where should I start?

It can take time and money to reduce your plastic exposure, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. So remember, every action you take is a great step towards happier hormones and a healthy planet earth.

 

Start by choosing one thing that will make an impact in your life, and gradually aim to adopt more of these plastic-free strategies:

  1. Stop buying and using plastic bottles. Get yourself a stainless steel or glass bottle to refill and take with you wherever you go.
  2. Reduce the amount of food you buy in plastic packaging by taking advantage of GoodFor’s refillery or delivery services.
  3. The take-away cup from your morning coffee? Replace it with a reusable one and you’ll be restricting BPAs every single day.
  4. The tupperware you take your lunch to work in? Use jars or a stainless steel lunchbox.
  5. Eliminate plastic food wrap from your home. Honey wraps are handmade, smell delicious, last for ages and have so many creative uses.
  6. Buy cheap spray free or organic veggies at a local market and use produce bags to keep them fresh when you get them home. As well as reducing plastic exposure, this will reduce your exposure to chemicals sprayed on non-organic veggies and will also support local farmers.

 

Can I really make a difference?

Yes!

When it comes to your own health, you really are in the driving seat. Our small habits shape our lives and by choosing a life where you put your body first, you are setting yourself up for better health and happiness.

And when it comes to our planet, if everyone had the attitude of ‘everyone’s using plastic so what difference can I make?’ nothing would ever change. Widespread change takes each of us individually choosing to act differently. Individuals all choosing to do things differently turns into a group. Which turns into a movement. Which turns into a new way for our planet and all those who call it home.

Together with companies like GoodFor, we are part of this movement; this new way. Will you join us?

 

Looking for more information? Head over to our FAQs page where you can find out about Eve, what the Eve Hormone Balance Test measures, when the best time to test your hormones is, and more.

 

Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure. We are all unique. For your individual health concerns it is important to discuss these with a relevant health professional.