Over the past few months, Alpha Packaging has received a number of calls regarding the safety of the plastic bottles and jars we manufacture. The calls are in response to the Food & Drug Administration’s recent reversal of its stance on the safety of bisphenol A (BPA). The FDA is now recommending a ban on BPA in some products. BPA is a phthalate chemical, and a building block for polycarbonate (PC), a rigid clear plastic commonly used for baby bottles, reusable water bottles and other applications. It is NOT found in polyethylene terepthalate (PET), commonly used for single-use water and soda bottles among other bottles, nor is it found in high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
Alpha Packaging primarily makes bottles and jars from PET and HDPE, as well as a limited number of PVC bottles. We make no bottles from polycarbonate (PC) or polystyrene (PS), which have been identified as having the potential for leaching bisphenol A into the products they hold. It is also important to note that Alpha Packaging does not add bisphenol A or any other phthalates into any of the bottles and jars we manufacture. (Phthalates are often added as plastic softeners in baby toys and other items, and past media coverage of these softeners has caused product recalls in the past three or four years.)
We know many of our customers are very knowledgeable about the chemical composition of plastic packaging, but sometimes your customers are not. Compounding the problem, incomplete coverage by the media has caused a great deal of confusion among consumers. For example, recent reports have identified “water bottles” as a primary source of BPA, and video footage accompanying the reports has shown single-use PET bottles instead of multi-use polycarbonate water bottles that some retailers in the U.S. and Canada have pulled from the shelves.
A second example of incomplete reporting: U.S. News and World Reports has identified recycle codes 3, 6 and 7 as those indicating plastics that contain BPA. While PVC (recycle code #3), PS (recycle code #6) and PC (recycle code #7) do contain BPA, the media often fails to mention that recycle code #7 does not mean a bottle is made from polycarbonate – instead, recycle code #7 simply means “other plastics” that do not fall into categories 1 through 6. “Other” plastics include polylactide (PLA), a corn-based clear resin also used for single-use beverage bottles that also does not contain bisphenol A.
Fears about the safety of plastics are raised frequently, but PET and HDPE have consistently been proven safe to use in rigid packaging applications. In fact, we have had some of our PET bottles tested for the presence of BPA and other phthalates, and the bottles were shown not to contain any of the chemicals in question. Alpha Packaging is committed to helping you ensure the safety of the bottles and jars you buy from us. If you need additional information about the safety of PET and HDPE resins, please let us know how we can assist you.