What's the deal with Silicone and how Eco friendly is it?
With more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating around our oceans, using less plastic means contributing less to polluting our wildlife. Silicone can be a better substitute for some plastic goods. But... What's the deal with Silicone and how Eco friendly is it?
- Silicone is a Synthetic polymer made of silicon (quartz), oxygen, and other elements (usually carbon and hydrogen).
- It can withstand extreme heat and moisture, salt, and it is corrosion resistant. It is also water resistant and antimicrobial.
- While there is nothing about silicone chemically that would prevent it from being recycled, curbside recycling programs rarely accept it. One way to recycle silicone bakeware is through Terracycle
- So where does silicone fall on the eco-friendly spectrum? While the base silicon comes from quartz, a plentiful resource, the hydrocarbons used to make silicone usually come from petroleum or natural gas. Please note that Silicone is arguably more environmentally friendly than plastic.
- Silicone is Non toxic and BPA free, whereas plastic can contain BPA and other toxins like heavy metals and Phthalates.
- It is also more inert that plastic, which means it has a lower chance of leaching chemicals into food when used for food storage
- You can test a silicone product for chemical fillers by pinching and twisting a flat surface of it to see if any white shows through. If you see white, a filler likely has been used because pure silicone should not change color at all.
- Silicone it is not biodegradable, however it doesn't break down into smaller pieces like plastic, which means that it's much less likely to end up in our oceans get eaten by animals who mistake it for food!