Ah, the ubiquitous vinyl. It’s in everything from shower curtains, to backpacks, to wall decals. But, what exactly is vinyl? Toxic.
Here’s the problem. Vinyl is created through a combination of ethylene (from crude oil) and chlorine; these materials are then processed to create PVC (polyvinyl chloride resin). It was developed in the 1920’s as a “cheaper” alternative to plastic. Interestingly, whatisvinyl.com claims vinyl is an “eco-friendly” material because it’s recyclable (with risk!), and only 43% of vinyl comes from crude oil so really it’s “nature friendly.” Hmmm.
Sure, 57% of PVC is chloride. But, what happens when it catches on fire or is heated to high temperatures (like recycling)? Dioxin and hydrochloride gas are released (not to mention over 100 other toxic compounds), both are highly hazardous. Dioxin alone is one of the most toxic substances known. This toxic contamination is not short-lived either.
Additionally, softening PVC to create vinyl requires the use of phthalates. We’re already familiar with their toxicity & the push to move them out of our cosmetics and skin care. Should they be used on our kids lunch boxes and backpacks?
Wondering if your food container or plastic contains vinyl? Look for a #3 recycling symbol.
Of course, you can always find both support for both sides of any issue. Mother Earth News has an interesting article with information on both sides. Where do you stand? Do you try to avoid items made with vinyl or is it not even on your radar?
All of our EcoGear backpacks and messenger bags are vinyl-free! Save on safer alternatives for your child’s backpack or day pack for yourself.
Daily Green Special: All of our EcoGear bags are 30% off! No coupon necessary, but this offer is only valid until tomorrow’s post. Happy Thursday!