If you are thinking to microwave the leftover food, Here is something you need to know before you try to reheat your food using any material that is made up of plastic.

Most people believe that plastic is our enemy that can cause cancer if it is used to microwave edibles. Is it true? Let’s find out:

Types of Plastic

There are various types of plastic types; basically, it is divided into two categories:

  1. Thermoplastics: This type of plastic can easily be moulded into different shapes because when it is heated, it gets soft. They aren’t rigid like Thermoset plastics. Examples include polyvinyl chloride known as PVC, polyethene known as PE and polypropylene known as PP.
  2. Thermoset Plastics: This type of plastic is used in auto or aircraft parts. It retains the shape when it is cooled and hardens. Examples are polyesters, epoxy and phenolic resins.

The most common types of plastic that are used are:

Styrofoam (Polystyrene), PVC, Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene) and polythene.

Can I Microwave Plastic Packaging? (Why & How)

Harmful effects of plastics

Plastic is not a single term; it covers a lot of materials that are made from the inorganic or organic compounds.

Plasticizers are the materials that are sometimes added to make the plastic stable or retain their shape. Commonly used plasticizers are:

  • Phthalates: used to soften or make it easily bendable.
  • Bisphenol-A(BPA): used to make it hard or clear.

These substances are very harmful to the body since they stimulate human hormones.FDA after several testing considers that there are chances that plasticizers are leaked when plastic wraps are heated.

FDA makes sure that manufacturers test the containers and wrap through the tests that are set by them. The test usually measures the transfer or migration of the chemicals at temperatures that plastic container or wraps will go through.

Moreover, scientists also measure chemical that will migrate into the edibles that are placed within the plastic container or wrap.

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Can I Microwave Plastic Packaging? (Why & How)

Microwave friendly Plastics

The containers that are safe for using usually have a tag labelled as” microwave friendly”, or they have the microwave-safe symbol on them.

This symbol or this phrase assures us that the plastic can tolerate the heat and will not release harmful chemicals or melt when it is heated.

Nowadays, plastic manufacturing companies are using PVdC known as polyvinylidene chloride or low-density polyethene (LDPE). These types are considered safe since they are approved by the FDA.

Can I Microwave Plastic Packaging? (Why & How)

Is Styrofoam friendly?

People have been questioning about Styrofoam. However, Styrofoam can be used like other polystyrene items in the microwave. Follow the simple rule for every plastic you use in microwave. CHECK THE LABEL.

TIPS for Microwave Plastic 

  • Before microwaving edibles take off the lid of the container you are using, so it has an air passage.
  • Try to avoid plastics, if you are bothered by them.
  • When you are using plastic wrap, make sure it is not in contact with the food.
  • Plastic containers that are old or broken or used several times may discharge plasticizers.
  • The bag that you get or buy from supermarkets is never to be put in the microwave.
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