BPF queries logic of anti-plastics campaigner
By Hamish Champ
Posted 22 June 2012
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has questioned a recent news report carried in the Daily Mail in which a beauty therapist outlined why she would not have any plastic products in her home or near her friends and family.
In a letter to Daily Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre BPF director-general Peter Davis said he found Juliette Scarfe’s claims in a story published earlier this month that she refused to have plastic “in my house, I won’t have it in my body and I don’t want it anywhere near anyone I love” to be “extremely odd”.
Scarfe said she preferred hemp or cotton bags to plastic ones, no longer used plastic water bottles, stored food in her fridge in terracotta, glass or ceramic containers and used wooden cooking utensils, due to the presence of chemicals in the material.
In his letter Davis asked whether Scarfe would avoid using the same plastics used in packaging that are also to be found in life-saving medical devices such as heart valves, blood bags and artificial limbs.
Davis said the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals in plastic was “extraordinarily tiny and independent scientific authorities have concluded the consumer is not at risk”.
“Following an accident, do people want to shun a life-saving blood transfusion because the tube carrying the blood is made flexible by phthalates?”
He wondered if Scarfe would avoid using such products “if she or a member of her family were in a life-threatening condition?”
Davis added: “As the world’s population is set to top seven billion, the use of plastics packaging is key to supporting population growth and raising the hopes of deprived people.
“Plastics have been responsible for major advances in food hygiene and safety. Do we really want to go back to the days of when flies swarmed the butter pats in corner shops?”
The BPF is quoted in the Mail's story, defending the use of plastics and saying exposure levels of potentially harmful substances are deemed safe.
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