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Is Plastic Packaging Safe?

By Mark Williams, PhD

Many people have concerns about plastic containers leaching toxic molecules into the contents of a product’s package, especially if the product is acidic. When a consumer is making a product choice, they need to be assured that the containers and packaging are safe.

The food, health, and wellness industries, as well as body care manufacturers are addressing consumer concerns by utilizing a complex and costly certification process to show that their product meets a higher standard. Companies want to ensure that their product is compliant with its labels, such as: organic, gluten free, not tested on animals, non-GMO, no hormones, dyes, or pesticides.

Food and health and beauty products need packaging that will keep the product fresh, maintain shelf life, be attractive, sustain shipping around the world, and not add a hefty cost to the product. One of the most cost effective, non-reactive, and safe containers is HDPE (High-Density-Polyethylene) plastic with the recycle #2 symbol.

What is in plastic that can make it unhealthy?

Plastics are made from many chemicals, and some are potentially harmful. Some manufactured plastics leach plasticizers like phthalates [1, 2] or bisphenol A (BPA) [3]. Plasticizers are added to certain plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. However, if phthalates or BPA are used, their molecules can be released from the container because they are not bound to the plastic [4]. Phthalates and BPA can cause serious health issues since they are hormone disrupters [5]. Therefore, it is important that businesses understand the types of plastic used for packaging foods and beverages that are sold to customers.

What makes HDPE safe?

HDPE (High-Density-Polyethylene) is the one of the safest and most widely used plastics on the market [6]. HDPE is a thermoplastic made from petroleum products, specifically ethylene, that has a high strength-to-density ratio [7]. This plastic is remarkably safe because it is very non-reactive and highly stable[8, 9]. HDPE has excellent chemical resistance. It is acid resistant, alkali resistant, biocompatible, moderately biodegradable [10-12], BPA free [13], phthalate free [13] and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [14]. It is also approved by the European Union Food-Food Safety Authorities [15], The British Foods Standards Agency [16], The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)[17] and The Canadian Food Inspection Agency [18].

How is HDPE regulated?

The FDA continuously regulates HDPE, ensuring manufacturer safety standards are met and maintained. Since plastics can contain residual or unreacted quantities of monomers and process additives such as antioxidants [14], all plastics intended for food use must meet stringent FDA safety standards before they are marketed to consumers. This is done to ensure any potentially harmful substance levels are kept well below regulatory limits [14]. HDPE’s versatility and inherent stability (strong acids or bases do not attack it) make it the most commonly manufactured and utilized packaging plastic, and it has no known "health-safety" issues [19].

What kind of HDPE packaging does Mineral Logic and AgTonik use?

HDPE doesn't leach any chemicals, so it is well-suited for making bottles for the storage of beverages and containers for food[14]. HDPE products include packaging like milk jugs, juice containers, food storage containers (keeping your nutrients organic), plastic bags, plastic films, and water pipes for domestic water supply [20]. Mineral Logic and AgTonik use FDA Food Grade stainless steel vessels, mixers, blenders, milling equipment and trays for extracting and drying.

We also exclusively utilize a variety of plastic container packaging in assorted shapes and sizes, manufactured from FDA Food Grade HDPE

These containers safely store and maintain all our naturally low in pH, organic products like MLG-50. All HDPE containers are recyclable and have the #2 surrounded by chasing arrows embossed on the bottom of the container [21], which is the HDPE resin identification code. Almost all curbside recycling programs accept #2 HPDE, and recycled HDPE has proven as versatile as virgin HDPE. Polymers used to make plastic Food Grade Containers like HDPE pass all FDA standards. [14] You can be assured that it’s the best plastic on the market and a healthy choice for fulvic product packaging.

We're here to help on several levels. Reach out today.

Whether your products fall under the categories of nutraceutical, beverage, functional food, or body-care, fulvic acid may very well be the supplement to set you apart, to truly assist you with helping your customers reach optimal health.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you incorporate fulvic acid into your nutraceutical products.

Disclaimer: Our fulvic products are for supporting overall health by way of supplying minerals, trace minerals, antioxidants, electrolytes, and other micro-nutrients. Our products are NOT meant for the treatment mitigation or prevention of any disease or health ailments.

  1. Otero, P., et al., Improved method for rapid detection of phthalates in bottled water by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci, 2015. 997: p. 229-35

  2. Sax, L., Polyethylene terephthalate may yield endocrine disruptors. Environ Health Perspect, 2010. 118(4): p. 445-8

  3. Bittner, G.D., et al., Chemicals having estrogenic activity can be released from some bisphenol A-free, hard and clear, thermoplastic resins. Environ Health, 2014. 13: p. 103

  4. Kwak, E.S., et al., Phthalates, Pesticides, and Bisphenol-A Exposure and the Development of Nonoccupational Asthma and Allergies: How Valid Are the Links? Open Allergy J, 2009. 2: p. 45-50

  5. Gore, A.C., et al., EDC-2: The Endocrine Society's Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals. Endocr Rev, 2015. 36(6): p. E1-E150

  6. Geyer, R., J.R. Jambeck, and K.L. Law, Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Sci Adv, 2017. 3(7): p. e1700782

  7. International, P., HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). 2017: 7600 Anagram Drive, Eden Praire, MN 55344.

  8. Allyson Wilson, J.K., Plastic FAQS, in Plastic FAQS. 2017: The American Chemistry Council.

  9. Corporation, K.P., HDPE Chemical Resistance Chart. 2017, King Plastic: 1100 N. Toledo Blade Blvd., North Port, FL 34288.

  10. Skariyachan, S., et al., Enhanced biodegradation of low and high-density polyethylene by novel bacterial consortia formulated from plastic-contaminated cow dung under thermophilic conditions. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2017. 24(9): p. 8443-8457

  11. Orr, I.G., Y. Hadar, and A. Sivan, Colonization, biofilm formation and biodegradation of polyethylene by a strain of Rhodococcus ruber. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 2004. 65(1): p. 97-104

  12. Sowmya, H.V., et al., Degradation of polyethylene by Trichoderma harzianum--SEM, FTIR, and NMR analyses. Environ Monit Assess, 2014. 186(10): p. 6577-86

  13. Garlough, D., The Complete Reference for Consuming Wisely., in National Geographic Green Guide. 2008, National Geographic.

  14. Administration, F.a.D., Packaging and Food Contact Substances (FCS), U.F.a.D. Adminastration, Editor. 2017, Office of Food Additive Safety, CFSAN, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740-3835.

  15. Authority, E.F.S., Food Contact Materials, E.F.S. Authority, Editor. 2018.

  16. Agency, F.S., National legislation on food contact materials: the Materials and Articles in Contact with Food Regulations 2012. 2012.

  17. FSANZ, The Food Standards Austraila New Zealand. 2018.

  18. Agency, T.C.F.I., The Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 2018.

  19. Company, D.C., Product Safety Assessment High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Resins. 2014.

  20. Dae Hyun (Dan) Koo, P.D., P.E. , ASSESSMENT AND CALCULATION OF BTEX PERMEATION THROUGH HDPE WATER PIPE FINAL REPORT JULY 10, 2012 Purdue School of Engineering and Technology.

  21. International, A., Standard Practice for coding Plastic Manufactered Articles for Resin Identification. 2017.


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