Lifting the lid – The take away coffee lid!

Dangerous plastics – aren’t they all? Well, some are safer than others and the worst exposure you could be giving yourself in the day, is with the morning takeaway coffee.

Look at the bottom of anything plastic that you’re buying or at the top in the case of a takeaway coffee cup lid – the worst “everyday” culprits. There will be a little triangle and a number within it: If that number is 3, 6 or 7, do not proceed: I repeat: abort, abort!

We all know that a multitude of studies have been publicised, outlining the harmful effects of some plastics. David Suzuki has shared with us the confronting statistic that most westerners will have up to a kilo of undigested plastic particles in us by the end of our lives, not to mention all of the hormonal imbalances that will be caused by repeat exposure.

One really big way we can make a difference in terms of how much harmful plastic is manufactured, is by simply saying no to such plastics by boycotting them in our lives, and speaking out against them wherever possible.

The ones I’m talking about predominantly are the “3′s 6′s and 7′s.


I’m going to keep it super simple for the purpose of this post to not go on forever.

The 3′s: Vinyl or PVCs. Pthalates abound in PVCs and you typically find it in kids toys, shower curtains, plastic shoes. The risks are worst when the plastics get worn out or when they are heated, especially in the microwave. Pthalates are not safe in any level of exposure and studies are showing side effects that include the change in formation of baby male genitals! It’s real, and it simply has to go.

The 6′s: Meat trays, coffee cup lids, some plastic cutlery and the odd takeaway container, although most are now 5s, which is much safer. Polystyrene is surely one of the most well known environmental no-nos! It has been found to leach styrene – a neurotoxin & human carcinogen – into our systems, especially when heated: How’s that cappuccino tasting now, hey?

The 7s: A wide range of plastic resins that don’t fit into the other six categories are lumped into number 7 – aparently some 7s are “quite safe”, but being that ambiguous little “miscellaneous” category where we often find BPA (Bisphenol A), I say ditch to whole damn lot! BPA is a known hormone disruptor and has been found to cause neural and behavioral problems in children. Many babies bottles have contained BPA in the past. No exposure to BPA at any level is safe. I dread to think what I was exposed to with my poor Mum being completely unaware – we found an old plastic plate the other day at my mother-in-law’s that simply has BPA written on the underside – WOW. Go the late 70′s! Just put it out there… Needless to say a full toxic body suit was put on complete with protective gas chamber, and the offending article was placed in the bin.

I give you the 3′s, 6′s and 7′s crash course, because I know you probably all drink takeaway coffees, juices and so forth, and all of those lids are highly toxic, most of them being 6 or 7 classed. Do not sip from them and do not microwave them. Please. Because you’re worth it!

And if you might be drinking a Dandelion Latte or Chai and frown on coffee, that still doesn’t make the lid safe!

Keep Cup’s are a fab alternative and much safer if you haven’t discovered them already, made with No 5, Polypropelene plastic.

The best is of course to have your fix at a cafe or at home out of a glass or china cup – mind the lead in the paint if they have a pattern or gold rim!  😉


Check those little numbers in the triangles and say No thanks to the lids from now on unless it’s a keep cup or a bio cup!

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    1. Post

      I have a CamelBak I use for travel with a hard plastic lid, too. I remove it and only have it ‘on’ during say a rougher train ride or turbulence or in the car. Much better than the soft phthalate/bpa containing lids on takeaway cups though so I’m of the view that sometimes is not going to break the health bank!

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