Jeddah: The prolific usage of plastic bags in our daily life has led to
environmental hazards as plastic bags are not bio-degradable, said
Ali Eshki, a professor of ecology at King Abdulaziz University in
He said usage of plastic bags for
hot edible items may cause health hazards to consumers sand said
the danger arises when the wrong type of plastic is used, as
chemical exchange between plastic and food can be maximized by
high temperature and the nature of the food.
Eshki said certain plastic bags may cause chemical filtration into
the foods. Those chemicals include Styrene, Bisphenol A and
Phthalates which can cause cancer, heart diseases and reproductive
He stated that plastics are divided into two major
categories: thermo sets and thermoplastic. Thermo sets are more
durable and stronger and are used primarily in automobiles,
construction applications, adhesives, inks and coatings.
Thermoplastics are softer and weaker and used to produce milk
cartons, floor coverings, and carpet fibers.
Eshki said according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
these plastics are defined as “Food Contact substances”. Some of
the toxins could migrate from the plastic to the substances they
hold. The most common food interactions are the migration of low
molecular weight substances such as stabilizers, plasticizers,
antioxidants, and monomers from plastic packing materials in food.
Plastic bags from food outlets or hawkers do not carry any plastic
identification code to prove whether it is safe for hot foods, and
it is left to the consumer to determine whether the items are safe
He said a study showed that there is
a close correlation between the chemical contents of plastic and
the rate of diabetes in the Kingdom, charging that some consumers
use such plastic in microwaves for cooking and heating.
He warned that water in plastic
containers is unfit for human consumption because the containers
are usually exposed to direct sunlight when they are loaded onto