The BPA-free trend and why we’re avoiding it

The BPA-free trend and why we’re avoiding it

Are you confused by all the information circulating around safe and unsafe plastic use?

This week we’re taking a deep dive into the world of BPA-free, to find out if this popular plastic is as great and safe as we’ve been told. Our conclusion, it’s not the reusable food storage option we want our children (or ourselves for that matter) to use – and here’s why.

What is BPA?

Most of us know of BPA, Bisphenol A, because we’ve seen the “BPA-free” labels on packaging and marketing materials of common household items (such as lunchboxes, storage containers, and water bottles). But what is it? And why is it no longer in some plastic?

BPA is a substance that has been used in the production of plastic because it gives this material a strong, durable, and rigid property1. It is also an endocrine disruptor which can interfere with our body’s hormones.

Over recent years, there is increasing evidence that exposure to this chemical, even in small doses, can lead to increased risk of various cancers, fertility complications, neurobehavioral problems and even obesity1. Additionally, the heightened risk of BPA to humans and animals in the foetal and infant stages has been recognised2. The result, certain manufacturers have phased out the use of this chemical as fears over public health have emerged. In the UK and EU, BPA is prohibited from being used in any items that are for babies and young children3, 4. Meanwhile in Canada it was classified as a “toxic” chemical1 and banned in products intended for babies since 20084. It is fair to say this is a nasty chemical we don’t want to be exposed to.

The BPA-free era

With the rise in safety concerns around plastic products which come into contact with the food and drink we ingest; the industry has slowly moved to producing BPA-free items.

The term or label “BPA-free” has become synonymous with the idea of safe-to-use plastic containers. To put it crudely, BPA-free is a powerful marketing tool that companies have been able to use, by tapping into our health fears, to continue selling plastic-based products to consumers.

It’s easy to think that with plastic no longer containing BPA that's the problem solved, right?

Why we should also be cautious of BPA-free

The marketing around BPA-free plastic has been so effective that we don’t look further into how plastic is made now. But have you thought about what has replaced BPA so manufacturers can continue creating this strong material?

A few years ago, I came across a great analogy by Maya Wei-Haas in National Geographic5 as she explained why BPA-free does not necessarily mean safer. Her article focuses on how BPA has been replaced with other chemicals such as BPS and BPF. The structure of all these substances are essentially the same, deriving from bisphenol, with only minor modifications. As she puts it, it’s like “swapping a blue Lego block for a red one”.

While the substances which have replaced BPA are newer, and research into their effects on human health is still in its infancy, similar health risks have been reported. For example, scientists have found a correlation between BPF and obesity in children and teenagers4. Meanwhile, other researchers have found that BPA replacements have been linked to increased breast cancer risk6. This is concerning but should not come as a total surprise given that bisphenol (BP) is present in all these chemicals. Worryingly though, in a review of current research into BPA substitutes, scientists have found that there is a consensus that these replacement substances found in BPA-free plastic have the same hormone-disrupting effects as BPA7. If this is the case, then BPF and BPS are as dangerous as BPA, and we should be wary of them6.

Another major issue we have with BPA-free is it still creates plastic pollution. Microwaving and washing plastic releases microplastics which enter the environment and our bodies. These tiny pieces of plastic are toxic, carriers of disease-causing organisms, and are damaging our delicate ecosystems8. In the State of California, there is currently a discussion about adding microplastics to its Safer Consumer Product’s Candidate Chemicals List. An informational list identifying materials or chemicals with a “hazard trait and/or an environmental or toxicological endpoint”9. Meanwhile, research into the effects of continuous ingestion of microplastics in humans has raised concerns about increased risk of kidney damage10.

So, what’s the alternative for our food storage needs?

The LILY&EDITH solution

In an effort to move away from single-use and harmful plastics, it often feels like we need to make a series of trade-offs to do something good for the planet and our bodies.

Stainless steel containers are lightweight but not microwaveable. That means more washing - one dish for storage and one for heating.

Glass containers are microwavable (yay) but bulky, heavy, and not to mention fragile.

Our mission at LILY&EDITH is simple, we want to be part of shaping a sustainable world – without compromising practicality, quality, and safety. This means we want our community to be able to make eco-friendly, green, decisions without any trade-offs.

Therefore, after a lot of research, we opted for premium-grade silicone as the material of our range of food-storage solutions. Here’s why?

  1. Silicone has a high chemical stability. This means that it can be exposed to harsh conditions such as high and low temperatures* and continuous washing. Our bags can go in the microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher as well as being sous-vide ready. You’ll be reusing them again and again!
  2. Our premium-grade silicone (LFGB certified) has been rigorously tested to ensure there are no harmful or toxic substances.
  3. It’s lightweight and not bulky, making it ultra-portable.
  4. It’s versatile. Being leak-proof, thanks to the double-lock seal, our bags shouldn’t only be your go-to for storing snacks and other dry foods. Those leftovers from your dinner can go into one of our bags too!

Did we mention it’s versatile? Why stop at using our bags for food storage?

Our community is using our bags for food storage but also to store our biodegradable dental floss picks, to tidy up their cables and wires, as cosmetic and skincare bags/pencil cases, and for many other purposes!

Let’s say goodbye to plastic containers and hello to LILY&EDITH’s reusable premium silicone food storage solution.

Shop the collection today!



*Heat resistant up to 220c/420f and freezer resistant down to -40c/-40f.

1 Vogel, S.A. (2009) ‘The Politics of Plastics: The Making and Unmaking of Bisphenol A “Safety”’, American Journal of Public Health, 99, 3, s559-566.

2 Bittner, G. D. et al. (2014) ‘Estrogenic chemicals often leach from BPA-free plastic products that are replacements for BPA-containing polycarbonate products’, Environmental Health, 13, 41, 1-14.

3 FSA (2023) ‘BPA in plastic: What Bisphenol A (BPA) is and the research and evidence that supports our understanding of BPA’, Food Standards Agency, London: UK Government (accessed 9 March 2024;

4 Moon, M.K. (2019) ‘Concerns about the safety of Bisphenol A substitutes’, Diabetes and Metabolism Journal, 43, 1, 46-48.

5 Wei-Haas, M. (2018) ‘Why ‘BPA Free’ may not mean a plastic product is safe’, National Geographic, Manhattan, NY: National Geographic Society, (accessed 9 March 2024;

6 Winkler, J. et al. (2022) ‘Bisphenol A replacement chemicals, BPF and BPS, induce protumorigenic changes in human mammary gland organoid morphology and proteome’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119, 11, 1-10.

7 Rochester, J.R. and A.L. Bolden (2015) ‘Bisphenol S and F: a systematic review and comparison of the hormonal activity of Bisphenol A substitutes’, Environmental Health Perspectives, 123, 7, 643-50.

8 UNEP (2021) ‘Plastic planet: how tiny plastic particles are polluting our soil’, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme (accessed 9 March 2024;

9 DTSC (n/d) ‘Safer Consumer Products’, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Sacramento, CA: State of California (accessed 9 March 2024;

10 Ford, C. (2023) ‘For the love of God, stop microwaving plastic’, Wired, San Francisco, CA: Conde Nast (accessed 9 March 2024;