Why silicone?

Posted by Steph Elswood on

Our latest Sasstainable range is here! The reusable silicone pouches are our answer to the single use sandwich bags we all know and love; great for using on-the-go and for storing leftovers.

But just what is silicone made of? How does it compare to plastic? And just how safe is it? Here’s a bit more information on why we chose silicone for our newest product range.

What is silicone made of?

Silicone is a synthetic polymer made from the combination of silicon (no ‘e’!), a hard and brittle crystalline solid derived from sand, oxygen, and elements such as oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.

Silicone is super versatile because it can be made into different consistencies – from a gel, a rubber-like substance (like our pouches) and even hard like a rock. 

How does silicone compare to plastic?

While plastic tends to be made from crude oil that’s extracted from the ground (a non-renewable resource) silicone is made from silica, which is easily found in the sand. While the amount of sand on earth is still a finite resource, it is much more abundant and easier to mine/collect than oil. The carbon monoxide produced as a by-product of preparing silicon from silicon dioxide is a negligible source of atmospheric carbon, compared to the amount generated by combustion of fossil fuels.

Because silicone is so durable, it doesn't easily  biodegrade or decompose. While normal plastics break down into dangerous microplastic pieces that can ingested by wildlife and ocean life, silicone doesn't break down much at all.

Compared to plastic sandwich bags, silicone pouches can be heated, frozen, tossed around in your bag, folded to fit in the cupboard and washed over and over without losing quality!

Silicone is also recyclable, though it does need to be sent to a special recycling centre. Because Sasstainable products are made from platinum silicone, they are much easier to be recycled and reused because they are not made from a compound plastic.

How safe is silicone? 

Silicone is a great material for storing food – it can withstand very hot and very cold temperatures, making it perfect for dishwashers, microwaves and freezers. Because it’s flexible it won’t crack or chip if you drop it, not to mention it’s non-stick (making them easy to wipe clean).

Silicone products that are marked as ‘medical grade’ or ‘food grade’ are high-quality items that will prevent the use of toxins in your home. Sasstainable silicone products are 100% platinum silicone, meaning they’re made of pure silicone and don’t contain substances such as fillers that can include toxins.

Speaking of toxins, you've probably heard of BPA. Also known as Bisphenol A, BPA is a chemical that is added to many commercial products, including food containers and hygiene products. Some studies show it could disrupt the endocrine system, a collection of glands that secrete hormone signals. More recently, many manufacturers have replaced BPA with BPS (bisphenol S) as it was thought to be better for our systems - but some studies suggest it has very similar effects to BPA. Sasstainable silicone pouches are proudly BPA, BPS and filler-free.

You can test the quality of a silicone product by twisting or pinching it. If the silicone starts to change colour, then it contains chemical fillers. Pure silicone won’t change colour.

So now that you’re a silicone expert, don’t be silly (see what we did there?) and mess with single-use plastic! Switch to silicone and you’ll not only be reducing plastic waste, but you’ll be making the most of your leftovers, preventing food waste too!


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