YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHEN STORING E-LIQUID IN PLASTIC BOTTLES FOR PROLONGED PERIODS OF TIME
Glass is a classy container, plain and simple. It looks good on the shelf, feels good in your hand, and is available in a myriad of cool shapes and colours. While it’s the best material in the respect of storage and steeping, glass does have it’s limits.
Plastic is convenient, you can drip with one hand and carry it in your pocket without worry of leaking. Its durable too, so you don’t need to worry about it smashing should you drop it by accident. But there are a few realistic limits and drawbacks to plastic as well.
Resin identification codes that describe the different materials and their capabilities can be identified by a triangle with a number in the center ranging from one to seven. While some of these are suitable for storing your juice, most are not due to chemical leaching.
In this situation, leaching is when your juice absorbs constituents of the plastic container. Antimony, bisphenol a (BPA), phthalates and styrene will be the sources of risk when using the inappropriate material. We won’t dive into these chemicals too much, but a few of the health effects involve respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, kidney and liver problems. Some of them are carcinogenic as well. You get the picture.
Only three of the seven resins contain none of the harmful chemicals listed: #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene); #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene); #5 PP (polypropylene)
The first two are practically the same. They are very resistant to acid and are the most commonly used resins for storing juice. With lower density the plastic becomes more porous and permeable. HDPE is more rigid and more resistant to chemicals and ultraviolet rays, but has less flexibility than LDPE. LDPE is more resistant to stress fracturing, but is more prone to punctures. Both will absorb your juice, meaning they will retain flavour and colour within the inner walls, with LDPE obviously being more susceptible to this.
You can reuse these types of bottles several times, but they are not intended for long-term use and there are many factors that determine your bottle’s mileage. Harsher ingredients like nicotine, menthol and cinnamon will expedite degradation. Heat and light exposure will do the same.
Methods of cleaning are also important; detergents should never be used. Devote flavours to designated bottles and there won’t be a need to wash the bottles out before you toss them. Although you can reuse plastic, the bottles are extremely cheap so there is no need to surpass a month’s use.
Polypropylene is the same kind of plastic used in microwavable dishes like Tupperware. It’s really tough stuff, but I’ve never seen or heard of it being used for storing juice. It is a very dense material so it would prove difficult to squeeze juice out anyhow.
- Avoid resins that could potentially cause emphysema or cancer. Choose a reputable supplier.
- Know where the bottles come from and what they’re made of.
- Be aware of how long your plastic bottles have been in commission. And if they need to be washed, just use a new one.
- Least but not last, recycle!