Usey predicts that plastic items will not become more expensive to produce this way, “since we’re not talking about retooling, only minor tweaks in processing and material selection," he says. “The end product should cost about the same."
Manufacturers’ willingness to make yet another market change may be another story, however. “There is consensus that this is coming," Usey says. “But many of the companies are waiting until consumers demand this solution."
However, several companies have jumped on board. Hydrapak, an Oakland, Calif. sports water bottle manufacturer is making an EA-free product co-developed with PlastiPure. Two baby bottle companies, Ajmerani and Adiri, also hope to have EA-free products on the market sometime this year, Usey says.
“The smaller companies seem to have more of an innovative philosophy, and are more aggressive and interested," Usey says. “These will precede the much larger market."
In the meantime, PlastiPure is working with a Vancouver manufacturer to develop EA-free flexible plastics, such as baby bottle liners, food storage bags, freezer and microwave bags, and stretch/cling wrap. The idea is to use them in products targeted to consumers potentially most vulnerable to low levels of synthetic chemicals with estrogenic activity, including pregnant women, infants and young children.
“We believe these products will have wide consumer appeal and societal benefit," Usey says.
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