Dear SafeMama: Yo Baby Organic Yogurt and Polystyrene

By Kristie Turck •  Published 08/13/08 •  3 min read

Dear SafeMama, This morning while I was feeding my daughter breakfast, I happened to look at the bottom of her Yo Baby Organic Yogurt container to find the #6 imprinted on it. Isn’t #6 considered to be one of the “bad” plastics??? Please help!!

Oh my have we gotten this question a lot! There is so much talk about bad plastic and BPA that now people are questioning every container they use. And with good reason! The recycle code 6 is used to classify polystyrene plastic which is used in lots of food packaging including the plastic cups, cutlery, lids and trays from many take out restaurants and in food containers in your local grocery store.

Polystyrene is undesirable for a few reasons. The first is, it’s been determined that styrene is a possible human carcinogen, might possibly be a hormone disruptor and may leach into food or liquids. Also, polystyrene is not very recyclable and it’s been said that less than 1% of Polystyrene plastic gets recycled. So it’s sitting in a landfill for who knows how long, affecting drinking water. Children are exposed to Polystyrene by many things, not just food containers but cigarette smoke, off-gassing from building materials, exhaust fumes and drinking water. So while the little yogurt container might not be doing tremendous harm, it could be adding to a growing problem.

Stonyfield Farms is a great company and their products are carefully created with heath in mind. The Stonyfield Farms website offers this statement in regards to their packaging:

We do use polystyrene cups for our yogurt multipack offerings and our pint sized Oikos Organic Greek yogurt. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Union (EU) consider polystyrene (#6) containers safe for food use. The FDA requires the styrene content of the packaging be less than 5,000 parts per million (ppm). The styrene content in Stonyfield Farm’s polystyrene packaging does not exceed 400 ppm (12 times less than the allowable limit). For those who prefer, our Organic Greek yogurt can also be purchased in 5.3 oz. containers made of polypropylene (#5 plastic); and our fat free, lowfat and whole milk yogurts can also be purchased in 6 oz. and 32 oz. polypropylene (#5) containers.

We hope they’ll start switching from polystyrene to something more recyclable for their baby products. The rest of their statement indicates they are looking to improve in that area. Until then…

Reader Tip:Stonyfield offers a Whole Milk Yogurt in a larger container–this is what I give my 1yr old…  It may not be convenient for some mothers due to the larger size, but the plastic is made out of polypropylene. It also has the same ingredients as the YoBaby!”  Thanks J’s Mom!