I have to start the entry by telling you that I found a tiffin! I am now the proud owner of a 2 level tiffin. Nicely insulated and it came with an insulated lunch bag that fits it perfectly. Now, a tiffin is sort of small - so when ordering a regular meal at the lunch counter, I thought they might not like having to put it into two pieces - so I also bought an insulated metal hot pot. A friend of mine told me that they use these to keep Naan bread warm. But for me, it's perfect to use for take out food. If I have any issues with it being used, I can always use an eat-in plate for my order and then transfer it myself. I'll have to do that for soup in my tiffin - use a bowl and then put it into my container (for measurement) and a plate for salad as they weigh the salad if you buy it separately. But that's ok - it still means I'm not using the plastic and styrofoam take out containers. I'm quite excited about it!
The next thing on my list to find is a 'safe sippy' cup by Kid Basix. It's quite a neat little invention - it's metal with BPA, phthalate and DEHA free plastic used for the spout/handles. It's funky and fun. It's also sold out everywhere. I've put my name on a waiting list and hope to get one. Looks like this company is going to make a fortune if they can ever keep up with the orders!
Health Canada is expected to classify BPA (bisphenol A) as a dangerous substance. Many large chains such as Mountain Equipment Co-op, Sport Check, Athletes World, Coast Mountain Sports, Lululemon Athletica, The Bay, Zellers, Canadian Tire and more have or are currently pulling plastic bottles off their shelves if they contain BPA. This includes baby bottles & sippy cups, many of which come from some big name brands. This leaves parents looking for an alternative for their children. Right now the alternatives are expensive, unless you can find them second hand (where I'm hoping to obtain some BPA free bottles for my son) or unless you happen to be in the USA (where you can buy 3 glass bottles for $5 instead of $5 each or more up here).
I think my decision to switch my lunch stuff was a good one. I'm going to bring a ceramic bowl and a plate in, too - so that I can use them to warm up things. There are plastics that are safe, they are just a little harder to find right now and I think it's important to do your homework. While the Health Canada label won't constitute a ban on the products, it will make people stop and think. I heard on the radio today that BPA is in everything from your cd's to your baby's bottles. Not to scare you into banning all plastic, though. It's present in polycarbonate - which classed within the #7 type plastic.
Whatever your choice for food and beverage containers and storage - make sure you do a little reading (and not just on the internet chat groups and forums) and make an informed decision. Me, I'm keeping my #5 containers and I'm happy with my new metal ones - especially that funky little tiffin!