Plastics and Oils

Plastic Used in Essential Oil Products

It is not uncommon to get questions regarding plastics and Essential Oils.  Quite frankly many essential oil users are unaware that certain plastics cannot be used with essential oils.  A very important rule to remember is: Never store undiluted essential oils in plastic containers, as some properties in essential oils will break down the plastic, which can destroy the oil and destroy the plastic which often causes leakage.  You may have also heard that it is save to store Essential Oils in certain plastics such as PET ,PETE or HDPE this is mostly true  that is if you dilute the oils with a carrier oil, and even then the shelf live can only be a few moths.  This is why oils work in diffusers that are made of plastics.  The oil is being diluted by the water.  Also adding to that is the diffuser is not designed to be a storage container for your oils, rather a means of distributing the oil.  It runs a cycle and shuts off.  On a side note it’s always good to rinse out your diffuser especially if you are not going to use it for long periods of time.  I however have often aired on the side of caution when it comes to storing oils.  We here at Oilology Essentials recommend that you store your oils diluted or not in glass or stainless steel containers.  However we do want you to be aware of the plastics that you will find within the products that you may use to experience your essential oils.  While also being aware of the plastics that should not be used. Here are the common ones used today.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) these are a thermoplastic polymer resin specifically of the polyester family.  This plastic is commonly used in food, beverage,  and other containers that hold liquid. The term polyethylene terephthalate can be alittle misleading because this substance ( PET ) does not contain polyethylene. Therefore it is written as poly(ethylene terephthalate) for the sake of clarity. Depending on how PET  is processed and heated it can appear transparent. PET is a clear, durable, and shatterproof plastic. PET is the perfect plastic for any food-related products. It is FDA, NSF, and USDA approved for direct contact to foods.
PET does not contain BPA or any estrogen-like chemicals. It is not known to leach any chemicals.  However, as with many plastic products, if reused multiple times, the chemicals can start to break down over time.
PET is a recyclable plastic and has the number “1” as its recycling symbol.
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a polymer plastic that is prepared from ethylene by a catalytic process. HDPE is ads high density and high chemical resistance plastic. HDPE has excellent resistance to diluted and concentrated acids, alcohols, and bases. It has good resistance to aldehydes, esters, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, and mineral and vegetable oils. It is excellent for any food-related products and is FDA, NSF, and USDA approved for direct contact.
Common uses include milk, water, and juice bottles, grocery, trash, and retail bags and many others. It is also used for bottles that contain household cleaners and chemicals.
HDPE is not known to leach any chemicals.  However, again with many plastic products, if you reuse it multiple times, the chemicals will start to break down.
HDPE is a recyclable plastic and has the number “2” as its recycling symbol.
Please take note of the plastics you are using.  Make sure that they fall in one of these listed above.  If not pleas stop using them! And again when in doubt on the type of plastic use glass or stainless.  Better to be safe!