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Plastic? Rubber? Just plain weird? Used for everything  from ice-cube trays to adult toys to cake tins it certainly gets around. So what is silicone??

Silicon is a natural chemical element. Silicone polymers are derived from silicon and so silicone is a  man-made product derived from silicon a natural element.
Silicon the natural chemical element, is generally found in solid crystalline form like sand.
Silicone, the product, may be a liquid lubricant, a semi-solid adhesive or a rubber-like plastic polymer

Uses
Liquid silicone is often used as a lubricant.
An example of a thicker form of rubberized silicone  would waterproof sealant used in bathrooms and window fitting.
Solid silicone rubber – is used for everything from cake baking cases to internal sanitary protection.

Silicone Rubber
Silicone rubber a manmade product  derived from natural products – silicon and rubber. It is made by curing or vulcanizing natural rubber. Silicon is injected into the long hydrocarbon chains of natural rubber under high heat and pressure. The result is silicone rubber.
Silicone rubber is a  silicon polymer with rubberized qualities.
It was  first produced under the chemical name of polydimethlysiloxane.
Silicone rubber is heat resistant so can be used to make cookware including oven mitts, tongs, pot holders and pan handles.
Silicone rubber also possesses non-stick qualities, so it can be formed into flexible cookware such as muffin and cake pans.

Silicone Generally
All silicone is inert, it does not react with other elements or compounds.
There are (as yet) no known health hazards of silicone.
Silicone is not biodegradable,  but it can be recycled easily – where facilities exist.
Silicone comes in two grades, food and medical grade silicone.

Do I boycott silicone?

Silicone, is  a man-made polymer which does not biodegrade, and so has to specially disposed of. Like other plastics  I try to avoid using it. Like other plastics, there are some silicone products I use,  because they help me reduce the amount of plastic, throw-away trash I would otherwise create.
silicone products I use or at least think might be useful

silicone products I use or at least think might be useful 

unbreakable reusable cups
I am not a paper cup – a pottery cup with reusable silicone lid.
plastic free menstruation silicone mooncups

Check out other synthetic polymers and plastics right here

 

BLOG STATS As of 01.29.2017 onward have been counting the number people who have read each post. WHY CUT PLASTIC About 100 million tons of plastic are produced each year and much of it is used to make one-use, disposable items. Because plastic doesn't biodegrade these items, though only used for moments can last for decades, centuries, possibly forever. We are creating ever lasting rubbish in unsustainable amounts. It is polluting the environment, maiming even killing animals, poisoning fish and may be poisoning us.

10 thoughts on “Silicone

  1. Hello,
    I am wondering if you would prefer to buy body care in silicone containers? Any thoughts on that?
    Thank you,
    A.

  2. You’re correct that silicone does not biodegrade, but as it’s inert it really does no harm to the environment when disposed of properly. Also, don’t forget that it’s a “double-edged sword” – the attributes that make silicone so useful as a manufacturing material (resistance to UV, ozone, water, excellent temperature resistance, etc.) are exactly the reasons it won’t biodegrade.
    For more info visit http://www.primasil.com/en/content/cms/home/silicones/explore-silicone/

  3. I just was thinking about my own plastic ban and where I might weigh in on silicone. Thanks for some background, it’s food for thought – my immediate response was ‘bad!’

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