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

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


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12 thoughts on “Silicone

  1. “And unlike some reusables, it’s light and lovely to drink from, making it ideal to take with you everywhere you go; its also dishwasher safe and should last for years and years. Even better still, when you’re done with it, you can simply send it back to Mother Nature by simply crushing it, soaking it in hot water and burying it with your organic compost. The silicone lid and sleeve are made from bonded silica and can be recycled with your curb side recycling.”

    This is a bamboo reusable cup with a silicone lid and sleeve.

    Is the silicone lid and and sleeve really recyclable with kerb side recycling in the UK as this website suggests?

    Or is recycling in this context just energy from waste incineration?

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

  3. 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

  4. 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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