Cornish woman re-designs the lunch bag

Sarah-Jane Harper, a business woman from Cornwall, launched a new range of eco-friendly products this year including drinking bottles, children’s lunch bags, and reusable wraps as part of her new brand fittingly titled Ecoboodle.

Harper felt compelled to create the line after realizing that many of the aluminum and plastic products available on the market used to package children’s lunches actually contain hazardous chemicals that can stunt children’s growth while also damaging the environment.  Backing for her project came from NatWest Bank and the South West Investment Group.  The products are now available at ecoboodle.com.

Mrs. Harper said, “Like most mothers, I want to make sure my children are safe and protected in every way, including what they eat and what they come into contact with. I was concerned when I stumbled across an article about the dangers of plastic bottles, and went on to unearth some frightening information on the plastics used in kid’s lunch bags.

“For example, many lunch-bags contain PVC which releases dioxins in its production and disposal, know as a Carcinogenic. Lead is also often added to PVC, which can harm a child’s developing brain,” explained Mrs. Harper.

“In addition to this, phthalates are added to PVC in order to soften it – this chemical is known as a hormone disruptor. The EU has already banned three specific phthalates in products for children and three more have been banned in products that children put in their mouths, so it’s clear that large governing bodies are starting to realize the very real dangers these plastics present. It seems silly to continue using them when, as I have proved, it is just as easy and cost effective to use less toxic materials.”

Mrs. Harper has now successfully produced the lunch-bags and a range of other accessories, designing the products from home whilst looking after her two young children, Alfie and Matilda. “Once I started realizing the dangers of certain materials I found that other commonly used items can also be harmful,” said Mrs. Harper. “Clingfilm, for example, contains PVC and aluminum/plastic drinking bottles contain BPA’s – another known hormone disrupter. In addition to this 275,000 tonnes of plastics are used each year in the UK, which end up in landfill and in our oceans. So I’ve also set about solving these problems by producing stainless steel bottles and a re-usable waterproof sandwich wrap – a better alternative to the environment and to our children.”

Ecoboodle lunch bags and accessories are now on sale through the Ecoboodle website www.ecoboodle.com.

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