All reviews and opinions are based on our own experiences, testing and research. We may earn a commission if you buy something through a link, but NO brand is paying for inclusion below.

Shopping for BPA-Free Plastic Glasses? Here’s What to Know

There are many different types of plastic glasses, but only one type of plastic drinkware contains BPA – polycarbonate. Glasses made from other plastics are considered BPA-free because they don’t contain the chemical bisphenol-A, called BPA. We’ll show you how to spot BPA-free plastic glasses whether you’re shopping in-store or online.

What is BPA-Free Plastic?

In terms of plastic tableware, BPA-free plastic is any plastic other than polycarbonate. BPA-free items are easy to spot when shopping online. Sellers typically label drinkware and tableware items by plastic type (Tritan, acrylic, etc.) and some even include “BPA-free” in product titles.

As long as the plastic is NOT polycarbonate, it’s a safe bet it’s BPA-free.

Here are some examples of BPA-free plastic glasses:

Shopping for BPA-Free Drinkware? Check the Label

Most BPA-free plastic glasses, dishes and household goods are labeled “BPA-free.”

This is a prime selling point. If ordering online, look for “BPA-free” in the product description of details. Again, this is something reputable sellers who know their products will highlight.

Not Labeled BPA-Free? Look at the Care Instructions

  • Tritan and polycarbonate plastic tableware products: These are the only clear plastic glasses that will be labeled both “Unbreakable” and “Dishwasher-Safe,” and sometimes “Shatterproof.” However, Tritan products also highlight BPA-free on the label, too, since being BPA-free is a major selling point for Tritan items.
  • Acrylic plastic tableware items: These are BPA-free and are also generally marked “Hand-wash,” or “Top-rack Dishwasher-safe.” Acrylic items are breakable, so they won’t (or shouldn’t) be labeled “Unbreakable,” but can labeled “Shatterproof.”
  • SAN plastic tableware items: These are BPA-free and typically also say “Dishwasher-safe” and “Break-resistant” on product labels. Though tougher than acrylic, SAN items are still breakable. So they won’t (or shouldn’t) be labeled “Unbreakable,” but can labeled “Shatterproof.”
  • Melamine and polypropylene plastic tableware items: Both of these plastics are BPA-free. Melamine is solid, not see-through and very rigid. Polypropylene is softer and more rubbery in feel and can be translucent or solid in appearance (think Tupperware). It’s easy to tell the difference between the two. These are often labeled “Unbreakable” and “Dishwasher-Safe,” and sometimes “Shatterproof.”

Here’s a closer look at the five BPA-free plastics commonly used to make plastic glasses and tableware and examples of each.

1. Tritan Plastic Glasses & Water Bottles are BPA-Free

Tritan plastic is the closest competitor to polycarbonate in terms of glass-like clarity and performance. Products made from Tritan plastic are every bit as durable, unbreakable, and dishwasher-safe as polycarbonate items — and deliver the added perk of being completely BPA-free.

Reliable Tritan drinkware brands include Michley, Cruvina, and others listed below, plus look for Pogo and Nalgene for BPA free water bottles.

2. Polypropylene Plastic Tableware is BPA-Free

Like Tritan, polypropylene plastic is – and always has been – BPA-free. Unlike Tritan and polycarbonate, polypropylene plastic glasses aren’t perfectly clear and may be slightly rubbery in feel. If you notice a rubbery feel, you can be sure the products are made from BPA-free polypropylene. These items are often labeled “Unbreakable” and “Dishwasher- and Microwave-safe.”

Top BPA-free polypropylene plastic brands include US Acrylic, Preserve Everyday, CreativeWare, and of course, Tupperware.

Is Tupperware is BPA-free?

Most Tupperware plastic products are made from rubbery polypropylene, so those are BPA-free. However, Tupperware used various plastics over the years, so there may be some polycarbonate Tupperware items floating around.

3. Melamine Plastic Dishes are BPA-Free

Melamine plastic is another common BPA-free plastic generally used for dishes and dinnerware. Melamine plastic tableware is always opaque and closely resembles ceramic and stoneware in look and feel. Melamine dishes are never clear or slightly transparent – always solid.

Ultra-durable melamine is the go-to plastic for many top plastic tableware brands.

4. Acrylic and SAN Plastic Glasses are BPA-free

BPA-free Acrylic and SAN plastic products can closely resemble polycarbonate items, but there are differences. Goods made from these plastics generally aren’t as durable, so they’re rarely listed as unbreakable. SAN is dishwasher safe, but acrylic will generally be labeled hand wash only.

If in doubt, read the product details or look the item up online if shopping in-store. Online sellers like Amazon and other websites usually list the material that goods are made from. If it says acrylic, SAN, or styrene, the item is BPA-free.

There are several top acrylic and SAN brands available on Amazon, and US Acrylic leads the pack, and most of the collection is Made in the USA.

5. Eco-Friendly Plastics are BPA Free

Eco-friendly plastics are crafted from biodegradable “plastics” made from bamboo, corn, and even avocado pits. All of these bio-plastics are BPA-free, plus the manufacturers are very vocal about the makeup of their goods. So, you’ll definitely know if you stumble across these items in-store and online.

If biodegradable plastics sound intriguing, check out these innovative brands like Shopwithgreen and EKOBO.

Our Fave
Unbreakable Plastic Dinnerware Set by Shopwithgreen - Set for 4
  • Sturdy, virtually unbreakable polypropylene plastic
  • Dishwasher and microwave-safe plastic dishes
  • Sharp, modern styling and colors
  • Set includes coordinating mugs
  • Great value price-wise
  • Microwave reheat recommended limit of 120-degrees F
  • Best for quick reheating, not longer cooking times
Shop Now More Styles & Colors
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/28/2024 03:36 pm GMT

Another Option: Break-Resistant Glassware is BPA-Free

Glass is another BPA-free option, and many top glassware brands offer surprisingly durable drinking glasses, food storage containers, and barware. Learn more about tempered glassware and other break-resistant glass alternatives to plastic in our unbreakable glassware review.

Shopping for BPA-Free Glasses? Don’t Rely on Recycling Codes

Speaking of labels, there is a BPA-free symbol, but not every manufacturer prints it onto their packaging or products yet. What you can’t rely on is the recycling code. Many BPA-free plastic glasses fall under the same code as polycarbonate.

In fact, almost all non-disposable tableware plastics fall under the same catchall #7 recycling code, which simply means “Other.”

“Other” plastics aren’t disposable, so they’re not collected in most recycling programs. Even more confusing, recycling codes aren’t required for “Other” plastics. Many don’t carry a recycling mark at all. Knowing how to tell these plastics apart using these tips above ensures you can spot BPA-free options.

Here’s a quick look at why you can’t rely on plastic recycling codes to identify products with BPA.

Is BPA Really an Issue?

Some researchers claim that exposure to BPA may be harmful to humans, though the FDA lists it as safe for consumer use. Honestly, the science and facts about the effects of BPA could fill a lengthy article. But if you prefer to err on the side of caution, it’s easy to eliminate BPA from your home.

That’s a Wrap

I hope this review of the many BPA-free plastic alternatives helps you narrow down your shopping search. If you have any questions or BPA-free faves of your own, please share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading. Cheers! Krista

Polycarbonate vs. BPA Free Plastic Glasses
  • BPA Free Tritan vs. Polycarbonate: Closest Match
  • BPA Free Polypropylene vs Polycarbonate: Durable but More Casual
  • BPA Free Melamine vs. Polycarbonate: Nearly as Durable but not Glass-like
  • BPA Free Acrylic & SAN: Glass-Like Looks but not Unbreakable
  • BPA Free Eco-Plastics vs. Polycarbonate: Durable but not Glass-like

Overall Results for BPA Free Plastics vs. Polycarbonate

Tritan is the only BPA free plastic delivers the same performance and glass-like looks as polycarbonate. The other four BPA free contenders offer unique benefits but fall short in either glass-like looks or break-resistance. Overall, BPA free products score 4/5 compared to polycarbonate items. But when it comes to being BPA free — they all get 5 bright, shiny stars!

See What's Hot on Amazon Today

Top Picks in Kitchen & Home

See What's Hot on Amazon Today...

Check out Top Picks in Home & Kitchen

Skip to content