KEYWORDS: plastic, food, water, plastics

Know Your Plastics

David Berg

DO 1844 8/84

1. DEAR ALF, YOU ARE EXONERATED! You are cleared of all guilt regarding that meat the other night, because we finally got it figured out why you folks ate it the night before & thought it was fine & never saw anything wrong with it, & I ate it the next day & it tasted horrible! We found out it was because of the plastic container it was in in the fridge overnight!

2. I USUALLY EAT THE LEFTOVERS THE NEXT DAY, what you guys had the night before, & this explains why sometimes it tasted so terrible! I started having them make a list of all the ingredients to figure out what it was that made it taste so awful, & we'd usually wind up blaming the meat or something, but they'd say there was nothing wrong with the meat & they'd bring it to me & let me smell it & everything else. It was because they were using those damn toxic plastic containers to keep the stuff in overnight & half the next day in the fridge!

3. I'LL NEVER FORGET WHEN I WENT TO BUY PLASTIC PIPE FOR TSC TO INSTALL THE WATER SYSTEM THERE, & the man said, "Do you want toxic or non-toxic?" I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Well‚ are you going to use it for drinking water or just gardening?" I said, "Well, we're going to use it for everything, drinking water, cooking & household water." He said, "Well, then you have to use the non-toxic." It was a much harder plastic pipe that didn't give the water any flavour, & was more expensive too.

4. THE SO–CALLED TOXIC PLASTIC IS THE CHEAP, FLEXIBLE STUFF, VERY SOFT & ALSO RATHER POROUS. When it's soft it's more porous & absorbs things. But not only that, you can't really get it clean because it's sort of absorbent. You can't see it, but it absorbs fluid & food & germs & all the rest, & that's why you can never get it clean. It's soft & scratches easily. But also, certain kinds of plastic are actually poisonous. Toxic means poisonous, non–toxic means not poisonous.

5. I SAID, "WELL, WHAT DOES IT DO?" He said, "Well, the water standing in the pipes will absorb the toxicity that's in the soft plastic, especially if the pipes are out in the sun." And usually they didn't bury them in Texas because it wasn't necessary, they hardly ever had a freeze down there.—Or even if they were buried shallow‚ at TSC we never buried pipes deeper than six inches. He said, "When the water gets warm like that, especially hot, it will absorb the taste & the odour of the toxic material in the plastic."

6. I DIDN'T FIND OUT THEN HOW BAD IT WAS BECAUSE I WENT AHEAD & BOUGHT WHAT HE RECOMMENDED. In fact, it was required by building codes there—although we were way out at TSC where there was no building code! In most States the non-toxic pipe is required for any plumbing within normal house construction where you're going to drink the water. But I never found out how bad it was until some time later when I bought a cheap hose for the Cruiser to hook up to the house where we were visiting, or in some camps you could hook up to running water. I thought, "Oh‚ isn't that nice? A nice pretty green hose!" It was even sort of slightly transparent, so I thought that would be nice, I could always tell whether there was water in it.

7. SO I BOUGHT 50 FEET OF NICE GREEN GARDEN HOSE, PLASTIC, TRANSPARENT, & we stayed in these people's yard & I hooked it up from their faucet to the Cruiser & it was lying out there on their driveway in the hot Texas sun. A little later on I drew a glass of water & when I got that water about this close to my nose I thought, "What in the World is wrong with this water?" It smelled like medicine or some kind of chemical, terrible, real strong! I took a sip of it, & ugh, it was awful! I thought, "Oh well, it's just because it's new & it'll sort of wear off." And that stuff actually made me sick, it was really terrible! I think we got the runs & everything else, it was awful! It smelled terrible, tasted terrible & it affected us terrible!

8. BUT YOU KNOW ME, I'M AWFUL STUBBORN & I JUST COULDN'T BEAR TO THINK I HAD WASTED THAT MONEY BUYING THAT 50-FOOT HOSE! I think it was something like $3.50 or something ridiculous. I kept thinking‚ "It's going to wear off, it's going to wear off," & I ran a lot of water through it. I flushed out the tank again & I kept trying, but it was no better, & on hot sunny days it was even worse! I think I worked with that thing for two or three days trying to do something with it. They usually had things labelled in Texas as to whether it was toxic or non–toxic, & I think I finally read the card that was attached to the hose or something & it said: "Toxic—do not use for drinking water."—Which shows you'd better read your labels ahead of time!

9. SO THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF PLASTICS, everything from soft plastics like you use for pillows & sponges etc.‚ which of course are very absorbent, to hard plastics which are almost as hard as steel, that they use for machinery & machinery parts like cogwheels etc., that actually wear longer than steel! There are what they call vitreous plastics which can even stand heat & fire etc., & then there are other plastics which cannot stand any heat at all & are completely flammable. An example of vitreous plastic is your teflon coating of frying pans, a very hard, completely fire-resistant plastic.

10. IF YOU'RE GOING TO PUT FOOD INTO CONTAINERS‚ you cannot just use any old plastic container that you happen to buy something else in & is left over & you just use it for food or drinks or whatever, because it just won't work. Some plastics are designed for food, & in the U.S. they have tight restrictions about the use of plastics for food & water, just like about the piping. You're not allowed to use toxic plastic pipe for homes or where the people are going to drink water out of it.

11. SO THERE ARE TOXIC & NON–TOXIC PLASTICS, & THERE ARE SOFT & THERE ARE HARD PLASTICS, & the toxic & soft types of plastics should never be used for food or drink containers, for human consumption, or for piping for water that's going to be drunk by human beings. You should always use the non-toxic type of plastic, whether it's piping or hose or food or drink containers, whatever it is, & it's usually the very hard highly-polished type.

12. IN FRANCE WE USED ALL PLASTIC DISHES, CUPS & EVERYTHING, EVEN PLASTIC KNIVES, FORKS & SPOONS, BUT IT WAS ALL VERY HARD PLASTIC. It had a hard‚ highly-polished surface that you couldn't scratch. Look how easily this junk scratches, it's all scratched up, & that's dangerous! That can not only be possibly toxic plastic from the way it smells, horrible, but it could be accumulating food & germs in the cracks & the crannies, so small & microscopic that you can't even see the holes & the cracks. But if it scratches, it probably has lots of germs & food imbedded in the scratches & the holes. I will not even use a porcelain plate or cup that's cracked, because food & germs accumulate in the cracks. Besides, it's dangerous! It could break & cut you.

13. YOU'D BE BETTER OFF USING PORCELAIN CHINAWARE DISHES OR GLASS‚ all of which is very heavy, of course, & not very good for travel—or buy the very hard-surfaced, non-toxic plasticware designed for food & eating in the shape of plates & cups & food containers, not just any old cheap junk that you happen to get something in & then you decide it's just the right size to use for a food container for the fridge. It could make you sick, it could poison you, & if nothing else, if it's soft plastic it could absorb food & germs & make you sick!

14. YOUR NOSE OUGHT TO TELL YOU! That's what God gave you a good nose for, to smell it! If it doesn't smell good then it's not good!—It's not good for anything that's for food or drink that you're going to imbibe internally. Don't use it if it stinks or doesn't smell good to you. Use plastics for food & drink which are designed & made for food & drink, which are usually the very hard‚ non-toxic plastics. Even for a garden hose that you're going to get drinking water through, don't use the cheap soft plastic.

15. NEVER USE ANYTHING BUT THE GOOD, BEST‚ HARD-SURFACED PLASTIC. It will reflect just like a piece of china or a looking–glass does, & has a real hard surface. It's also usually much more fire-resistant‚ whereas this other soft junk will almost explode if you stick a match to it, & the fumes from it will kill you if you're burning it. In fact, the fumes from almost any kind of burning plastic are toxic, deadly poisonous gas, & will kill you! So for goodness sake, don't just use any old plastic you happen to find that fits the fridge for storing food!

16. WE FOUND THE SECRET, THANK THE LORD‚ WHAT WAS WRONG! How else could the whole Family have eaten that meat & never noticed anything bad about it? But then it sat overnight in that plastic container, a cheap little soft plastic cup that is probably designed for the yogurt they manufacture. The chemical reaction between the yogurt & the plastic of that type is designed to have no reaction, but you can put some other type of food in there that has some other chemical in it that can have interaction with the plastic & become toxic or have a horrible smell or God knows what!

17. AFTER ALL, THEY DON'T EXPECT YOU TO REUSE THOSE CONTAINERS! They put the food in the container for a one–time thing & expect you to refrigerate it, & of course the cold retards or nullifies any kind of deterioration or spoilage, then you're expected to use it right away while it's fresh & you're expected to throw away the container. They don't expect you to reuse it & they're not responsible for what you reuse it for. The company itself might be a little careful about its original product that it puts in the container because they don't want it coming to you smelling bad & having a bad odour or something, & then you wouldn't buy it again, so they probably fit it to the type of food product that they put in it originally. But it's very likely not designed to be just washed & reused for some other kind of food. So I wouldn't trust it! If you choose to reuse it, that's your funeral & I just wouldn't do it!

18. SO IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES WHERE THEY DON'T HAVE MUCH IN THE WAY OF CONTROLS OR RESTRICTIONS OVER PRODUCTS LIKE THAT, I don't think any kind of food storage or food dishes or food containers would be safe in the way of plastic unless you really know your plastic, & that could be pretty hard to tell. Maybe through use & smelling it you might be able to tell. If plastic has a bad odour, for God's sake don't use it! If after having food in it & then washing it thoroughly with soap & water & rinsing & drying it good & it still smells bad, throw it away! It's not good for anything‚ certainly not good for food! And yet we've been using this all the time, God help us! It's a wonder we've lived this long!

19. I WOULDN'T TRUST ANY KIND OF FOOD CONTAINERS IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES BUT CHINA, GLASS OR THE REAL HARD NON-TOXIC PLASTIC‚ & you may have a hard time telling whether it is or not. You can tell by usage, putting food in it, washing it & then smelling it later, but you can't do that while you're in the store. For that matter, plastics aren't even manufactured in some Third World countries because they get the original materials from the rich World. They have to buy it or buy the processing or buy the containers from them, whereas for centuries they have known how to make their own dishes & plates & chinaware. Glassware may be something they don't know anything about, but some do.

20. SO SOFT SURFACES THAT SCRATCH CAN ABSORB MICROSCOPIC BITS OF FOOD IN WHICH GERMS THRIVE, then the next thing you put in it‚ the germs are there & you can make yourself sick! I don't want to offend you or hurt your feelings, but that's why I never use those cups & spoons in the morning without washing them myself first. I wash them thoroughly before I use them because I don't know where they've been, who washed them, how well they washed them, how well they rinsed them‚ how well they dried them, nothing! So I don't take a chance on it, I wash each one thoroughly before I use it, spoon & cup both. Therefore when I use those cheap plastic mixing cups for my little mixer, at least I know they're clean at that moment‚ I've washed them thoroughly. They seem to be pretty hard plastic, & although they do have a few nicks & scratches, I've never noticed them to really smell badly. They're quite similar to Tupperware.

21. MILK PRODUCTS CONTAMINATE & SOUR & GO BAD WORSE THAN ANYTHING, so if there was the slightest little bit of that milk residue or food or anything in those scratches, unless it was thoroughly washed in soap & water & rinsed & dried well, it could still smell. What made me decide to wash'm myself was that they still smelled like dishwater. They just smelled a little dirty like somebody didn't rinse'm well enough or wiped'm with a dirty dishtowel or whatever—& wiping dishes with a dishtowel is very insanitary. You should never dry dishes with a dishtowel‚ always let them drip dry in the fresh air.

22. CHINA OR GLASS LEFTOVER CONTAINERS CAN'T USUALLY SEAL, AT LEAST NOT VERY TIGHTLY, BUT I'D SURE SOONER USE THEM & TAKE A CHANCE ON USING THEM MORE THAN MAYBE THAT CHEAP PLASTIC.—Unless you can buy good plastic that is designed for food. And that's how you should pretty well determine the type of plastic to use for food, it's going to be in the dishes & cupware & food storage ware section at the store, plastic dishes & plates & cups & storage containers designed for food, not some cheap junk that you just happen to get something else in. Each one of those containers you showed me had different kinds of smells, but all bad. They probably were not designed either for food or for use for storing food.

23. THANK GOD FOR THIS LITTLE LESSON ON MY LUNCH THE OTHER DAY! It had been sitting in the fridge on the warmest shelf too, & that gave it a chance to really warm up, & then the odours always get worse when they're warm. So instead of the plastic absorbing the food, which it might have, the food absorbed the plastic odour & bad smell & it just ruined that whole thing! It just really tasted bad.

24. I'D STILL SAY THE SAFEST THING IN COUNTRIES where they don't have a lot of plastic since they buy it from abroad or make God knows what kind themselves, would be to use regular china. They used to have icebox dishes which are usually square things with a top of the same material. The first ones that came out with the first refrigerators were glass so you could see through it & see what was in it.

25. WELL, MAYBE THIS IS A LESSON THE FAMILY NEEDS! GOD DELIVER US FROM BAD PLASTIC! As far as I'm concerned‚ maybe we should ask the Lord to deliver us from plastic period! These man-made plastics, artificial fabrics & all, they seem to have become a blessing in some ways, but they're also a real curse in others. I don't know whether they're going to have any kind of plastics in the Millennium or not. Whatever it is‚ "nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain" (Isa.11:9), so if there's any such thing as a plastic it will have to be good plastic.

26. BUT YOU CAN'T TRUST THIS WORLD & THIS SYSTEM NOW UNLESS IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S REALLY APPROVED BY A GOOD, RESPONSIBLE, RELIABLE GOVERNMENT with testing agencies & tight restrictions & controls over manufacturing etc.‚ & usually that's only in the United States; you can't even rely on it too much in Europe, & certainly not in the Third World countries. They have all these cheap items & cheap junk that they make & you don't know whether it's good for food or not. So if you don't know the difference & you're not sure, I'd recommend using china or glassware.

27. IT'S KIND OF LIKE WHAT I SAY ABOUT BUTCHERS: IF YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR MEAT, YOU'D BETTER KNOW YOUR BUTCHER! IF YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR PLASTIC, YOU'D BETTER KNOW YOUR PLASTIC MAKER OR THE GOVERNMENT THAT CONTROLS IT! Otherwise I would say for the sake of people who travel & think they have to have plastic dishes for camping etc., either buy a plastic you know & can trust the name brand, that's designed & manufactured for food purposes, or in these poor countries‚ buy the very hard-surfaced type of plastic that's brittle & even breakable, which is less absorbent & less apt to absorb the food, germs‚ odours & things like that, & not as likely to be toxic.

28. FOR GOD'S SAKE, IF IT'S GOT AN ODOUR WHEN IT'S NEW ON THE COUNTER, THEN YOU KNOW IT'S GOING TO HAVE AN ODOUR WHEN YOU GET IT HOME & USE IT FOR FOOD! So smell it! That's what God gave you a nose for!—To test & smell things whether they're good or bad or whether they're good for you. If it has a smell you don't like & it doesn't smell good, then it's not good for food, that's for sure!

29. FOR A WHILE WHEN I WAS A KID THE GLASSWARE WAS EVEN CHEAPER THAN CHINA! You even got your jelly in glasses that you could re-use for drinking glasses, & some foods were actually sold in glassware which could be reused for cups, dishes & things like that. They're a little more hefty & you've got to be a little more careful not to break'm, but actually they're not as hard to wash as the plastic & they get cleaner because of their very smooth, polished, fired, vitreous ceramic surfaces that are usually baked in a fire at about 4,000 degrees. That china plate is made out of baked clay with a ceramic surface usually‚ which is actually a thin coat of melted glass on the surface, or a type of china that gets that way when it's baked.

30. GLASSWARE IS SAND‚ SILICON‚ MELTED AT VERY HIGH HEAT, & then they pour it into molds for your dishes & glasses etc. It's highly polished & has a very smooth, totally non-porous surface that can't absorb food & germs. They're heavy & they break, but if they're cleaner & more sanitary & are not going to poison you or make you sick, you can stand to have a little heavier dishes & cleaner dishes! They'll actually wash easier, in a way, & are not going to contaminate the food when it's sitting in the ice box.

31. SO DON'T USE ANY MORE OF THOSE STINKIN' PLASTIC DISHES! I'd sooner see you put your leftovers on an ordinary saucer of some kind & just cover it with saran wrap! That thin plastic sheeting doesn't usually give food any odours because it's designed for actual contact with the food. But you'd better smell it to be sure, as there are many different brands, & the toxic type of plastic will have a strong smell.

32. I WAS ALWAYS A LITTLE BIT LEERY ABOUT ALUMINUM FOIL because Dr.Koger never liked any kind of aluminum, he said it was definitely carcinogenic, cancer-causing. He flatly refused to cook with aluminumware or use aluminum-ware for anything!—And yet people use that foil for baking in the oven & cooking & some people use it for covering dishes of leftovers in the fridge!

33. SO YOU'D BETTER THROW ALL THOSE BAD CONTAINERS AWAY! I don't want to open that fridge & see any more of them!—Unless it's some products you just bought fresh in the plastic container, & that's usually something perishable that you use right away. (Maria: As far as the Family in general is concerned‚ a lot of them probably won't have the money to replace all of their flexible plastics with others.) The funny part about it is, Honey, you & I went down to the store in France & bought real cheap plastic dishes of every type & size & kind that we needed for our trailer, very thin, lightweight, brittle, but hard & with a polished surface that you couldn't scratch with your fingernail—if you can scratch it with your fingernail, forget it!—And we got it cheap! But it wasn't that kind of real thick or non-breakable type that if you drop it it wouldn't necessarily break—I think they call it break-resistant or something like that—but if you throw it down hard enough‚ it will break, shatter or crack or something.

34. I MENTIONED TUPPERWARE BECAUSE THAT IS A VERY FINE, GOOD GRADE OF TOUGH PLASTIC THAT I DON'T THINK YOU'D HAVE ANY TROUBLE WITH. They wouldn't sell many sets if there was any problem with absorption of food or odour or toxicity. But we weren't looking for anything fancy like Tupperware when we bought our trailer dishes, & they just worked fine! (Maria: In other words, if the Family has something comparable to Tupperware, then they don't have to get rid of all their plastics.) Of course! If they've got any type of good, hard plastic that is non-toxic I think they can be pretty sure that it's all right. If they've been using it already they ought to know by this time whether it's good or not. But if they're going to be buying some, I'm just saying that the hard, polished, breakable type is probably safer than the soft, flexible type. For one thing, it won't absorb food & germs like the other. But always smell it! Toxic plastic has a strong, almost like a medicine odour.

35. NOW THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT ALL FLEXIBLE PLASTICS ARE TOXIC & ARE GOING TO ABSORB FOOD, YOU JUST SORT OF HAVE TO EXPERIMENT & FIND OUT. Let me see that plastic cup—can you scratch it with your fingernail? Does it have a bad smell? See, that's the problem‚ it has a dishwater odour, & the reason it smells like dirty dishwater is because it's probably absorbed millions of particles of food or drink & germs & therefore it smells bad. So we've discovered one of the major culprits in this food business, it's bad plastic!

36. WE HAVE HERE SOME CHEAP LITTLE CUPS OF VERY THIN PLASTIC THAT ARE HARD, NOT FLEXIBLE. These are supposed to be better & more expensive because they're unbreakable. That's a good hard plastic there! Pass this around, & pass that soft one around & smell'm. Can you tell the difference? One smells awful, just like dirty dishwater! Stick your nose in & take a deep breath! You can't tell the difference? You guys really need to ask the Lord to help your smellers!

37. (MARIA: IN OTHER WORDS, IT JUST SORT OF DEPENDS ON THE BRAND, & THE FAMILY WILL JUST HAVE TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION WITH WHAT THEY HAVE.—Because even though that cup is harder than a lot of the maybe more flexible ones‚ that smells bad to you, whereas some of the more flexible ones don't smell as bad.) I wouldn't trust the very flexible plastics unless through usage you've found that they don't have any bad smell. But I just wouldn't trust them, because to be flexible they have to be somewhat porous, that's the whole idea.

38. (MARIA: WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST FOR OUR FAMILIES? A lot of them have very little money‚ like in India, & other places, are they going to continue to use them & just pray that the Lord will protect them? They can hardly throw away all their plastics & go out & buy some other ones. That's what I'm really concerned about.) They'll have to do what they can do, of course. If they haven't got anything else & they haven't got the money, they'll just have to use whatever they've got.


40. THERE'S ONE LITTLE PROBLEM WITH THESE THERMAL MUGS, THEY'RE NOT ALL NECESSARILY THAT WELL SEALED. In order to be thermal it has to have two layers with an air space between, & here you are dealing with two fitted pieces, actually two cups, an inner cup & an outer cup. Particularly the thermos jugs usually have some type of a rubber seal which can expand & contract, some kind of non-porous rubber that does not apparently absorb food or odours. But in that thermal mug there's a crack here all the way around‚ & here at the top there's a crack all the way around, which is totally insanitary. It's never going to be sanitary as long as it's that loose.

41. THERE IS ALMOST NOTHING IN THIS WORLD THAT WILL PREVENT THIS FROM GETTING WATER OR MOISTURE INSIDE BETWEEN THE TWO LAYERS, particularly when you wash it in hot dish water. You take it out & you rinse it‚ you set it aside & it cools off, & as it contracts, the moisture that's in the crack is thereby sucked inside & you'll never get it out‚ & it's probably contaminated with food & germs & will stink. So these two-piece thermal mugs can be dangerous, because going from hot to cold they can suck in dirty water through that crack.

42. IT'S JUST A PRINCIPLE OF THERMODYNAMICS OR PHYSICS, SUCTION. Of course they always tell you in physics class there's no such thing as suction, but that's what we call it. It is vacuum & air pressure. Once you've got less air pressure from heating inside of that space, you've driven out a lot of the air through it being warm & there's nothing in the World to prevent air from coming back in when it cools off, & with it water, moisture & germs! They'd have to actually bond them together, seal them, but they're not made that way, at least most of them I ever had any experience with. These are just sort of snapped together.

43. I WOULD CERTAINLY NOT EVEN USE A CUP WHERE THE LINER IS LOOSE FROM THE OUTSIDE, that's dangerous to use at all. Even washing it under running water & not submerging it, you still can get water in there. It will still suck that water in‚ especially if you use warm water to wash it in. No matter what you do then, the minute it hits the air when you set it aside to drip dry, it's going to cool off & suck that water inside. That's just the way it works & there's no way you can keep it from it.

44. CERTAINLY NEVER BUY ANY KIND OF A SO-CALLED DOUBLE-LAYER THERMAL CUP WHERE THE LINER IS LOOSE‚ PARTICULARLY WHERE YOU CAN TURN IT. I don't trust these thermal cups too much for that sort of thing. That cheap thing there, the inside is loose. Good night! I've got this dirty water all over me! (John: It does come apart, I didn't even know that!) Yes, & it does get dirty water in it! Would you kindly get me something to wipe it off with? If anything, it's probably dirty dishwater. My Lord‚ who would ever buy a thing that's loose like that? If you can pull it apart, forget it! If it's that loose‚ it was probably made to take apart & thoroughly wash inside & out, & it should have been taken apart. Whoops! I got some more on me! (Techi: What is it?) It's a dirty cup full of dirty dishwater, that's what it is! Well, they're learning. It looks like this scientific generation is not so smart after all. They don't even know how to buy dishes & cups.

45. IF YOU CAN TAKE IT APART‚ FORGET IT! DON'T BUY IT!—Unless it was intended to take apart so you can wash all the parts & set them all out separately to air; in that case you might be able to use it. But you'd have to make sure they're dead bone-dry before you put them back together again. Talk about food poisoning & food contamination, you can really get it with that sort of thing!—Almost as bad as botulism or something like that. Botulism is so poisonous they claim it can kill you in a few minutes. When they cooked the food they didn't kill all the germs & the germs have been working ever since on the food, & they create gas & the ends of the can are sort of popped out & puffy.

46. DON'T EVER BUY ANY CANNED GOODS THAT HAVE SWOLLEN ENDS, NOT EVEN ONE END SWOLLEN!—IF THE END OF THE CAN IS EVEN SLIGHTLY ROUNDED, CONVEX INSTEAD OF CONCAVE. Most cans are quite concave. They cook the food before they put it in & it's boiled, practically sterilised. Then they put it in, seal the can & continue to cook it until they're sure that everything in there is killed. Then when the can cools it sucks both ends in, so that you'll find the ends of nearly all canned goods either slightly concave or at least flat.

47. NOTICE HOW THE END OF THE CAN IS MADE WITH THOSE GROOVES SO THAT THE END OF THE CAN IS SOMEWHAT FLEXIBLE? They're all made with those ripples so that as it cools off it will suck the ends of the can in. You can see that the top of the can & the bottom is slightly concave. If you ever pick up a can in a store that is not like that, if it's even very barely the slightest bit rounded outward, you've got botulism in the can that can kill you‚ except for the Lord, in a few minutes, if you eat the stuff! Well, this would have made quite a picture with all these containers sitting around, a lecture on vessels! There's a lot in the Bible about vessels, pots & bottles! Be sure yours are clean & sanitary!—Amen? GBAKY from bad plastics!—In Jesus' name, amen.