Does coconut oil react with plastic?

Sad to say, yes. Coconut oil does react with plastic, to some degree. Although the commonly used PET and HDPE containers for coconut oil do not dissolve or melt easily by acidic content, coconut oil has approximately a pH 5, which is slightly acidic and therefore, slightly corrosive.

Even if you have no idea of how acidic it is, you can feel it "biting" the back of your throat when you drink it out of the jar. That shows the slight acidity level of coconut oil and its potential reaction with plastic.

Which means that there's a chance that leaching may occur particularly when the plastic container that holds coconut oil is not properly handled, stored or kept in a cool dry place.

That explains why some people complain that their coconut oil smells or tastes like plastic.

Of course, using glass is the better option to hold coconut oil since coconut oil does not react with glass. However, this will increase the cost price of the product, thereby the selling price.

If all along the coconut oil (stored in plastic jar) you buy does not seem to smell or taste like plastic and you trust the brand a lot, then just keep it that way. I mean, if that's what you prefer especially when you feel it's still safe and good to use it that way.

But if you're really worried that the slightly acidic coconut oil may somehow react with the plastic container and some chemicals might potentially leach from the plastic jar or bottle into the oil, then be prepared to pay a little more.

As a reference for you, I belong to the latter.

Not only fearing that I might ingest some toxic chemicals that harm my health, but actually also worry that the toxic chemicals might affect the overall health benefits of coconut oil.

On top of that, I use the same coconut oil for skin care and acne treatment (when a pimple or two do pop up occasionally). I don't want to compromise on the quality.

So, right now I only buy and use coconut oil that is stored in glass jar or bottle. I think paying a few bucks more for health's sake is worth it. I gain peace of mind too.

When I need to transfer to a smaller and more portable container, I make sure the bottle or jar is made of glass too.

The only disadvantage with keeping coconut oil in glass container is that it breaks easily when it falls and hits the solid ground.

It broke once in my bag when my bag dropped and hit the concrete. But I was still unaware and carried my bag around the place. I ended up having to clean up the place tainted with coconut oil and had to get my bag washed thoroughly. In short, everything was messy.

So, you really have to be extremely cautious about the handling or you'll wind up like me.