After some quick searching, I realized this wasn't going to be an easy task. There wasn't a single website that listed their liners as BPA, phthalate, or PVC free. I picked a handful of companies and sent requests for information about the material content in their shelf liners.*
While waiting to hear back, I started thinking about alternative materials. I had noticed that a few sites offered cork shelf liner, but it had adhesive backing which I wasn't thrilled about. Since cork is used for a variety of things, such as bulletin boards and under hardwood floors, I started searching for rolls of cork I could cut myself. The vast number of options surprised me, and after reading more about cork, I ordered a big roll of it.
A bit about cork: Cork comes from a tree. It is naturally toxin-free and considered environmentally friendly. It is also hydrophobic, meaning it repels water, which is perfect for under the sink. Cork also provides the bit of cushion I wanted, and it is easily cleaned. A roll of cork costs significantly less per square foot than cork shelf liner and regular shelf liner. It also doesn't have the adhesive backing which can attract pests.
It took about a week for my cork roll to arrive. It looked huge on my doorstep. It took some time to cut the cork to size, but it would have taken that long with any other shelf liner, too. I'm really happy with the cork on my shelves, and I love how it looks.
Do you use shelf liner? Have you found a great, toxin-free product?
*Of all the companies I emailed, only one company, The Container Store, said they had a few toxin-free natural fiber shelf liners. The woman at customer service went way above and beyond in contacting every company that The Container Store receives shelf liner from to find out the materials used. That right there impressed me very much with their service. However, I had already decided on cork.