Whether you’re in the mood for a bit of a spring clean – out with the old and in with the new – or, you are re-considering your plastic consumption, there is no time like the present to take the plunge and swap out your plastic food storage for glass containers. Perhaps you are finally fed up of the endless mish-mash of plastic Tupperware that lives in the bottomless kitchen drawer, that inevitably becomes warped and turns a pretty off-putting shade of orange… The solution? Glass.
Here’s why we think glass food containers are better for you AND the planet:
1. When it comes to food storage, glass in its purest form is the most natural material available.
2. It is non-porous and impermeable. Glass doesn’t transmit any chemicals into food, unlike plastic. By definition, plastic food containers have a short shelf life. It’s only a matter of time before they become scratched, warped or discoloured, which is when the chemicals start leaching out of the plastic and into your food.
3. Ease of use – glass containers are oven-safe, freezer-safe, microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe.
4. Glass is clean! As a non-porous material, it cannot absorb germs.
5. Reusing glass jars or glass bottles (such as jam jars or drinks bottles) as storage can save you money and reduce the volume your household recycles.
6. Freshly cooked, hot food or liquids can be transferred directly into glass. Leftovers storage made simple! The advice for plastic is to wait until food has cooled.
7. Your food tastes the way it’s supposed to. Glass cannot absorb odour (unlike plastic), so your food will never take on the taste of the container it’s stored in.
8. Glass is BPA-free, non-toxic and its use ensures you are avoiding all chemical exposure which may occur with plastic packaging and containers.
9. You can choose ‘tempered glass’, which is 5 times stronger than regular glass, meaning it is less likely to get broken.
10. Glass is stain-resistant, so it will never become discoloured.
11. You can use and reuse your glass containers again and again, which ends up saving you money since they won’t have to be replaced.
12. Fully recyclable. According to the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), “Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity”. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the UK generated almost 10 million tons of plastic containers and plastic packaging last year. An astounding amount of this plastic cannot be recycled.
*Obviously throwing away existing plastic and replacing it with new eco-friendly glass items can be viewed as contrary to the zero waste lifestyle. However, the intention is to reduce the need for this type of plastic production and therefore dangerous waste. Furthermore, when choosing to swap to a safer food storage material your current plastic containers need not contribute to landfill, they can be repurposed:
Compost: Use old large Tupperware containers as compost buckets, both to store compost waste in the home and to transport it to the compost heap.
Bring them to work: bring your plastic containers to the workplace, where they may be used as kitchen storage.
Storage: consider repurposing old tupperware containers in the attic, garage or garden shed to store smaller odds and ends. They can be used as ‘junk drawers’ to hold batteries, sellotape and other everyday items, or use larger containers as first aid boxes or gift wrapping storage for ribbons and tags.