Alternative Uses for Plastic Storage Containers

plastic containers

Over the years I’ve grown wary of using plastic containers for food storage and cooking. Concerns over BPA and other chemicals that leach from plastics have made me shift from plastic to glass or ceramic cookware for most of my cooking and storage needs. That leaves me with a cabinet full of plastic ware that still has plenty of life in it, but which no longer has a use in my kitchen. (I really have a lot of this stuff because when we got married everyone seemed to think the perfect gift was one of those “50 piece” plastic storage sets, despite the fact that I never registered for any of it. I’ve got more than I could ever use, even if I cooked every single thing in


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7 Responses to Alternative Uses for Plastic Storage Containers

  1. patientsaver says:

    Actually, if you have single stream recycling in your town, they will accept plastics 1 through 7.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I so wish we did have something like that. Sadly, the only recycling facility we have here is super picky. They only take certain numbers of plastic and those must be bottle shaped or, “have a neck smaller than the base.” That lets out any kind of storage container, unfortunately. Thus why I had to get creative to find new uses!

  3. jay says:

    Our municipal recycler accepts only limited kinds of plastics, too.
    However, if you live near a Whole Foods, they usually have a recycling bin for #5 plastics as part of Preserve’s “Gimme 5” program. If you aren’t adding to your collection, might even be worth a bit of a drive. Check the closest store’s website or call to make sure they’re participating. BTW, Aveda shops also accept #5 plastic caps. In both cases, make sure the plastic is labeled #5 since many plastics these days unfortunately tend to be a mixture of types.
    Another possibility is to check out TerraCycle.

    Recycling is only after you’ve done your best to reuse the containers in any or all of the great ways mentioned here!

  4. baselle says:

    2nd the craft storage. They especially useful if you treasure stacking or if you need to contain a craft fluid and dispose of it in situ. For example, paint, grout, etc. You will have to be careful that you aren’t trying to store something that will dissolve the plastic, however.

  5. Gailete says:

    Or of course you could always use them for what was intended–food storage. I find them helpful for freezing ahead of time, they are a shape that is fairly consistent so you don’t have stuff falling over in the freezer, and they are lightweight and cheap enough that when one melts or falls on the floor with frozen food inside – breaks, there is no problem replacing them.

    I have had to go from using my stoneware dishes to lightweight Corelle ones. When I cook something in a glass casserole dish I can barely lift it when the lid is on. Glass and ceramic storage is completely out of the question for me. Please don’t make those of us still using (and will continue to use) plastic containers something to feel ‘guilty’ about. They are convenient, cheap, and easy to use and hold. I have a limit of how many objects I will live in fear of in my life. At almost 60, there has been many startling reports that could have had most of us surviving on air (assuming you could find clean air). I refuse to give in to most of them any more.

  6. patientsaver says:

    If you do the research, you’ll find that plastic food storage containers leach chemicals into the AIR you breathe, so it’s not just a matter of, well, as long as I don’t store food in it, I’m ok. Get it out of the house!

  7. scott tucker says:

    I wish we could get rid of all plastic bags and use something biodegradable. It would do wonders for the earth…

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