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“How to Ditch Plastic for More Sustainable Food Storage Alternatives”

Since the 1960s, plastic has dominated the scene as the primary material for food storage containers. Many American cupboards are overflowing with an unruly stack of cheap plastic Tupperware that lacks durability and may release harmful chemicals into our food. 

Reducing plastic usage in the kitchen begins with a closer look at our food storage choices. Experts have long advocated for transitioning away from plastic and towards alternative food storage options such as stainless steel and glass. They emphasize their environmental benefits, improved impact on food quality and health, and extended lifespan in comparison to plastic.

While plastic lasts forever in the landfill, it does not last forever in your cupboard. Signs of wear, such as scratches or alterations in shape, indicate that plastic containers may be degrading and potentially leaching chemicals and microplastics into your food. Numerous studies have linked these chemicals to severe health issues, including cancer and infertility. 

Reuse glass containers to safely store your food and produces
Blog post Food Storage

So, what should you use instead? 

Glass containers are the best alternative to plastic. It is long-lasting when handled with care, easy to clean, fully recyclable, and poses no chemical risk to your body. Glass is inert, meaning it does not change or react in response to heat and it can be used safely in the microwave, oven, and dishwasher. Food may also stay fresher for longer in glass containers, as they are airtight. 

Stainless steel containers are also a great choice for food storage. They are strong, durable, and prevent food from being exposed to light. The downside to mental containers is you cannot see into them and they cannot be used in the microwave. 

Instead of tossing out all of your old containers today, consider replacing them with glass or stainless steel over time as they wear out. Some plastic containers are recyclable – check your local recycling guidelines. 

While glass containers are our top recommendation for various food storage needs, there are many other creative choices for storing your food sustainably and safely. 

Produce can be stored in a variety of ways, depending on the item. Bananas can be kept on a hook to preserve them the longest and herbs can be placed in a damp rag in the fridge or placed into a glass jar filled with water.

Many foods, like bread, mushrooms, and potatoes, are best stored in paper bags. Out of the Box Eco-store also offers reusable mesh produce bags you can use for all your miscellaneous fruits and veggies.

For a full list of produce storing tips, consult this comprehensive guide on fruit and vegetable storage provided by the Washington State Department of Ecology. 

Eliminating single-use items in the kitchen, such as cling wrap and baggies, is another crucial step to a more sustainable kitchen. We provide alternatives such as handmade and reusable beeswax food wraps and waterproof bowl covers to replace cling wrap. Our beeswax wraps come in three different sizes and can be used up to 300 times before being composted.

To replace plastic bags, consider investing in high-quality silicone food pouches, which are durable and can last many years. They can be used in the dishwasher, microwave, and even the oven. A single pouch may keep 260 single-use plastic bags out of the ocean every year.

Choosing these eco-friendly alternatives fosters a healthier environment and a more sustainable kitchen. Plastic won’t disappear from your cupboards overnight, but over time it’s possible to build a food storage system that takes care of you, your family, and the environment all at the same time. We look forward to helping you start your sustainable food storage journey here at Out of The Box Eco-Store.

Reuse glass containers to safely store your food and produces
How to ditch plastic in the kitchen

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