Repurpose Plastic Containers

Nowadays, we all know that instead of throwing plastic food containers into the dumpster, we should throw them in a recycling bin. However, what is even better than throwing your used food containers into a recycling bin is to give them another purpose. Not only does this action help to reduce the amount of waste, but it also helps you to save a lot of money. In general, there is nothing wrong with reusing food containers. The only challenge is that people are often too lazy to wash those containers and think that they are disposable so why would we reuse them anyway. What they do not realize is once they need something to store random things around the house, they will end up spending money on more plastic containers. In short, a lot of people throw away reusable plastic containers to later buy more of them.

Identify the Reusable Containers

Although most plastic containers are reusable, we must know which type of container we should reuse and which we should not. The general rule is, if you do not need to store food in these reusable containers, then you do not have to worry too much about which containers to keep and which containers to throw away. Personally, if I do not plan to store food in whichever container, I will just keep containers that are easy to wash and dry. For instance, I often end up having a lot of changes in coins after each grocery shopping trip, and if I don’t organize them, I will lose them somewhere eventually. To prevent losing my coins, I always keep a wide mouth 1-gallon juice jug to store my coins. This is sort of a DIY piggy bank that everyone should have, and it is very easy to make. After you are finished drinking your juice, wash your juice container carefully and let it dry. As for the lid, cut a narrow opening so that the biggest coin you have can go through. Once the empty juice container is completely dried, screw back the lid and start putting your coins in after each shopping trip. You will be surprised by the amount of money you have in that bottle once it is full.

Photo by Jill Nystul on One Good Thing

For those who plan to store food in used plastic containers, keep in mind that as long as your container is hard to clean on the inside, you should throw it in the recycling bin instead of reusing it. When you look at the bottom or on the side of your container, there is often a small triangle made up of three little arrows. In the center of this triangle, there is always a number. This is the recycling number. If you see numbers 2, 4, or 5, that container is safe to reuse. If you see any other numbers such as 1,3, and 6, just throw that container in the recycling bin. Another thing you should pay attention to is the condition of your reused containers. Being reusable does not mean that your container will not need to be replaced. As long as you see your reused plastic container is discolored, scratched, or broken, it is time to throw it in the bin. To make sure that used food containers are safe to be reused again, wash them thoroughly after each use and let them air-dried. Other than plastic containers, you can also reuse glass containers, but never metal containers. The acid and salt in your food may cause metal containers to rust very easily, and this is harmful to your health if you put your food in rusty containers.

Look around your house to see if there is any container that is reusable. If so, give them a good wash and a new purpose.

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