Do you often store food leftovers in plastic containers or wrap them in plastic wrap? It’s a convenient way to keep food fresh, but did you know that plastic is a major contributor to environmental pollution? Plastic can take hundreds of years to break down, and it can harm wildlife and pollute water bodies.
But the good news is that there are plenty of ways to store leftovers without plastic. In this article, we’ll explore various eco-friendly alternatives to plastic containers and wrap. We’ll also discuss the benefits of going plastic-free and offer some tips on how to make the switch.
Why Store Leftovers Without Plastic?
Plastic pollution is a serious environmental issue that affects wildlife, ecosystems, and human health. According to a report by the United Nations, about eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the oceans every year. This waste harms marine life and can also enter the human food chain through the consumption of fish and other seafood.
Moreover, plastic doesn’t biodegrade, meaning that it never completely breaks down. Instead, it fragments into smaller pieces, called microplastics, which can persist in the environment for hundreds or thousands of years.
By storing leftovers without plastic, we can reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate and help protect the environment. In addition, using eco-friendly alternatives can also be healthier for us, as some plastics can leach harmful chemicals into our food.
How to Store Leftovers Without Plastic
There are many alternatives to plastic containers and wrap that you can use to store your leftovers. Here are some of the most popular options:
Glass containers are a popular alternative to plastic containers, as they are reusable, durable, and don’t leach any chemicals into your food. They are also microwave and dishwasher safe.
If you’re worried about breakage, look for tempered glass containers that are designed to be more durable than regular glass. And be sure to check that the lids are made from materials that don’t contain BPA or other harmful chemicals.
Stainless Steel Containers
Stainless steel containers are another great option for storing leftovers. They are durable, lightweight, and don’t contain any chemicals. They are also dishwasher safe and can be placed in the freezer or oven.
When choosing stainless steel containers, make sure they are made from high-quality food-grade stainless steel, as some lower-quality options may contain harmful metals.
Beeswax wraps are a natural and reusable alternative to plastic wrap. They are made from organic cotton fabric coated in a mixture of beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. The wrap can be molded around food to create an airtight seal and can be washed and reused many times.
Keep in mind that beeswax wraps should not be used for storing raw meat or hot food, as they cannot be washed in hot water. And as they are not airtight, they may not be suitable for all types of food.
Silicone Lids and Covers
Silicone lids and covers are a flexible and reusable alternative to plastic wrap. They come in various sizes and can be used for covering bowls, cups, and even fruits and vegetables. They are also microwave and dishwasher safe.
When choosing silicone lids and covers, make sure they are made from food-grade silicone that doesn’t contain BPA or other harmful chemicals.
Storing leftovers without plastic is a small but significant step we can take to protect the environment and reduce our plastic waste. By choosing eco-friendly alternatives like glass containers, stainless steel containers, beeswax wraps, and silicone lids and covers, we can help reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier planet.
Remember that switching to a plastic-free lifestyle takes time and effort, and it’s okay to start small. Try replacing one plastic item at a time and gradually build up your collection of eco-friendly alternatives. And always remember to recycle or dispose of old plastic containers and wrap responsibly.
FAQs About Storing Leftovers Without Plastic
1. Can I freeze food in glass containers?
Yes, you can freeze food in glass containers, as long as they are freezer-safe and have enough space to allow for expansion. However, be sure to let the food cool before placing it in the freezer, and avoid putting hot containers directly into the freezer.
2. Are silicone lids and covers safe for use in the oven?
It depends on the type of silicone. Some silicone products can withstand high temperatures and are safe for use in the oven, while others are not. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before using silicone lids and covers in the oven.
3. Can I compost beeswax wraps?
Beeswax wraps are not compostable, as they contain synthetic tree resin that cannot be broken down by composting. However, they are biodegradable and can be disposed of in the trash or used as fire starters.
4. Are there any downsides to using eco-friendly alternatives?
Eco-friendly alternatives to plastic containers and wrap may be more expensive than their plastic counterparts, and may not be as readily available. In addition, some options, like beeswax wraps, may require more maintenance than plastic wrap. However, the benefits to the environment and your health outweigh these minor inconveniences.