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Plastic Avalanche! Taking the Plastic Challenge

01.25.11 Plastic Avalanche! Taking the Plastic Challenge

plastic storage

I took the challenge. Since I started working at MightyNest 3 months ago, I knew it was time to take the step. For years I've been accumulating plastic storage containers from various kitchen and grocery stores as I needed them. There was never an attempt to organize the mismatched lid-container ratio. I would just buy or inherit new ones and the mass grew larger. I hadn't been clued into the category of numbers that lived on the bottom of these containers, assigning danger levels to the possibility of leaching chemicals into my family's food. I only checked those numbers in terms of how to recycle them.

Here's the lowdown: Of my plastic inventory, I had containers from Ikea #2(the cheap combo package), Ziploc(#5), Sistema(#5) and Rubbermaid(#7). All of them except the Rubbermaid containers are considered to be relatively safe, as long as they were maintained in good condition (not scratched, cloudy, chipped). The Rubbermaid container was in a different category:a hard, clear polycarbonate #7 which can leach BPA into food. Ugh. So, of course I was relieved to have it out of the kitchen and thrilled to organize a new shelf, full of new, safe glass storage containers for leftovers, transporting meals and storing staple foods. I also found the need to have smaller glass containers as well to keep vitamins, spices and nuts at hand.

Obviously, I wasn't going to donate these containers for others to use as food storage but I also didn't want to throw them out. I was recently asked to provide some art materials for my daughter's classroom so I decided to use these as art material containers. They certainly work fine holding glue sticks, erasers, markers, paper clips, etc. I happily labeled and stocked them for her teacher. I could also imagine re-purposing these containers to store hardware, legos, stationary, coins, sewing supplies... any other suggestions for re-using plastic containers?

For more information on plastics, read this article in the MightyNest Learn section.

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