I recently threw out a single use plastic take away container after it had been used, washed and re-used 16 times. I know this as I kept a record. (What was that about not taking your work home with you?) Anyway. A bit like those old fashioned £5 notes that got progressively tattier as time went by, it still did the job it was ordinarily intended for, although it was no longer in showroom condition. It had been frozen, defrosted and microwaved multiple times, and washed in the sink with soapy water after each use. (I also put one through a dishwasher to see what would happen – the lid and the rim were no longer friends, as both had warped in the heat)
2018 was all about promoting the drive to convert us all to biodegradable, reusable, compostable and recyclable packaging. While I agree with this, lets not forget: there will always be a need for plastic containers, but maybe not so many of them. I for one don’t want my oily pesto in anything else – yet.
So maybe in 2019 we also promote re-using products that ordinarily would be thrown out after one use. In my case, I celebrated the New Year by welcoming a new Microwaveable Deli Pot to the kitchen to be worked to the point of exhaustion. (Marry a chef, and you too can be this quirky) The containers’ first job: some lovely stock from a recently roasted chicken. As we hate throwing food out, we drained off the juices, waited until it had cooled and refrigerated it overnight. A day later, you have lovely separated stock, and the fatty bit on the top can be easily skimmed off and thrown away in a Compostable Food Waste bin Liner. The bottom flavoursome bit can be labelled and frozen. Why don’t you take stock of that cupboard full of random containers and lids and put them to good use?