I’m a big fan of reusing plastic containers and tubs whenever possible. I mostly reuse the ice cream and margarine containers, and sometimes a yoghurt tub or two. They’re great for any kind of storage around your home e.g. pens, pencils, rubber bands, paper clips, nails, screws and just about any other household odds and ends that you can think of. I’ve also used these containers and tubs to grow seedlings.
But for me, these containers are really the most useful in the kitchen. Whenever I cook stews and soups I cook in large batches and freeze (see the recipes of some of our favourite winter meals here). I use mostly ice cream and margarine containers to store this type of food as they fit very nicely into the freezer space I have available.
I also like the fact that I don’t have to waste money buying plastic containers to store food. Sure, I do occasionally buy a couple here and there but generally not that often at all. The reused plastic containers and tubs in our household have outlived most of the plastic containers and tubs that I’ve ever bought. So for me, this really is a win-win.
If you are reusing plastic containers and tubs to store food, though, it’s important to think about safety. Not all plastics are safe to be reused. If you look at the bottom or the side of an ice cream or a margarine container you’ll often see the recycling symbol and the number 5. This indicates that the plastic used to make the containers is Polypropylene (PP).
Polypropylene is one of the safer plastics and it’s commonly used to package food such as ice cream, margarine, yoghurt, syrups, etc. This type of plastic can withstand heat which means that the ice cream and margarine containers that I reuse can be safely washed in the dishwasher.
We don’t normally defrost or reheat the food in these containers though. I prefer to allow the food to defrost at room temperature for about half an hour before I wriggle the food out of the container and into a microwave dish to defrost.
Do you reuse any plastic containers or tubs? How do you reuse them? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.
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