Alternatives to Tupperware

Alternatives to TupperwareThe use of plastic is a hot topic these days. Many argue against its effects on people who work in the factories, the footprint it leaves in our oceans and landfills, and the level of waste that is encouraged with such accessibility to cheap plastic materials. Living sustainably and eco-friendly does not require that all plastic be removed from your life necessarily. Still, you may be looking to use more sustainable products overall in your kitchen. Perhaps you are concerned about BPA, PVS, phthalates, lead, and BPS, among other substances within plastic. I notice a difference in taste as plastic seems to hold on to past smells and flavors in a way that other options do not. Plastics may scratch and show other signs of wear like shifting shape just enough to make placing the lid on difficult or impossible. If this is you, consider a few other options the next time you look to purchase reusable containers.

Glass. Glass is a go-to in our house for fridge, counter, and pantry storage. Some glass is more easily breakable, so look for pure, tempered glass if durability against dropping is a concern for you. Wean Green and Life Factory are favorites of ours for that reason. Pyrex, Anchor Hocking, and Ball and Kerr jars (though generally not tempered) are also US made and easy to find relatively inexpensive in your local grocery or box store. Note that some glass brands still use plastic for part or all of their lids. Some of these options, like Ball or Kerr glass jars, can multi-purpose for canning as well. Just as with any storage you have to be thoughtful, but especially with glass in the freezer as it can crack if the contents expand upon freezing.

Recycled plastics. Depending on your reason for avoiding Tupperware you may be open to continuing to use plastics. Re-Play offers cups, plates, bowls, utensils, and even teething rings made from recycled plastics (notably milk jugs). They are dishwasher, but not microwave, safe. They still contribute to sustainability due to their recycled nature and can sometimes be more kid-friendly than glass alternatives.

Silicone. I enjoy that silicone (and glass) don’t hold stains and smells the way plastic can (think tomato sauce). Silicone is generally microwave safe as well. Oogaa bowls are our go-to for kids meals and they love the fun designs once they get to the bottom of the bowl. EzPz is another brand that offers stainless and durable silicone options that any kid will like.

Stainless steel. This works great for water bottles as well as general food storage. Pura, Kleen Kanteen, and Think Baby/Think Sport are popular brands. If plastic is a deal-breaker for you note that some stainless steel constructions still utilize plastic for lids, especially with water bottles. We also have stainless steel and glass containers in our kitchen to store a variety of things including coffee, nuts, crackers, cereal, spices, and more.

Reusable bags. These bags may be made of any number of materials from cotton and hemp to other food-safe plastic-like alternatives. Planet Wise makes a variety of bag styles (from Velcro to zipped and some with a see-through side) to meet a variety of needs, especially for packing lunches!

Once you begin minimizing your use of plastic in your kitchenware you may find yourself thinking of other ways to lessening your plastic consumption. You can utilize bamboo utensils and cutting boards rather than plastic options. Using reusable shopping bags or covering your bowls with a large plate or reusable covers instead of cling wrap are small ways to continue toward minimizing consumption.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 3 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

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