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  • Feb 19,2024

Plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the world, especially for food packaging. However, plastic also poses a serious threat to the environment, as most of it ends up in landfills or oceans, where it takes hundreds of years to decompose. Moreover, plastic production and disposal contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, which worsen climate change.

Fortunately, there is a way to enjoy the convenience and functionality of plastic without harming the planet: reusable plastic containers. These are plastic containers that can be used multiple times for storing, transporting, and reheating food. They are made of high-quality materials that are durable, safe, and easy to clean. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of using reusable plastic containers for food packaging, and how they can help us reduce plastic waste and promote sustainability.

 

Environmental Impact

One of the main advantages of reusable plastic containers is that they reduce the environmental impact of plastic packaging. According to a study by the University of Michigan, reusable plastic containers can save up to 92% of energy, 76% of water, and 65% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to single-use plastic containers. This is because reusable food container box require less raw materials, manufacturing, and transportation, and generate less waste.

By using reusable plastic containers, we can also prevent plastic pollution, which is a major problem for the environment and wildlife. According to the World Wildlife Fund, more than 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, where they harm marine animals and ecosystems. Plastic also leaches harmful chemicals into the soil and water, affecting human health and biodiversity. Reusable plastic containers help us avoid these issues, as they can be reused for years without needing to be discarded.

 

Cost-effectiveness

Another benefit of reusable plastic containers is that they are cost-effective in the long run. Although reusable plastic containers may have a higher initial cost than single-use plastic containers, they can save money over time by eliminating the need to buy new containers every time we need to store or transport food. For example, a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that a family of four can save up to $1,766 per year by using reusable containers instead of disposable ones.

Reusable plastic containers can also help businesses save money by reducing their packaging and disposal costs. For instance, a case study by the Environmental Protection Agency showed that a restaurant chain saved $5.9 million per year by switching from single-use plastic containers to reusable ones for their takeout and delivery orders. The restaurant also reduced its waste by 255 tons per year, which lowered its landfill fees and carbon footprint.

 

Preservation of Freshness and Quality

Reusable plastic containers are not only good for the environment and the wallet, but also for the food itself. Reusable plastic containers can preserve the freshness and quality of food better than single-use plastic containers, as they have airtight seals and durable materials that prevent moisture, oxygen, and bacteria from entering or escaping. This helps keep the food fresh for longer, and prevents spoilage, mold, and odors.

Some examples of foods that benefit from being stored in reusable plastic containers are:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Reusable plastic containers can keep fruits and vegetables crisp and juicy, and prevent them from wilting or browning. They can also prevent ethylene gas, which causes ripening, from spreading to other foods.
  • Dairy products: Reusable plastic containers can protect dairy products from light, heat, and air, which can degrade their quality and shelf life. They can also prevent cross-contamination from other foods or smells.
  • Meat and seafood: Reusable plastic containers can prevent meat and seafood from drying out or losing their flavor and texture. They can also prevent juices from leaking and contaminating other foods or surfaces.

 

Versatility and Convenience

Reusable plastic containers are also versatile and convenient for various types of food and occasions. They can be used for storing, transporting, and reheating food, as they are microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe. They can also be used for different kinds of food, such as liquids, solids, hot, cold, wet, or dry. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and designs, to suit different preferences and needs.

Some examples of different types of reusable plastic containers and their applications are:

  • Bento boxes: These are divided containers that can hold different kinds of food in separate compartments, such as rice, meat, vegetables, and fruits. They are ideal for packing lunches, snacks, or picnics, as they are compact, portable, and easy to open and close.
  • Mason jars: These are glass jars with metal lids that can hold liquids or solids, such as soups, salads, smoothies, or desserts. They are perfect for storing or transporting food, as they are leak-proof, transparent, and stackable.
  • Silicone bags: These are flexible bags that can hold liquids or solids, such as sauces, soups, nuts, or candies. They are great for freezing or reheating food, as they are resistant to high and low temperatures, and can be sealed and opened easily.

 

Health and Safety

Health and safety are also important factors to consider when choosing plastic food containers. Some plastic containers may contain harmful substances, such as bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates, which can leach into food and cause health problems, such as hormonal imbalances, reproductive issues, or cancer. Moreover, some plastic containers may not be suitable for certain uses, such as microwaving or freezing, as they may melt, crack, or release toxins.

However, not all plastic containers are bad for health and safety. Reusable plastic containers that are made of high-quality materials, such as polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), or low-density polyethylene (LDPE), are generally safe and reliable, as they do not contain BPA or phthalates, and can withstand high and low temperatures. They also meet the safety standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union (EU) for food contact materials.

To ensure health and safety, it is important to use reusable plastic containers properly and maintain them well. Some tips for doing so are:

  • Check the labels or symbols on the containers to see if they are BPA-free, phthalate-free, microwave-safe, freezer-safe, or dishwasher-safe, and follow the instructions accordingly.
  • Wash the containers before and after each use with hot water and mild soap, or in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher-safe. Rinse and dry them thoroughly before storing them.
  • Avoid using abrasive or sharp utensils or cleaners on the containers, as they may scratch or damage them. Use soft sponges or brushes instead.
  • Replace the hinged plastic food containers if they are cracked, chipped, stained, or warped, as they may harbor bacteria or leak chemicals.

 

Consumer Behavior and Awareness

The last benefit of reusable plastic containers is that they can influence consumer behavior and awareness towards plastic consumption and sustainability. By using reusable plastic containers, we can reduce our dependence on single-use plastics, and become more conscious of the amount and type of plastic we use and discard. We can also inspire others to do the same, by sharing our experiences and knowledge, and by supporting initiatives that promote the use of reusable plastic containers. hinged plastic food containers

Some examples of initiatives that encourage the use of reusable plastic containers are:

  • Zero Waste Stores: These are stores that sell food and other products without packaging, or with minimal and eco-friendly packaging. Customers can bring their own reusable plastic containers to fill up with the products they want, and pay by weight or volume. This way, they can reduce waste and save money.
  • Reusable Container Programs: These are programs that offer reusable plastic containers to customers for takeout or delivery orders, instead of single-use plastic containers. Customers can either return the containers to the restaurant or a collection point, or keep them for future use. The restaurants can either charge a deposit or a fee for the containers, or offer incentives or discounts for using them.

 

Conclusion

Reusable plastic food container are a smart and sustainable choice for food packing container, as they offer many benefits for the environment, the economy, the food, and the consumers. They can help us reduce plastic waste and greenhouse gas emissions, save money and resources, preserve food freshness and quality, provide versatility and convenience, ensure health and safety, and influence consumer behavior and awareness. By using reusable plastic containers, we can make a positive difference for ourselves, our communities, and our planet.

If you are interested in making the switch to reusable plastic containers, you can start by looking for high-quality, safe, and durable containers that suit your needs and preferences. You can also look for opportunities to use them in your daily life, such as shopping, packing, or ordering food. You can also spread the word and join the movement to reduce plastic waste and promote sustainability.

We hope you enjoyed this blog and learned something new. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to share them with us.