Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Where Does All the Plastic GO After the Party's Over?

Ever since the first Tupperware Party, people have been happily storing food in plastic. But baggies are piling up in landfills quicker than you can say "zip lock," and toxins in plastics are no picnic. Reduce waste and your daily plastic intake by storing lunches and leftovers in readily available, safer materials.
The Benefits
Less landfill. Those baggies have a long lifetime - as long as 1,000 years.
Many alternatives last longer. Ceramic and glass are great for food storage because they're non-reactive and go from fridge to microwave and back. Stainless steel is also great when you're not zapping.
Plastic by numbers. Some plastics, like PVC (#3), polystyrene (#6) and polycarbonate (#7) contain hormone disruptors or other nasty chemicals. Stay healthy with plastics #1, 2, 4 or 5. As for microwaving food in plastic…just don't: it can leach into food.
Most home-use cling wraps are no longer made from PVC. Still, to be safe, remove fatty foods like deli meats and cheeses from plastic and wrap tightly in waxed paper before placing in an airtight container for storage.
Pyrex - 10-piece glass food storage set is refrigerator, oven and microwave safe ($22).
To-Go Ware 2-Tier Stainless Steel Food Carrier - portable, lunchable, toxin-free storage center ($16).
Wrap-N-Mat - reusable, machine-washable cotton wrapper folds around sandwiches or snacks, secures with Velcro, and unfolds into a placemat ($7).
Bag-E-Wash - if you really gotta go with plastics, save big by cleaning and reusing those baggies in the dishwasher ($10).
Green Guide’s “Plastics at a Glance” Chart - print and tuck in your wallet for more informed plastic purchasing. This tip submitted by Annika Robbins.

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