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How to Reuse Plastic Takeout Containers

How Disposable Plastic Containers Come in Handy

With 1.3 billion tons of food wasted annually, I do my part to cut the losses. At home, this means utilizing every ingredient in my fridge — and, of course, never scraping the rest of my plate into the trash.

It used to be that when I cooked too much food, I'd send my friends, neighbors, and co-workers home with Tupperwares of the leftovers. But those reusable containers didn't make their way back to me, and eventually, I had nothing to pack my own lunch with! That's when I discovered another use for those pesky plastic takeout boxes that are designed to be disposable. Rinse them out with tepid water, dry them with a clean towel, and ta-da! They become a convenient way to transport goods and accomplish one more task with a single-use container. What do you do when you're faced with a surplus of food?

Join The Conversation
muse2323 muse2323 6 years
I love having leftovers, so I have a little collection of Rubbermaid and Tupperware containers, but I use other containers, too. I currently have some homemade pizza sauce frozen in little sour cream and cream cheese containers. And I like using bigger containers to start my seedlings in every spring. Cinnamon roll containers perfectly hold 16 peat pellets and if I cut vents in the cover, it makes a perfect little greenhouse for starting seeds (plus it keeps my cats from nibbling at those little leaves). Containers from salad/spinach are great for seeds that need a little more room--tomatoes, for example. I've used yogurt containers to plant my more advanced seedlings when they weren't quite ready for the garden.
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
runsimmerrun, that's a really good point. To be honest, I never thought about that! It's a great thing to keep in mind.
runswimmerrun runswimmerrun 6 years
I just re-potted some herbs in 1 qt. size Chinese takeout containers last night. I have some seeds going in old Chobani single serve containers. People forget that it's reduce, reuse, THEN recycle. Recycling is great, but it still uses a great deal of energy.
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
dclsweetspot, that's a great idea. Oh, dear: another reason to add to the list of reasons why I'd love to have a vacuum sealer!
dclsweetspot dclsweetspot 6 years
When I have leftovers I make vacuum seal meals for my mother and inlaws. I usually make a little more than needed each nigh so I can make them meals. They love it because they no longer have to buy or prepare meals. I love it because I never waste food.
GummiBears GummiBears 6 years
I usually pass it off to friends or cram it down my gullet as best as I can.
VeggieLove726 VeggieLove726 6 years
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