Eco food storage?

  • This topic has 61 replies, 29 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by  tomd.
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  • Eco food storage?
  • We generally take salads etc to work for lunches, in a variety of different plastic boxes, lock n lock etc type things. Most of them are gubbed, broken or the wife has nuked them in micro with tomato based sauces in them and they’re pretty much all due replaced.

    I’m thinking glass boxes with those stretchy silicon covers? Only because I’m not aware of what else is out there. Are the covers any good? Last okay? Any more eco friendly than tupperware?….

    I’d also like to ditch the cling film, are those beeswax wraps any good?…

    All suggestions greatly appreciated!.

    trail_rat
    Member

    My experiance ass that the glass dish didn’t last long before shattering and that was good because the plastic lids were as much good as turnips on toast.

    Premier Icon littledave
    Subscriber

    Lock and Lock now make containers of recycled plastic. Same sizes as standard containers but green or brown in colour as only new plastics can be white or clear.
    Aldi had some in stock last week.
    Happy New Year!!

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    I’d go with the principle that if I get a couple of years or more out of a (recycled material or reused) plastic tub then I’m a country mile ahead of all the cling filmers and foilers.

    There’s probably less petrochemical in that tub than driving from here to work a couple of times.

    Having said that if someone has a non glass, reliable alternative I’m all ears. 😀

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    No experience (yet) of beeswax wraps but they sound a little fragile and need re-waxing on a regular basis. Was intending to make some yonks ago, have all the stuff sitting in the cupboard and I think this will be a New Year’s resolution!

    beefheart
    Member

    I bought some of these a couple of years ago as I wanted to ditch the plastic.
    They seem well made and sturdy, and all have survived oven/microwave/freezer/dishwasher/commute to work.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Sigg aluminium sandwich box.

    CraigW
    Member

    I think plastic lock and lock boxes are fine for most stuff. Though I wouldn’t put them in the microwave, even if they claim to be microwave safe.

    Pyrex dishes are good for in the microwave. The stretchy silicon covers are useful, if you can find one the right size to fit your dish. They seem to last OK, though I ripped one by using it on a dish with a chipped handle, sharp edges.

    hols2
    Member

    There’s probably less petrochemical in that tub than driving from here to work a couple of times.

    A 10 mile urban commute in a car is going to burn a kilo or more of fuel. A single plastic lunch container will weigh much less than a kilo. A single drive to work will burn more petrochemicals than a set of food containers that should last for years. Same goes for cling wrap. An entire roll is probably as wasteful as a single short commute in a car.

    CraigW
    Member

    Not just petrochechemicals, also what happens after it is used. The cling film could disintegrate and end up as microplastics in the sea.

    hols2
    Member

    The cling film could disintegrate and end up as microplastics in the sea.

    Highly unlikely if it’s put into a rubbish bin and sent to either a landfill or incinerator. Or do you just throw your rubbish in a river?

    lotto
    Member

    Maybe dive into the history books? Our ancestors must have had a viable solution as the human race is still here. They must have had a solution to transport their lunches to the pits, fields etc? I’d guess it would be an eco friendly solution. Maybe a good excuse to eat pies and pasties as well lol.

    kerley
    Member

    Yep, you don’t need to go far back either. I tend to look to the 1950’s to see what people were doing for ideas. Food wasn’t wrapped in plastic, items were packaged in plastic etc,.

    For example I take my lunch in paper bags and we use glass jars for storage at home. Use a glass bottle for washing up liquid and then refill from a 10 litre container (albeit plastic)

    If we need to use plastic then just make sure it is an item that will last many years and not be thrown away immediately or within a few months.

    It isn’t easy and it is not always perfect but I feel happier that I am at least trying.

    hols2
    Member

    Our ancestors must have had a viable solution as the human race is still here.

    They used single-use pottery. If you dig under many modern cities, you’ll find layers of discarded rubbish dating back to antiquity. Here’s a photo of a Roman rubbish dump.

    null

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/monte-testaccio

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    Used ice cream containers. That is all we have ever used for lunch boxes or for keeping stuff in the freezer. Why buy a box to do a job, and then throw a perfectly good alternative in the bin/recycling?

    I don’t ever really buy ice cream in boxes, there’s a really nice gelateria along the road from here, we tend to wander along there.

    I’m not reading history books, digging up a Roman or looking for a petrochemicals argument, just wondered if there was something else out there.

    Recycled lock n lock sounds probably the best option, beeswax wraps for sarnies (I find paper dries our the bread) and some of those silicon lids for stretching over leftovers.

    Any better ideas?

    tonyplym
    Member

    Picked up one of these on a recent trip to Vietnam – not liquid tight, but otherwise great. Reckon you should be able to find similar on-line.

    I’d also like to ditch the cling film, are those beeswax wraps any good?…

    Yes, yes they are. Also feels nice to warm in the hands and mould around bowls. It’s not difficult to get a taught fit. We were given some freebies from another designer last year and these are still going strong:

    Treated self to a bowl from the Eden Project, it’s made from coconut shell. Also got a nice spork (made from bamboo) to go with it. Thought it was expensive as shelled out (!) about £8 but looking back that was 10 years ago and they both still look and work fine. Coconut bowl has had boiling porridge in it a few thousand times and just keeps going and going! Also later found a coconut shell spoon which is just as hardy, and nice to use.

    So my advice is to get a wooden or coconut-shell bowl or two (depending on size) and then wrap in wax wrap/s. Job done? Bamboo bowls are available https://www.amazon.co.uk/bamboo-Nourish-Handmade-Natural-Organic/dp/B07HFJPWKB

    As are bamboo sporks, forks, spoons etc

    Organic Bamboo Spork

    twinw4ll
    Member

    Prepare the food then eat it immediately, it’s only salad or mix it with your porridge.

    *edit

    taut fit.

    😬

    myti
    Member

    What about tifin type containers made of metal and can keep different bits of your lunch separate.

    gordimhor
    Member

    Beeswax wrappers +1. Got some as a gift for Christmas 18 used frequently, wiped occasionally, rewaxed once. Still good as new

    Prepare the food then eat it immediately, it’s only salad or mix it with your porridge.

    I make 2 days lunch at a time, so need some storage.

    Thanks Malvern and big Gordy!

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Prepare the food then eat it immediately

    Pouch it like a hamster.

    By lunchtime your work colleagues will be finding your Vito Corleone impression wearing a bit thin mind

    hols2
    Member

    I make 2 days lunch at a time

    So do I. Then I eat it immediately when it’s nice and fresh.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Fair play for thinking about it nobeer.

    If it’s resource use your worried about I would caution not to fall into the same trap as the poly bag debacle.

    For example one of those cotton shopping bags uses 100x resource input that a single use plastic, and the heavy duty bags >50. I would worry that some of these overly eloborate beeswax type things and earthenware contraptions would be like the cotton bag vs single use bag.

    I get a couple of years of solid use out of a good quality plastic tub (say 400 uses). That tub will contain ~100g of plastic produced at massive scale in an efficient way. At the end of life it can be recycled, albiet not into another tub.

    I also have issues with looking to the past, because usually this is based on some unfounded philosophy that the old times were better times. I bet a Cornish tin worker in days gone by would have given his right arm for a tupperware box, when he got caught in the rain with with pasty or sat on it in the horse and cart.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Someone got me a bamboo one last year, but I’ve also read that bamboo clothes aren’t really eco at all.

    Thanks Tom, hope Ieva, the kids and you had a nice Xmas.

    Aye, I’m aware of the bag scales of production, cheers, it’s a minefield when you start reading into it.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Fair play for thinking about it nobeer.

    If it’s resource use your worried about I would caution not to fall into the same trap as the poly bag debacle.

    That arguments getting a bit like a broken record.

    1) It was never about CO2 or resources, it was about litter. You now almost never see a plastic bag in the hedges and it’s only been a couple of years?

    2) The last ‘alternative’ was those degradable bags that were introduced by the big supermarkets shortly before the ban/charge. the material didn’t biodegrade, they just turn to flakes/powder which was possibly even worse.

    Same applies to bottle or can deposits etc. Those bottles aren’t going to get re-used, the deposit amount bears no relation it’s value, it’s to stop them ending up as litter.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    What’s your rationale for saying “It was never about CO2 or resources”?

    According to the UK Government’s published and stated policy on the matter (A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment) it is intended to reduce the consumption of single use plastics. One of the other benefits is reduced waste and litter.

    In the data on bag use they do trumpet the reduced number and bags, and therefore litter. This is partly because it has been a failure at reducing resource use and has actually led to an increase in resource use for providings things to put or shopping in. The avergae household buys a metric shit tonne of bags for life, negating and resource use benefit.

    So, a wee update.

    Bought a load of the recycled lock n lock from Aldi, a dozen of those silicon lids to replace the cling film, just need the beeswax wraps now.

    Still both the best, buying more stuff, but this lot should last years.

    tjagain
    Member

    Reduce, reuse, recycle

    Don’t buy things that are not needed

    ditch the cling film. I haven’t used it in 30 years. Leftovers go in the fridge in a bowl with a plate on top. I don’t miss it.

    Storage – reusable stuff preferably something that has already had a use ie jam jars etc. Plastic bags that stuff from the shops come in – save and reuse.

    What are you going to use these beeswax wraps for? think laterally and find a solution that is a reuse of something as in the plastic bags above

    tjagain
    Member

    tomd – in scotland plastic carrier bag usage went down 80%

    I don’t buy anything that comes in plastic bags really, apart from strawberries n rasps, and those bags are shite.

    Wraps are for sarnies.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    tomd – in Scotland plastic carrier bag usage went down 80%

    Yes, brilliant. However, 1 single use bag does not equal 1 “bag for life” in terms of energy and resource input.

    Very roughly speaking, bags for life are between 10x and 100x more resource & energy intensive than a single use bag. No one uses bags for life for life, they buy and throw away by and large. The average household buys >1 bag for life a week.

    Thus, you can drastically reduce the bag count but increase the resource use. The story was widely covered a couple of months ago.

    https://news.sky.com/story/supermarket-plastic-use-rises-above-900-000-tonnes-despite-pledges-11872128

    tjagain
    Member

    No beer – my sandwiches go in a click seal box

    Which you bought?….

    Sales of plastic “bags for life” rose 26% last year to 1.5 billion – prompting a call for the standard price to be raised from 10p to 70p.

    Greenpeace and Environment Investigation Agency research shows the bags are effectively “bags for a week”, with UK households buying 54 a year in what was described as a “huge rise”.

    Stappit. Us humans really are a bunch of utterly bell-ended gorms.

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