Monday, March 05, 2007

Uses for Plastic Containers - the Request

Megan writes:

I think the next series you should do is what to do with plastic tubs. You know, the ones you get when you buy hummous or salad from contemporary cuisine. They're not recyclable,1 and I haven't been able to bring myself to throw them out, but I also can't think of what else to do with them. More of a hallenge then binder clips, but I think you might be up for it. What do you think?

I think this is an excellent idea and a challenge that I hope others will participate in. In a followup email, Megan gives what I consider the level 1 answer:

I can't think of a single damn thing for the tubs except to put leftovers in. I have a lot. Of tubs. Not leftovers. Maybe that's the solution. More leftovers. I might be on to something here.

Leftovers is my main solution to the plastic tub challenge. But there are other answers out there.

____________________ 1 Actually, in Ottawa, plastic food containers can go in the Blue box, but re-using is much better than recycling.


bob said...

I don't like putting leftovers into those plastic bins unless they're cold leftovers (ie salad, dips). Reason being, i don't like putting them in the microwave to reheat cause i don't trust i'm not getting poisoned (myth perhaps, paranoid perhaps). So if i put hot leftovers in there, i then have to take them out of that dish, into something microwavable, and then wash both when i'm done!!!

I think being in ottawa helps my perception a lot cause we can recycle these - we only need so many nicnac holders, and other than that i don't have any good uses for these things. If only they were truely "reusable" ie NOT made out of plastic, but something more hardy... wouldn't that be nice :)

David Scrimshaw said...

Bob, you do indeed have a problem.

You didn't even mention the fact that by having to use two containers for your heated food you double the chance of biological contamination from improper sterilization and you add an extra exposure to the untreated air of your dwelling.

Plus, little molecules of plastic could be coming off and going onto your food even when it is refrigerated for all we know.

I'm going to keep using the plastic tubs for the lunches I bring to work because what happens when I don't is that I eat a large poutine. I suspect that a large poutine is much worse for me than plastic molecules.

Asteroidea Press said...

I think a large poutine might contain as many plastic molecules as a platic tub. You just don't know what's in that gravy.

Why are recycling rules so confusing? I thought it was only 1 and 2 plastics that could go in the blue box. And those plastic tubs are usually a 5.

But your link doesn't specify number, so I may have to recycle some of them.

Anonymous said...

I'm using one of them right now for soaking liquid polymer transfers.

And I plan to use some others for starting my seedlings in the very near future.

Amanda Earl said...

101 uses for a dead (or perhaps still breathing) plastic container
[or maybe just five for now]

1. if it's slightly opaque, a flash difuser for a camera
2. fishin' bait
3. marble storage (for all those you've found after losing them)
4. ferry for hot wheels cars when playing in tub
5. nail clippings and hair storage for voodoo doll preparation

David Scrimshaw said...

You folks are on fire! This is amazing.

I especially like Amanda's bathtub ferry idea. (But am a little perturbed by the voodoo doll suggestion.)

If any of you send photos of these uses, I'll blog them. Or if you blog the use, I'll be delighted to link.