10 Highly Useful Food Containers You Can Repurpose
Containers and packaging, many of which are food-related, contribute to over 23 percent of materials reaching landfills in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This packaging also often ends up on our beaches and in other waterways. But by eliminating packaging, we can conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How do we do this? As your middle school science teacher taught you, of course: reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Before you toss out those plastic bottles and food containers, consider repurposing them for food storage, craft projects, and more. Discover 10 food containers and packaging products you can repurpose today.
Mesh Produce Bags
Mesh bags from onions, oranges, potatoes, and lemons can have a variety of uses. Bundle them up with a rubber band to use as a dish or bathroom scrubber. Bring them to the grocery store and use them to carry loose produce. Or you can even use them to make potpourri sachets or bring them on your next beach vacation to carry sand toys. Be creative — there's no one way to use them!
Stock your rubber band pile with bands from produce bundles or other food items. Did you know stretching a rubber band around the edge of a jar lid can make it easier to grip and open? Substitute rubber bands for chips clips to secure all your opened food items.
Aluminum Take-Out Bowls
If you frequent Chipotle for take-out, you've probably thrown out your fair share of aluminum bowls. But these lightweight bowls can easily be washed out and reused. Try using them as portable pet dishes for an afternoon in the dog park.
These tiny metal tins are the perfect size for organizing a scary junk drawer. Are your earphones always getting tangled? Keep them need and tidy in one of these tins, and throw them in your bag without fear of tangling. You can also create your own sewing kit or on-the-go first-aid kit using one of these pocket-sized tins.
Don't ever pay for mason jars again! Jelly jars can be repurposed for a variety of uses. They make adorable succulent planters (as pictured), centerpieces, vases, or glass containers. Simply wash and reuse.
Plastic Yogurt Containers
Large plastic yogurt containers make high-quality containers with a reusable lid! Use them to store leftovers in the refrigerator. You can also remove the label and make cute containers for flour, grains, sugar, etc.
Plastic Juice Bottles
Don't let those large plastic jugs go to waste — use them as pourable storage containers for cereal, pet food, or other dry goods. It's a lot better than spending money on overpriced storage containers.
Parmesan Cheese Cans
Those plastic cans make easy, pourable storage for a variety of dry goods, including nuts, candy, baking soda etc. You can also store craft supplies like glitter or confetti. The best part about these containers is you have the option to both sprinkle or pour goods from the container.
Coffee Creamer Bottles
We all go through a lot of these plastic bottles in a year. Imagine if we caffeine addicts put those bottles to use? Coffee creamer bottles make another pourable storage container with a reusable lid. Use them for snack storage, dry goods, and liquid goods. Fill the bottle with liquid eggs for ready-to-go scrambled eggs in the morning.
The coffee is gone, but the container is not. Remove the label and paint the exterior for a DIY planter or utensil holder. Keep the lid and use it to store dry goods and snacks. You can even poke holes in the can and use it as a decorative lantern.
State of Home Cooking
We're serving up and celebrating the biggest home-cooking trends from the most enthusiastic cooks we know: our community. We crunched the data from 1.2 billion annual Allrecipes.com visits and 2.5 billion annual page views. Then we dug even further, surveying Allrecipes cooks about what's in their carts and fridges, on their stovetops and tables, and on their minds. Recyclable and reusable packaging is just one of the topics they're most curious about. See more of the "State of Home Cooking" special report.