For day 11 of Plastic Free July, we want to focus on glass for food packaging. It was inspired when I went in to Harris Farm and seeing some freshly made soup for sale in the fridge section packaged in glass jars. Glass is the cleanest and purest way to store food. There is always the chance that plastic may leach or break down over time, especially in extremes of heat. Some people have a sensitivity to the taste of nickel, so stainless steel isn't always an option either. You can wrap food in your Bee Green beeswax wrap at home, but it's not a commercially viable option for packing food to sell. Glass certainly does have its downside too, being fragile and heavy, but for purity, you just can't beat glass, and there's no questions about whether it can be collected for recycling by your local council - everyone takes glass for recycling.
Storing food in glass.
For storing leftover meals in the fridge or freezer, you cant go past a set (or two) of the Glasslock glass food containers. They come in a variety of sizes, and stack nicely in the cupboard when not in use. They are also a great idea to take straight to work if you are happy to use them as a glass lunch box. We also have a selection of Kilner jars in store.
But what about reusing glass jars... If you buy peanut butter, honey, tahini, or even some pasta sauces - they all come in glass jars. Nowadays most manufacturers are happy to lend a helping hand to encourage people to reuse their jars and so they print their labels on stickers that are easy to remove. Give them all good wash in hot water and they are good to reuse endlessly.
TIP: If there are sticky bits left on the glass or you have a label that is hard to remove pop a few drops of lemon essential oil onto a cloth and give it a wipe. It will dissolve the rest of the label with a bit of elbow grease.
Another great reusable option - Niugini coconut oil is our favourite brand of coconut oil in store now. Why? It tastes great, has lower miles travelled than most other brands, and it comes in a reusable GLASS kilner style jar! You can cook with it, use it as a body oil moisturiser, you can rub it through your hair once a fortnight for a hair mask, and best of all, the jar can be used for storage in your pantry when you're done with it.
The larger glass jars like the coconut oil ones can be used in your panty to store nuts, seeds and flours. Put crackers in them, the rest of a bag of rice, or home made cookies and in the smaller jars - make your own pesto or tomato sauce and give as gifts. They can also be used to store bone broth, herbs and spices and even a smoothie or juice to drink later in the day. Anything that you would usually put on a plate and cover with cling wrap, or put in a plastic zip lock bag can generally be stored in a glass jar or container if you have a supply of different sizes on hand.
As always, anything you can reuse, is a much better option than recycling.