All You Need to Know About Food Storage Containers

All You Need to Know About Food Storage Containers

Storing leftovers is a favorite thing with all home makers; it is not only the best way to prevent wastage but also ease work on days you are too tired to cook an elaborate meal. Plastic tubs, containers, cling wraps are all common commodities in a kitchen these days but there are certain factors that you must consider before storing food in plastic containers. Some of these materials can be unhealthy and pose a health hazard for your family in the long run while some are harmful for our environment. Reusable food storage containers are also better than disposable or single-use ones as these reduce the environmental impact.

An understanding of the various materials and containers like type of resin or grade of plastic can enable you to make better and more informed choices while storing food. Resin codes are used to classify the different types of plastic. There are seven codes depending on the kind of resin that is used in manufacturing the container. This is usually present as a small triangle symbol at the bottom of the container. The first code indicates PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate); products usually made from this resin include medicine bottles, water and beverage bottles. The second grade is HDPE or high density polyethylene which is used in the manufacture of toys, shampoo, detergent and motor oil containers.

The third code for plastic storage containers is V or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which is basically used for piping products, clip wraps and to make shower curtains. LDPE or low density polyethylene is the fourth resin code and used for manufacture of grocery bags and wrapping films. The fifth code is polypropylene or PP and is used usually for the manufacture of bottle caps, yoghurt bottles and syrup bottles. The sixth resin code is PS or polystyrene and the products usually made from these are take-out containers, single-use coffee cups and packing containers. The seventh grade is reserved for any plastic that is not present in the list and also to indicate polycarbonates used for making bottles and some food containers.

While choosing plastic containers, it is important to choose products made from safe plastics like PET, PP, LDPE and HDPE. These can be recycled easily and are also safe for your health. HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic and hence choosing food containers made from these are the best for the environment. These plastics have also been proven to be safer for human as no leaching of carcinogenic agents or endocrine disruptors has been studied to date.

You can also look for storage containers that are made from biobased compostable plastic, though these may be slightly more expensive or difficult to mind, you can be assured that you are neither harming your health nor the environment. These are also extensively used in making carry bags and waste bags as these can decompose easily within days. Created using agricultural wastes and residues, these are great for storing food as well as for other purposes.