Saturday, 15 June 2013

Getting rid of plastics in the kitchen

I read an article recently, which spelt out how bad plastics are for your health, and that elements of them appear in the most unlikely places.   HERE is a link which explains the downsides of using plastic.  I thought about it, and came to the conclusion that whilst I'm not panicking about it, it does make sense to try and get rid of plastic storage containers and also any plastic gizmo's in the kitchen.  First to be replaced, was my plastic colander and matching bowl, which had been useful over the years for washing fruit or veg in and leaving to drain.  I had only replaced my previous metal colander because it was useless at draining, but now I have a deep metal one with lots of holes in all the right places! (£1 from the car boot sale this morning!)

Being frugal, I had been in the habit of washing and re-using plastic bags (freezer bags spring to mind).  Perhaps that hasn't been quite such a good idea.  However, storing things in the freezer (especially left-over portions of curry and such) will be slightly more problematic now, so I shall have to put my thinking cap on and ditch the ice cream containers and the like I had been using.  I used to have foil containers which I bought from Iceland, many, many moons ago when freezers suddenly became THE thing to have way back in the 70s (though I dare say many folk had them before that).  I will have to see if they have them in Wilko's. 

The plastic linings on cans are also suspect . . . and of course bottled squashes, mineral water, anything like that.  It will take some checking of supermarkets and trying to find things in bottles and plastic-free packs, and some stuff just won't be without a plastic cover I dare say, but when I do my next grocery shop I shall try and find alternatives.  Baked beans only come in cans or those plastic fridge containers - but we only eat a can or so a week. I shall replace tinned chopped tomatoes with passata. Then start thinking about anything else I use regularly which is tinned. I will make sure I take my own home-made bags for the fruit we get at Abergwili which is normally put into their thin blue plastic bags.  My husband's home-mixed muesli will now be stored in one of my spare big earthenware jars and that will free up the big plastic storage container for holding nuts and bolts or something in his workshop.  At least our spring water comes from the tap and without a plastic wrapping, so I shall be drinking much more of that!


  1. Very depressing! I've been avoiding using foil containers to save aluminium and I use Tupperware boxes for everything. Any ideas you have that are inexpensive, do share. I'd live to buy loads of stainless steel replacements as they suggest, but they're a bit pricey.

    Hope you like your Cotton Grass post! x

  2. It seems our culture spends millions of dollars and hours trying to improve every day things, only to find out a few years later that they are bad for us.

  3. I save my glass jars and use them for all sort of leftovers in frig. But like you I don't know what to replace the freezer bags with. I just read somewhere about not using the tin tomatoes and buy the glass ones only.
    Lovely new header photo.

    cheers, parsnip

  4. Em - I am just trying to be sensible rather than completely OCD, but with my recent health problems, I DO wonder . . . I think that post must have been American, as I have never come across any of the items mentioned - stainless steel STRAWS?

    I LOVED the Bog Cotton post, and I have to say the photos brought back many memories - mostly good!

    ChrisJ - too true. I think the old saying you can have too much of a good thing is appropriate here.

    parsnip - I store all my loose things (rice, pasta, dried beans, dried fruits, pulses, seeds etc in glass jars) and small amounts of leftovers to be used straight away in glass or ceramic bowls with a plate on top, and have done for years, so I suppose I should take this to the next level.

  5. I can't find your e-mail here is an interesting item.
    "The Nickel Pincher: How to Freeze and Store Food without Using Plastic Rodale News" and "Sustainable reviving the lost art of self-sufficiency" sorry I couldn't link them.
    My Mum always used freezer paper and tape for meat and vegies.
    I also read where "Pyrex Glass Containers have ones that are good for freezing I am looking into this myself.

    cheers, parsnip