I have one kitchen cabinet that is devoted to plastic. Since I can’t seem to toss any food container that doesn’t disintegrate in my hands as I wash it, that single cabinet is overflowing.
My collection includes: old yogurt containers, old cottage cheese containers, old cream cheese containers, old dried fruit containers and a smattering of store-bought plastics from the 1970s salvaged from older relatives who have since learned better.
And since I was smart enough (subtext – not smart smart enough) to choose the shelves over the sink that I can’t reach without standing on a chair, whenever I open said cabinet, I am showered with precariously-placed containers that easily loose their balance. And they usually land on the floor or in the sink with my dirty dishes, requiring them to be washed again.
Melissa Breyer, a sustainable living writer for care2.com, writes that any container made of numbers 3 or 7 plastic should be avoided for food use. Numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 are safer, she says.
I would say less than half of my containers are number 5 plastic. Most are the one-time use plastic like yogurt containers. Breyer says these will melt or warp in the microwave – I also find that too be true. And when they warp from heat, Breyer says, that could leech harmful chemicals into my food.
It’s a serious consideration.
If I’m not careful, my plastics will be hurting me from the inside, and out – when they fall from the cabinet onto my head.