30 Useful Ideas for Plastic Storage Containers

src: Caroline Atwood

Good news – you can live sustainably and still use your existing plastic containers. It’s actually more environmentally friendly to utilize what you already have instead of buying new. But knowing that it isn’t in our health’s best interest to heat our food in plastic containers, what do we do with them?

Most of us have a cabinet overflowing with mismatched containers and lids that never seem to have a mate. Seriously, why are there always more lids than containers? It has to be some kind of evil magic.
Instead of throwing out my plastic containers, I’ve been utilizing them around my house and have found that they make my sustainable lifestyle a little easier. Here are a few ways to utilize those plastic containers.
  1. toiletries in the shower to avoid breaking
  2. toiletry storage during flights to protect from spillage
  3. jewelry
  4. toy blocks
  5. nuts and bolts
  6. seeds
  7. craft supplies
  8. medicine
  9. store dry goods in the pantry
  10. store dry goods while camping
  11. food storage while backpacking
  12. food and water bowls for pets
  13. doggy bag dispenser
  14. pet medicine
  15. treat dispensers
  16. bird seed storage
  17. store frozen produce
  18. office supplies
  19. use containers to organize drawers
  20. leftovers – please do not reheat food in plastic containers
  21. cords
  22. keep memory cards together
  23. snacks on the go
  24. tea storage
  25. baby proofing
  26. use them to gift DIY cookies, brownies, or bread
  27. give them to your kiddos as bath or sandbox toys
  28. make them into repurposed gift boxes
  29. use them to plant seedlings or herbs
  30. rag dispenser
And I’m sure there are dozens of other ingenious ideas to reuse your plastic containers. What do you do with yours?

5 thoughts on “30 Useful Ideas for Plastic Storage Containers

  1. Totally agree you should utilise those! I sometimes use mine for short term storage of dry food, like bringing berries home safely from the farmers market 🙂

  2. Just a quick question… what's the harm of using plastic containers for food storage? Provided you're not heating your food up in them, they seem like a viable alternative for storage. We have quite the collection of tupperware, and they come in handy for storing leftovers and dry goods. I often bring my lunch to work/school in them, and if it needs reheating, pop it onto a plate in the office. As much as I would like an aluminum lunchbox, I'm a student on a budget who doesn't want to purchase new things as long as I have something comparable at home.

  3. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using them for food storage. I just advise, above, to not reheat your food inside the plastic container to prevent any BPA leach. If you don't have to buy new items, then don't. That's the message I'm trying to relay as many people assume that going zero waste means throwing out all of their plastic and buying new which turns out to be more wasteful. 🙂

  4. They are great for collecting spare change. I keep mine in a clear bottomed plastic jar with a screw on plastic lid. I cut a slot at the top.

    You could do the same thing with smaller plastic containers with snap-on lids and make a fine-motor building game for little kids. Good for practicing inserting and sorting.

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