What to do with the Plastic We Have

I’ve been buying stainless steel and glass replacements for the plastic containers we use for food storage and reheating. The problem is, I’m not sure what to do with those plastic containers that I no longer want to use for food (or at the very least, hot food). I already mentioned washing out my bulk plastic bags, so now I’m trying to decide how I can not hasten my other plastic’s journey to the wastebin. Here are the non-food uses I’ve found so far:

1. Transporting breakable items: Should I take a bottle of fountain pen ink to school or travel with a glass bottle of something, a Rubbermaid container can protect that glass from breakage and protect any other items from spills should it break anyway. I’ve actually been taking a bottle of Pelikan Brilliant Black ink to school to refill my student pens in this fashion for a while, so that seems a good reason to keep a couple of those containers handy.

2. Wet Wipes: My husband loves the convenience of wet wipes, but they invariably come in plastic containers and are very wasteful themselves (much thicker than even a paper towel, for example). I’ve got a ton of rags, so why not fill some plastic containers with homemade liquid soap and rags? Add some drops of essential oils, and even my husband, who loves the smell of certain wet wipe brands, should be pleased. Today’s batch is lavendar-scented.

3. Mop pads: This is the same as above. I bought some reusable swiffer pads, and keeping them moist in a plastic, airtight container will make last-minute cleaning easy. My husband has requested I try to replicate the swiffer smell. I’m not sure how I’m going to do that, but I’ll give it a try!

4. Storage of small items: We’re getting a bit crafty around here, and my modest craft-item drawers that hold my safety pins, ink syringes, alternate nibs, seam rippers, etc. are just about full. We have small plasticware I’d been using for salad dressing that will be a perfect addition as I accumulate (and use!) more varied items.

5. Homemade playdough: I’ve mentioned before I have Celiac disease. It’s genetic, so so do a lot of my young cousins. Playdough, then, is an item they can’t play with. (No, of course you aren’t supposed to eat it, but what if it gets stuck under their fingernails? What if it doesn’t get washed off completely? It only takes a little bit of gluten to set off a reaction. Besides, my home is gluten-free — I don’t want to worry about the table I eat off of being contaminated). Luckily, homemade, GF playdough is pretty easy to make and dye. I can whip up a batch for the next time the kids visit.

That’s all I can think of for now, but it does make me feel better that these containers won’t go to waste. I’ll just be storing them in a different part of the house and freeing up pantry room for my new glass and stainless steel containers.

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