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What Do You Do with Plastic You Already Have?

We’re often asked for guidance on what to do with plastic you already have in your home. Our general advice: use it!  While Plaine Products is working to help eliminate single use plastic, the truth is we all have a lot of plastic in our lives regardless of our efforts. The worse thing would be to just throw it all away. Make sure it gets at least a single use and a few more uses if you can!

Ideas for the Kitchen Plastic you Already Have

We’re learning that plastic containers, while ok for storage, are not safe to reheat, cook or freeze food in. So what to do with all of those plastic storage containers? They make great organizers for tools, toys, art projects and junk drawers.  They also work for bulk dry foods that need to be broken down into smaller quantities to stay in a pantry or drawer.

Accidentally end up with a plastic take out container? Don’t feel guilty, just see if you can use it again before it heads to the landfill. They make a great option for field trip lunches that have to be disposable. Or if you are taking cookies or a meal to a friend in need.

Single use plastic bags can serve a multitude of purposes: lining trash cans, cleaning up after your pet, collecting kitchen compost. They can be washed and used again and again. It’s not just grocery bags, the plastic bag your bagels or bread comes in work for reuse as well. Using single use plastic more than once saves another plastic bag from going to a landfill.

I have three plastic mixing bowls that make me feel guilty every time I see them. They should be stainless or glass. But they aren’t and throwing them away won’t help. So I use them. But I know that once they start showing signs of wear and tear and there’s a real possibility of plastic getting into my food I will repurpose them and replace them with more sustainable options. Progress, not perfection.

Ideas for the Bathroom Plastic you already have

We’ve been slowly converting our bathroom away from plastic. In addition to our shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash, we’ve also switched to bamboo toothbrushes. But remember before you throw them out that plastic toothbrushes can have a second life as part of your cleaning supplies. They are great to get into those hard to reach places and for cleaning grout.

I have a plastic razor I’m longing to replace with a stainless safety razor like this one from the Package Free Shop. However, I have a large back log of blade refills from stocking gifts that I need to go through. I use each one as long as I can. Throwing them away so I can feel better about my stainless steel razor doesn’t make sense. I am able to use Plaine Products’ conditioner as a shaving gel, so that helps. I love products that have dual purposes. It makes for less packaging and less clutter in my shower.

Still have some little plastic travel bottles from hotels visits? Rinse them out and reuse them when you can. Our shampoo is designed to make filling little bottles easy. If you don’t have any we also offer travel size bottles that can be reused endlessly!

Plastic hair brush or hair spray? Don’t worry about the stuff you’ve already purchased. Use them as much as you safely can and strive to make more thoughtful, sustainable purchases in the future. Progress, not perfection.


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