We’re constantly told that plastic is evil. I’m not going to lecture you all about it here, there’s plenty of research and about a bajillion blog posts about it out there, so if you’re interested in opinions or statistics do a search on the ‘ol googly. 

One thing most of the overwhelming opinions you will find out there is that glass is a much better alternative for food storage than plastic, both environmentally and affordability wise. But while glass is definitely a more environmentally friendly alternative to your mamma’s Tupperware,  I’m not advocating that you immediately ditch the stuff you already have. We still have Tupperware style containers that we have repurposed for storage in the bathroom , laundry and shed. Some we still use for storing dry goods in the pantry and the Scrap kids still have plastic lunchboxes which are being replaced only as they reach the end of their little plasticy lives. We have however, made a commitment not to bring (where possible)  any new plastic containers into the Scrap House.

Those of you on the face-lurk page already know that over the past few weeks we’ve been testing various brands of glass “Tupperware”  style storage containers. We already use the Glasslock brand ones and I’m fairly happy with them, but they’re expensive, I got a great deal on two sets from Shop Naturally earlier this year but even that was over $100AU and if you break one and want to replace individual containers they start at around $15-$20 each.

There are cheaper brands out there that claim to do the same job for much cheaper (around $5 for a 1 litre container) so we picked up a few and tested them out.  I’ll be updating this post over the next few weeks as we put each container through its paces so you might want to check back every now and then to see the final verdict.

Container R came from the Reject Shop and cost $5AU. The brand is Mijotex, is made in China and claims to be BPA and lead free, comes in a box with additional plastic wrap inside.

Container G is one of the original Glasslock containers we purchased earlier this year. Individually it costs around $15 ( current lowest price found on Ebay Australia). Glasslock products are made and packaged in South Korea. The set we brought came boxed with just some foam style sheets between the containers for protection. I’m told these can’t be recycled but there were just a few and we’ll reuse them when we pack stuff either for storage or next time we move house. 

Container  K was purchased at K- mart for $5AU. It’s actually Home & Co brand which is produced in China. It does however, come with a 12 month warranty (or so it says on the packaging – which is just the piece of shiny printed paper you can see inside the container). 

All three have been produced overseas and thus have a carbon footprint from not only production but also from shipping.   G was also shipped to my house which equals more emissions from postage. I picked R and K up when I was out running errands, so perhaps slightly less emissions there (depending on how they were originally produced).

All have plastic PBA free lids with clip-clop sides and silicone or rubber inserts to keep the seal airtight. R also has a steam vent for reheating food in the microwave, although we tend to NOT microwave anything in plastic no matter how safe it claims to be (call me paranoid but I just don’t trust that we don’t end up eating plastic chemicals).

The first thing you notice is the weight. The Glasslock containers are definitely heavier than the others. The container walls are slightly thicker.  Being glass, in theory all the glass components of these containers are fully recyclable (which is great). However they are all made from tempered glass, which while it makes them more durable and oven/microwave/ dishwasher safe, it also means that they are much harder to Recycle and can’t go into our regular curbside recycling bin. 

How we tested them out:

The first test we put them through was for leaks.

 I filled them all with water, snapped on the lids, shook them around and tipped them upside down. No leaks from G or K,  there was a little leakage from the steam vent of R

Next was the oven test:

When I made Lasagne for dinner two weeks ago (our dinner Lasagne is in the loaf tin top left of the photograph), I made some extra in the containers. They all proved fine in the oven and all cooked at the same rate. 

No cracked glass due to heat or anything like that, although I am going to reserve judgement a little until I have baked in them a few more times.

I let them cool on the bench before snapping on the lids and popping them in the freezer for a week. 

So far so good.

Don’t forget to check back to this post over the next few weeks, as I update the results. If you’ve tried any of these containers (or similar containers in other brands) let’s us know what you think in the comments below. 

Update 10 December 2017

So we’ve been using these containers a while now. So far, no breakages (either through use or clumsiness). 

The questions we (and everyone else it seems) have been most interested in are:

1) Ease of closing and opening lids?

They all open and close easily. I did find that the  G lids would “stick” a little if you put the lid on before whatever you are storing has properly cooled. 

(2) Airtightness of lids, particularly with liquids.

G and K seal well everytime. R has a little steam vent in the top which will leak a little if you tip it up so not as airtight as it could be.

(3) Stackability/space saving storage of the empties.

They do take up space in your cupboard. And while you can stack  them (depending on the sizes and shapes you choose)  they definitely don’t cram inside one another like a lot of plastic containers will. So none of them really save you any space in the cupboard. 

(4) Going from refrigerator directly to microwave (since freezertomicro is definitely a nono)

I don’t do this because I don’t like to heat up plastic of any kind in the microwave if I can help it (no matter how safe it’s claimed to be). Mr Scraps however doesn’t really have a problem with it, and neither do some of our friends. Surprisingly all the lids have held up pretty well, although R has become a little “domed” and G appears to have slightly “twisted”. 

(5) Materials issues (lids cracking or splitting, glass cracking or shattering, etc)

Except for the above mentioned doming and twisting, no issues with any of this so far with any of them. I have been told by a few people that the clips crack or break off after constant freezer use, but we haven’t experienced this yet with any of them. I’ll let you know if they eventually do.

A note on the dishwasher :

Dont. I know that most plastics say you can put them in the top shelf  but I wouldn’t trust it at all. The G lid warpped (not a lot but it was quite noticeable)  after only one cycle through. I was able to flatten it out again by soaking it in hot water and stacking a few of the  G containers on top of it for the day but to be other safe side, we’ll just be handwashing the lids from now on. The actual glass container parts have been fine in the dishwasher,  no different to a coffee cup or ceramic put dish. 

(6) Whether the plastic lid tends to hold any odors from prior foods


Not the lids so much as the seals (that bit of rubber/silicone inside the rim of the lid to help create an airtight seal). Especially on G. You need to take them out, wash and dry them well, especially if there’s been strong smelling liquids in them. But for hygiene sake we do this anyways. 

There’s been no staining so far, even with lasagne or spaghetti bolongnaise (which nearly always stains plastic containers and leaves them smelling of onion and garlic ).