I have tried, as much as possible, to reduce our use of single-use plastic. I know that there is always more that I can do so it is a work in progress, or as some would like to say, a journey.
As with any journey, it is also easier if you are connected with like-minded travellers so I am a member of a couple of different Facebook groups whose members have similar goals. Some people are keen to remove all plastic, however, I am not about to throw away all of the plastic containers I have (to landfill) so that I can replace them with glass. On the other hand, I am happy to look for glass when I need some more.
After much research, I recently purchased 2 dozen Ball preserving jars. You can read all about them in this post. I have used some when I made jam recently but am also looking at other ways of using them.
I am aware that some people regularly freeze food in glass but that is not something that I have really done much so I decided that some research was in order as I know several people have had problems with glass jars breaking in the freezer. This is not a saving of resources or money so I want to avoid that happening. It turns out that for a glass jar to be suitable for freezer use it must have straight sides – that is no shoulder where it slopes in to the neck of the jar. The preserving jars which I chose meet this criteria and are also deemed as suitable for freezer use on the panel on the box.
Naturally, you also need to use commonsense and not put hot jars into the freezer and leave suitable headspace for the food to expand when frozen. I also choose to chill them first in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer as well as keeping the lids loose until they were completely frozen. This strategy seems to have been successful.
Here are some jars of frozen mango puree and refried beans which I was about to transfer to the small freezer downstairs. I tend to keep this freezer for storage and items which I use on a day-to-day basis in the freezer section of the refrigerator in the kitchen.
The other purpose for which glass can be used is when taking your own containers to be filled at the shop. This afternoon I took one of the smaller jars to the deli counter at the supermarket and bought olives. There was no problem with the staff weighing the container prior to filling to to assess the tare weight and the price sticker was attached to the bottom of the jar.
Plastic containers certainly have their place and I will continue to use them rather than discard simply for the sake of discarding them, however, it is an interesting exercise to test the boundaries as to how and where glass jars can be used.