Plastic containers. Grr-r-r…!

There’s this old saying that goes,

Ya can’t live with ‘em;   Ya can’t live without ‘em.

If I’m not mistaken, it refers to plastic containers. Plastic containers are the bane of my existence.

IMG_6364First of all, you have to have them. Where else are you going to put all your left over stuff? Without them, all those little plastic clips, buttons, screws, washers and other thingies you toss in the drawer would roll around and get lost in the corners and under the all the other things you put in the drawer. (I mean, how else do you keep extra SIM cards organized?)

Or, especially, leftover food. There’s always some left over and it seems so wasteful to throw it away. Ever since they invented microwaves, leftovers are so easy to make up into another meal, and, hey, put an egg next to it and you have breakfast.

IMG_6378I’ve tried other solutions. There’s plastic wrap over bowls. It’ll do in a pinch but you can’t press all your bowls into storage service. Besides, there’s the thing with the wrap: who designed those plastic wrap boxes anyway. I’m always fighting with them. You can’t find the end of the roll. The cutter never cuts – if it hasn’t bent or fallen off. It’s on the wrong corner of the box, anyway.

I tried re-using Chinese food delivery containers. No, not the foil ones with the cardboard lids. The classy plastic kind. Well made. It’s a shame to just toss them. They ‘sort of’ work, but in the end, they’re not that well made – at least not for continued use. They should recycle but I find that the embossed number in that little recycle triangle never matches the numbers approved for our recycling program. *sigh*

Next, there’s no good way to store plastic containers. You need to able to quickly find the right size container and the lid that matches it. To begin with, there are four million sizes and shapes, all with non-matching lids.

IMG_6375And they don’t stay put. I’m sure I stacked them neatly (as far as is humanly possible) when I put them in the cupboard. The next time I open the door, they’re all jumbled about and half of them fall out before I can slam the cupboard shut.

Then there’s the lids. Do you store them attached to the containers, wasting valuable cupboard space, or do you stack them separately, assuring that you can never find the right one as you shuffle awkwardly through pile? I tried the ones ‘available only on TV’, with the one-size-fits-all lids and the spinning lazy-Susan storage tray. Well, the storage tray immediately fell to pieces and while I still use some of the containers from that set, they have a certain alien strangeness to them that I find common to all ‘made for TV’ products.

Also, why is a stack of containers always a little bit too tall to fit the space on the fridge shelf? Do I take one out, leaving a big gap and one extra container with no place to go? Do I try to bend up the shelf a tiny bit so the stack will slip in (and hopefully come back out)?

I’ve come to the conclusion that, as in many aspects of my life, there is no single simple solution to plastic containers. I may prefer glass, I will continue to stretch plastic wrap around weirdly-shaped objects, and I am resigned to meeting plastic containers at some level below a perfectly harmonious relationship.

Or I could just eat out all the time.


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