All these different food containers to hold whatever food you’re craving for.
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The month of Ramadan is coming up, and that means lots and lots of food at Ramadan bazaars!
Of course, this also means a LOT of food that will be packed in flimsy plastic bags and disposable containers.
But if you’re keen on trying to reduce your plastic waste, why not bungkus your iftar dinner in your own reusable containers? Here’s a simple cheat sheet to help you pack light and clean up efficiently:
1. Sturdy Plastic Containers
We’re not saying that ALL kinds of plastic containers are bad! If you have the reusable kind made of sturdy material, then this is THE easiest kind to carry around and use.
However, everyone knows the pain of trying to wash an oily plastic container. As such, these are best used for non-oily appetizers such as kuih raya, fruits, or vegetables.
- Most are leak-proof
- Hard to clean oil stains
- May have lingering smell
- Some may leach toxins
2. Stainless Steel Containers
From tiffin carriers to stainless steel containers with rubber seal-locks, metal has long been used to hold food.
Use these for oily food or curries as they do not stain or absorb smells if washed in time.
- Easy to clean
- Relatively light
- Can withstand being dropped (if you don’t mind dents)
- NOT microwavable
- May forget about food inside (not transparent)
- May leak with hot food
3. Tempered Glass Containers
Glass is a relatively divisive material for food containers, but it is sturdy and best for holding and heating up almost everything.
Glass does not stain or retain strong smells, which makes it best for holding stuff like thick curries or meat with gravy.
- Easily keep track of your food with its transparent body
- Good quality tempered glass can withstand the microwave, oven, and steamer
- Can be kept in the freezer
- Heavy, not quite convenient to carry around
- Could shatter if dropped
- Hot soups may leak as glass does not expand at the same rate as the rubber seal
For the Ramadan month, most people will be packing a lot of food home to eat within a short time. Most food will be able to stay warm for that period of time, so reheating food would not be such a big issue.
However, navigating the crowded Ramadan bazaars and picking your favourite foods would be more important, which is why we think stainless steel containers are pretty awesome at getting your food home with you with no extra plastic waste.
Since they are quite light and washes out easily, they would be most suitable to use daily.
Still, all food containers are good containers as long as you get to reduce the waste of single-use plastics. So it might be a good time to dig around your kitchen cabinets for any Tupperware or food containers you’ve forgotten about!
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.