Is it Better to Store Food in Glass or Plastic Containers

Materials of which everyday household items are made are important for many different reasons, which deal both with the practicality and the aesthetics. This is especially true for the kitchen and storage containers that we commonly use to storing our groceries. Modern kitchen cupboards are full of different type of Tupperware and glassware that hold anything and everything from nuts and seeds, to spices and herbs. However, other food items like freshly grown vegetables and fruit as well as leftovers from lunch and dinner are kept in containers of different shape, size, and material.

The question on everyone’s mind is quite similar in terms of this practice. Is there some kind of a rule that dictates the kind of container we should use in certain situations? More precisely, most homeowners wish to find out whether glass or plastic containers are better for storing everyday groceries, snacks, and anything else that is used in recipes. In this article we will tackle this age-old question and try to find some clear answers. If you wish to learn more about the different types of containers and maybe even purchase a bunch for your home, make sure to check out uCan Packaging.

About Plastic

Source: Eco Shop

When it first appeared as a new material, there was no denying that it changed the way a lot of things were done in the world. Both easy and cheap to make, plastic is still among the more convenient and straightforward materials to use for everyday things. In terms of all types of storage, plastic has been used more and more for years now. However, it has its disadvantages that often outweigh the advantages. For example, plastic is great for cold storage, for travelling and carrying around, and for potlucks. When heating is needed, it is highly advised not to use plastic because of the materials and how it behaves once exposed to heat. Particles of it can get into the food especially if the container is marked with numbers 3 or 7. These codes mark plastics that contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) that can break down, tear, or melt over time and leech into the food. BPA is toxic in many cases and is known to be related to immunity, reproductive, and neurological problems as well as asthma in children, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and Alzheimer’s. A good thing about plastic is that is survives falls and it is light, but once broken it can almost never be fixed.

About Glass

Source: Caleb Adams

Glass is a much more traditional and healthier option in terms of use across the board. It is safer because it does not release any chemicals into the food during the heating process, as some kitchen dishes and containers are specifically made for oven use. Glass is also more durable but it breaks more easily without enough care. Drops and chips are common over time but even a damaged container can still be used and there are no risks of scratches and pieces falling into the food. Recycling of glass is easier than plastic so those environmentally conscious should always go for it. Cleaning is easier, glass is both microwave and dishwasher safe, and it never morphs or warps over continues use even years later. Glass is always a better choice since it has no health risks for the users and it often looks better and classier in the cupboards and the open spaces. What is more, you cannot use plastic for everything especially if you are storing food that is not going to be opened for several months of years. Thick and clear glass beats plastic in most scenarios especially with drinks, jams, pickled vegetables, syrups, and anything else that goes to the shelf for a prolonged period of time.

Scenarios and Purposes


If you are having trouble with deciding what to use, here is a general rule. Use glass whenever you can and whenever it is convenient, but make sure you have some plastic solutions just in case. A lot of people decide what to pack their food in based on specific real-life situations, so give this a try.

If you want to be friendly to the environment and make sure your footprint on nature is as little as possible, go with glass as much as you possibly can. While plastic is recyclable, there is too much of it all over us and it usually ends up in the garbage. For the health of your family members and your own, make sure to store as much food in glass as possible especially if all of you still live together.

On the other hand, bringing your lunch to work or school is easier with plastic containers because they are lighter, they are more versatile and able to withstand physical damage and pressure, and they are overall more convenient to use for eating. Lunchboxes and containers usually come with special compartments for the different dressings, sides, and sauces so it is much easier for a bite on the move. Children tend to drop their things a lot and you definitely do not want them to deal with shattered glass at school or during a trip.

Source: Caleb Adams

When you have to store leftover food in your fridge or freezer, use glass as much as you can. There are special plastic bags made specifically for freezing food and that is okay as it also saves the much-needed freezer space, but for most other things it is healthier and safer to use glass. The lids seal tighter and glass is easier to clean. Plastic may be a better option if you often cook more food in advance that is to be prepacked into Tupperware and carried to work or school.

Finally, if you aim for some aesthetics in your home, it is always better to use glass. The material has been around for thousands of years and it will probably always have a special place in the human society. There is something special about a see-through material that can be shaped into so many different things and used in so many ways. It is pleasant to hold, it is trusty and sturdy enough, and it protects whatever is inside. It is clearly a better look than a piece of plastic no matter where or what is in it.