In plastics packaging, particularly food packaging, a sustainability “selling point” is the reusability of the package. Instead of sending the package straight to the recycling bin, the container can used again as a food storage container extending the life of the packaging container, and resulting in less waste to landfill. While this is true, what isn’t mentioned, however, is that not all plastics are safe to reuse.
Meanwhile, consumers are taking this message to heart. In fact, a ShopSmart survey reports that about half of women reuse or repurpose food packaging as food storage containers, which could present a potential risk for bacterial contamination in containers that are designed for single-use applications. To help you make an more informed decision when it comes to the safety of your food packaging, we’ve provided a breakdown of plastics commonly encountered in the market, and whether or not they are safe to reuse again after the intended use: