What to Do With Old Tupperware: Creative and Sustainable Ideas for Repurposing

What to Do With Old Tupperware?

When it comes to old Tupperware, it is important to consider the potential health risks associated with BPA, a harmful chemical commonly used in older Tupperware containers.

As the Tupperware brand did not eliminate BPA until 2010, it is reasonable to assume that older Tupperware is not BPA safe.

Additionally, heating plastic Tupperware in the microwave can cause leaching of BPA and phthalates into food.

While stains and smells in Tupperware do not necessarily indicate that they are unsafe, it is crucial to ensure that there are no cracks, chips, scratches, or weird textures in the interior of the containers, as they can trap bacteria or cause leaks.

After a decade or more, it is advisable to repurpose old Tupperware or determine if they can be recycled.

Key Points:

  • Health risks associated with older Tupperware include BPA exposure and potential leaching of chemicals into food when heated in the microwave.
  • Tupperware brand did not eliminate BPA until 2010, so older Tupperware is likely not BPA safe.
  • Stains and smells in Tupperware are not necessarily a cause for concern, but cracks, chips, scratches, or weird textures should be avoided as they can trap bacteria or cause leaks.
  • It is important to ensure that older Tupperware containers are in good condition before continuing to use them.
  • After a decade or more, it is advisable to repurpose or recycle old Tupperware.
  • Taking precautions with BPA and ensuring the safety of older Tupperware is important for maintaining good health.

Did You Know?

1. In 1946, Tupperware introduced the “Wonderlier Bowl” which was designed to prevent odors from transferring between different stored foods, making it the first Tupperware product specifically marketed for odor control.

2. Tupperware can be used for more than just food storage! It has also become a popular material for crafting, with many creative enthusiasts using old Tupperware containers to make jewelry organizers, planters, and even drawer dividers.

3. The iconic Tupperware “burp” sound when you seal the containers is a result of the unique airtight seal created by the patented Tupperware seal design. This famous sound lets you know that your food will remain fresh and protected for longer periods.

4. Tupperware parties were not just a way to sell products but also empowered women in the 1950s and 1960s. The company’s founder, Earl Tupper, partnered with Brownie Wise to create the Tupperware party model, which allowed many women to work part-time or run their own businesses, providing them with financial independence and social opportunities.

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5. Tupperware is not only made of plastic but also involves extensive research and development. The material used in Tupperware production is called polyethylene, a type of plastic that undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it is durable, safe for food storage, and resistant to staining, leaking, or warping.

BPA Risks in Old Tupperware

Old Tupperware containers may pose potential health risks due to the presence of BPA, a chemical that is potentially harmful to humans. BPA, or bisphenol A, has been linked to various health problems such as diabetes, hormone disruption, infertility, heart problems, and more. It is important to note that the Tupperware brand did not eliminate BPA from their products until the year 2010. Therefore, older Tupperware containers are likely not BPA-safe and could potentially leach this harmful chemical into the food stored in them.

  • BPA is a chemical that is potentially harmful to humans
  • Tupperware containers manufactured before 2010 may still contain BPA
  • BPA has been linked to health issues such as diabetes, hormone disruption, infertility, and heart problems
  • It is important to consider the safety of the containers used for storing food

Microwave Use and BPA Leaching

It is crucial to exercise caution when heating plastic Tupperware in the microwave. This is because the heating process can cause BPA and phthalates to leach into the food. These chemicals can migrate from the plastic container into the food, especially when exposed to high temperatures. It is arguable that no Tupperware is truly microwave-safe, as there is always a risk of leaching potentially harmful chemicals like BPA. In order to minimize this risk, it is advisable to use microwave-safe glass or ceramic containers instead.

Stains and Smells in Tupperware

Stains and smells in Tupperware containers do not necessarily indicate that they are no longer safe to use. However, they may suggest that the container has absorbed colors or odors from the food stored in it. This is especially true for polypropylene plastic, which is commonly used in Tupperware. While these stains and smells might not pose a health risk, they can be challenging to remove and could impact the taste of future food stored in the container.

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Issues with Polypropylene Plastic

Polypropylene plastic, which is widely used to make Tupperware, has its drawbacks. Aside from its tendency to absorb colors and odors, it can pose long-term usage and safety concerns. Cracks, chips, scratches, or unusual textures inside Tupperware containers can promote bacterial growth and cause leaks. Such damages create an environment where bacteria can thrive, eventually compromising the container’s integrity and potentially contaminating the food stored in it. Hence, it is crucial to periodically examine Tupperware containers for signs of damage and promptly replace them as needed.

Health Hazards of Cracked or Damaged Tupperware

The presence of cracks, chips, scratches, or weird textures in Tupperware not only poses a risk in terms of bacterial growth, but it can also indicate the potential leaching of harmful substances. Old Tupperware containers, particularly those that are a decade or more old, may contain harmful chemicals such as cadmium, lead, and arsenic. These chemicals can migrate from the plastic into the food, thereby posing health hazards to consumers. Moreover, vintage Tupperware products are especially concerning as they may leach additional harmful chemicals and heavy metals into the stored food. It is advisable to exercise caution when using old or vintage Tupperware and consider replacing them if there are signs of damage or wear.

Lifespan and Disposal of Tupperware

Tupperware and other plastic containers, like Ziploc-brand containers, typically last 5-10 years. After this period, it is important to consider alternative uses or recycling options. Repurposing old Tupperware is an eco-friendly choice, such as organizing small items or using them as planters for herbs. Recycling ensures proper processing and reuse of the plastic.

In summary, being mindful of the lifespan of Tupperware and plastic containers is crucial to avoid potential health risks. Taking appropriate actions such as repurposing or recycling can contribute to a sustainable and responsible approach.

  • Consider alternative uses for old plastic containers
  • Repurpose Tupperware for organizing small items or as planters
  • Use recycling methods to properly process and reuse plastic

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can be done with old Tupperware?

One innovative way to repurpose old Tupperware is by transforming them into unique and eco-friendly plant pots and herb planters. By adding drainage holes, these containers can provide a practical and sustainable solution for cultivating a variety of herbs and plants. Not only does this help reduce waste, but it also adds a touch of creativity to your gardening endeavors.

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Another useful option is to repurpose old Tupperware as organizer boxes. Whether it’s for jewelry, toys, stationery, craft materials, or toiletries, these sturdy containers can help declutter and organize your space. Their various sizes and shapes make them versatile storage solutions that can fit seamlessly into any room. By giving your old Tupperware a new purpose, you can find practical and creative solutions while minimizing waste.

Should I throw away old Tupperware?

There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to give your old Tupperware a second chance. Firstly, old Tupperware can often still be perfectly functional and durable. Instead of buying new containers, reusing the old ones not only saves money but also reduces waste. Moreover, keeping the old Tupperware allows us to appreciate the value of reusing items instead of contributing to the disposable culture that is so prevalent today. By doing so, we can make a small but impactful difference in minimizing our ecological footprint.

Should I get rid of my plastic Tupperware?

Yes, it is advisable to get rid of your plastic Tupperware if they are in a state of disrepair or no longer functional. In such cases, where containers are cracked, emitting foul odors, or incomplete, it may be time to bid them farewell. Luckily, most plastics can be recycled efficiently by following the recycling symbol found on the bottom of the container, making it an eco-friendly and responsible way to dispose of them.

Will Tupperware replace my old Tupperware?

Yes, if your old Tupperware is determined to be defective, Tupperware has the option to replace it with a similar or equivalent item. However, it’s important to note that warranty replacement requires you to cover the shipping expenses and Tupperware will have the final determination on whether the item qualifies for replacement. So, if your old Tupperware meets the necessary criteria, it is possible for it to be replaced with a new one.

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