Glass Jars: Reuse before you Recycle

You have reached the bottom of your peanut butter or jam jar. Now what do you do with the empty jar?

At home, I reuse the bottles for storage in my kitchen. This is a pretty common practice but it bears repeating. Glass is recyclable and a versatile option for storage. They come in various shapes and sizes which make them perfect to store dried food, leftovers, cleaning supplies and just general sorting and storing (they are a must-have for a zero-waster). They also come handy as containers when you make a trip to the bulk food store.

And as a rule, remember that we should prioritize to ‘Reduce’ and ‘Reuse’ before we toss away something for recycling. By reusing a glass jar, you find a new purpose for it, can cut down on household waste and it reduces the need to buy new storage items.

Is it safe to reuse glass jars that contained jam/peanut butter/pasta sauce etc.?

Yes! Reusing a glass jar is safe as long as you clean it well. However, do not reuse plastic containers for food storage as there is an increased risk for bacterial growth. And always consider what was previously stored in the glass jar, before reusing it to store edible items.

How to clean glass jars:

  • Get rid of the the food remains and clean it with hot soapy water (Soaking it overnight is the best option as it will also get rid of the sticky labels as well).
  • Let it dry completely before reusing it.

Shopping tip: The next time you go shopping, look for food items that come in sustainable packaging like glass jars which you can reuse in various ways. They can also be recycled several times without losing much of its quality unlike plastic containers.

So how do you reuse your glass jars? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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