I'll ring the landfill and let them know to expect them. Seriously though, Ive worked in food service before...deli cups? try resealing them after a week or two of use. Get ready for cracked lids and containers that cant be microwaved safely. they arent meant for repeat use. they stain frequently and cant be cleaned easily due to the grade of plastic used.
You want steam table pans with lids for refrigerator storage, and a decent set of microwaveable plasticware to decant the contents into for meal prep.
pro tip: if you want good bargains on grains or legumes, buy them 20+lbs at a time dry and pick up a few 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot. The buckets are automatically food-grade, and anything over 15lbs generally gets a managers override discount, especially at restaurant supply stores like cosco/smart and final.
This is not true of orange Home Depot 5-gallon buckets.
You must get the white ones made from virgin (unrecycled) plastic. They will have a sticker on them advertising they are safe for potable water use.
I was of the impression that plastics are generally not good to microwave. Is this untrue? I have been using Pyrex containers and have generally been happy with them.
"If a plastic product is determined safe for microwave use, then you will see either a microwave-safe symbol or written instructions indicating the product is microwave-safe. The numbering system found on plastics pertains to recycling and does not indicate whether or not the plastic is safe for heating.
However, Dr. Danoff warns that not all microwave-safe products are safe to use in the microwave in the same way."
No elaboration on this last point other than to say don't reuse tv dinner trays. Overall I prefer to microwave glass but I'd like to know for sure one way or the other.
- Deli cup - the clear plastic containers used at the market or deli counter to hold cole slaw, etc.
- Ramekin - a little ceramic bowl/dish to hold sauce, dressing, or food, etc.
- Sterno - Can of alcohol gel set aflame under banquet trays to keep them warm.
The more you know…
And yes, they're very useful and cheap (though we've always just reused ones from take out until they don't hold up anymore), my sons lunch often goes to school in them.
If your municipal authority offers 'tours' of landfill facilities I'd urge you to sign-up for one. The scale is staggering.
In Northern Ireland, with fewer than 2 million inhabitants, we have one of the highest recycling rates in Europe ( about 40% ) yet still 400,000 tonnes of waste goes to landfill very year. 200kg per capita
The USA generates roughly twice as much waste per capita...
And I honestly don't believe plastic recycling works. If I have plastic in the kitchen, it's plastic that can be used again and again for years, at least.
Forgive me if you could hear me rolling my eyes from here.