How to Make the Transition from Plastic to Glass Food Storage

A glass tray of walnuts on a rustic wood background.

Plastic seems to be the cheapest option for storing your food, but glass food storage is king in the long run. Not only is it naturally non-leaching and BPA free, but it lasts much longer than plastic and doesn’t stain as easily. The process of eliminating plastic food storage in your kitchen doesn’t require a lot of work, but it can be a gradual process as you update the items in your kitchen to glass and get rid of plastic. Start with the following easy tips and suggestions and the next thing you know, you’ll be a glass food storage pro.

Get Some Glassware

A stack of leftovers in a fridge.

Glass food storage containers are relatively easy to find, although not as readily available as the plastic ones, such as the Ziplock and Glad containers in grocery stores. When looking for glass storage containers, some larger grocery stores may have a small selection in their kitchenware area, rather than with the plastic and disposable food storage. The options here may be limited, however, in which case a home store (such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, or Kohl’s) or shopping online will give you more options. Glass food containers come in a wide variety of sizes and typically have plastic, dishwasher-safe lids. Get a set of these to start the transition to glass storage. As you use the new containers for leftovers and lunches, determine which sizes and styles you use the most, and purchase more of them over time. This way you’ll have plenty of food storage when you need it.

Mason Jars

A jar of salad.

Mason jars are an easy and inexpensive way to store food in glass containers. They can be washed in the dishwasher and used over and over again. They’re typically sold in multi-packs at grocery stores, hardware stores, and home stores. As a bonus, the tops of mason jars seal very tightly, keeping food fresh for several days and making them ideal for meal prep at the beginning of each week. Because of the shape, they’re great for salads, soups, oatmeal, and noodle dishes, but not meals such as a sandwich or lasagna that may need to be stored in a larger, flatter container. Mason jars are also ideal for storing items in your pantry, such as rice, flour, and sugar. Simply fill the clean jar and label it for neat and easy organization.

Other Glassware

A close-up of a glass water pitcher with a couple of glass cups in the background.

If you really enjoy your new glassware, there’s always other glass kitchen upgrades available besides food storage. Some examples would be glass measuring cups, glass beverage and water pitchers, and drinking glasses to replace your plastic drinking cups. As you get more glass food storage in your kitchen—more containers, baking dishes, and the like, you may want to change some of these other commonly used kitchen items to glass, as well.

Recycle or Donate

A couple of plastic containers against a blue background.

Once you’ve acquired enough glass storage for your kitchen, it’s time to let go of the old plastic stuff. If you’re able to recycle at home or take everything to a local recycling facility, go that route—older, used plastic ware isn’t a big seller at garage sales since it’s so cheap when it’s new. However, if your plastic food storage is in really good condition and almost brand new, try donating it to a local thrift shop where they will resell it and use the money for a good cause. Try not to throw the plastic food storage away, as it can be recycled or reused for so many things even as organizing containers in your office or garage.