Exploration of plastics manufacturing methods has yielded a bonanza of products for food storage. For many years, chemists worked to create all the forms needed by modern man. Plastic storage containers have flooded the markets and are widely used today. Some plastic can be used in the microwave to heat food. Other plastics are able to withstand the cool temperature of both refrigeration and freezing. Manufacturers in the field of plastics spent years replacing food storage containers, but glass is now making a comeback.
There are many reasons why glass is again being used for food storage. Plastic storage containers can break down over time. Heating in the microwave can have an adverse affect on plastic and warp it. Scientists have discovered that some forms of plastic also break down when chilled or frozen. This has caused an upheaval in the food storage industry. Furthermore, plastics do not break down quickly in landfills and many people do not recycle them. This has been a boon for the glass industry in the areas of storage and recycling.
Tomatoes are one food that breaks down plastic without heat or cold. Canned tomatoes and sauces must be stored in thick plastic or glass jars. While plastic companies can produce storage jars for tomatoes, they are more expensive. This gives glass an edge over plastic in one area of food storage. Safety concerns over plastic water bottles being frozen and thawed has also given glass an edge in the marketplace. Glass containers for refrigerators are considered completely safe.
Glass has more advantages over plastics. It is clear and items placed inside it are easy to identify and check for freshness. It can be labeled with glass decals in colorful designs and patterns. Modern manufacturing processes allow glass to be made in a variety of shapes and sizes. These glass vessels are no longer made by hand, and large lots bring down the cost per glass item. Glass is easy to recycle and people have been turning in glass pieces for many years. Overall, glass has much to recommend it for modern food storage.