Food - Drink
Why It's A Bad Idea
To Reuse Margarine Tubs
It's easy to pack a half portion of spaghetti into an empty margarine tub and toss it into the fridge, but while it might be convenient, it’s not the most environmentally friendly thing to do. Storing food in margarine tubs is bad enough, but the real problem comes when you microwave one.
Polycarbonate plastic is used to make various products, from water bottles to epoxy resins to plastic pipes and even tubs. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), microwaving plastics may break down polycarbonate, releasing a chemical known as Bisphenol A (BPA), harmful to humans.
Studies have shown that BPA plays a role in endocrine, hormone, and metabolic disorders, and most human exposure to BPA comes from food and beverages. The CDC conducted a study between 2003 and 2004 and found levels of BPA in nearly every person tested, concluding that BPA exposure is widespread in the U.S. population.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates all plastics used in food packaging, and Resin Identification Codes determine their safety. Margarine tubs are made up of plastics which aren't deemed safe to reuse or microwave.
The best practice is to use glass containers for storing and microwaving food, and recycle when applicable. Tubs can be recycled to create self-watering planters or grow seedlings, and other plastic containers can be reused for storing leftover paint.