How can I reuse or recycle plastic coleslaw/potato salad tubs?

Between the good weather and the World Cup, every weekend recently has been barbeque-madness in the UK, which means the burger, salad and salad accompaniments shelves at the supermarket are stripped bare by 10am, just a solitary limp iceberg lettuce left behind to tell of the devastation.

Pre-packed prepared food like coleslaw, potato salad, bean salad or cous cous – and most salad bar tubs I’ve seen – come in plastic tubs with resealable lids, but the plastic tends to be a bit lightweight & flimsy – so not as ripe for reusing as they might be.

What do you use them for? They seem a little too flimsy to me to use as storage tubs in the kitchen – not rigid enough to clean properly.

Plant pots? Again, not the most stable plant pots in the world but a lot of starter modules/seedling pots tend to be a similar quality so they could be used for that.

Since they’re often mostly transparent, they’d also be useful for storing little items like screws or beads.

Any other reuse suggestions?

There is also obviously a potential “reduce” angle here too – it’s not hard to make these things. Unfortunately if you use mayonnaise or the like in the coleslaw/potato salad, it’s advice not to freeze it because the mayo is likely to separate on thawing — but if you think ahead, you could freeze ideal-portion-size amounts of the shredded vegetables mixed together, or cooked potatoes – so then it’s a doddle to made them when you need them: just defrost and add the mayo & any other seasonings. Or you can make special recipes for freezing – such as freezer slaw.

What are your favourite recipe ideas?

Related Categories

food, items, packaging

Search for other related items

9 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle plastic coleslaw/potato salad tubs?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t freeze cooked potatos. I froze beef stew once, and found the potatos and carrots a bit mushy after thawing and cooking. But I’ve frozen bean soup, tuna cassarole, and chili successfully.
    Fill with carrots sticks and water, put in the refrigerator-always have crisp carrots sticks handy. After well scrubbed, of course! You don’t want what you’ve just made to pick up the taste of coleslaw!
    Has anyone here ever frozen rice? I’d use rice more if it didn’t take so long to cook, and if it freezes well…I’d cook a lot and use these tubs to store it. Soup, chili, stir fry, ect. would go faster, and anything that makes cooking go faster means less take out-less money spent-less plastic wasted. I think I’ll try some and see how it works.
    Use the clean tubs to store other things. Crayons, sidewalk chalk, ect. for clutter control in a child’s room. Paper can be glued/taped to them for decoration.
    Some clear plastic works well to make Shrinky Dinks, so you can be crafty without buying the expensive special plastic. Here’s a link.
    I think one can use colored pencils as well as permanent markers? If it’s cheap clear plastic, it’s worth experimenting.
    Most of these tubs aren’t the right type, but a few are.
    Anyway, I like having a few empty clean containers like this on hand for leftovers. Big get togethers, Mom always cooks for an army, and sends goodies home with the kids. With these, there’s no need to worry about returning the good food storage containers!

  2. i think the best way to recycle these things are to wash them and keep them somewhere so when your cooking and have something to put away then they come in handy

  3. Marti says:

    Why not take your own container to the deli & not even bring home the ones they use? LOVE your blog & all the ideas – pls. keep sharing!

  4. Anonymous says:

    we use them to take slices of cake, biscuits, soft fruit, cherry tomatoes into work to supplement sandwiches for lunch.

  5. carol says:

    I freeze rice all the time and it comes out great, sometimes I add a little water. I freeze it in 1/2 cup containers so I can have the right portion for work. I freeze larger portions, also in recycled containers.

  6. Alice says:

    Minus the lids, these are great for growing seedlings on a bit before they get planted outside when the weather warms up. I save them up all year, make holes in the bottom for drainage, then pot on my sweetcorn, courgettes, pumpkins etc in them ’til they’re big enough to survive out on the allotment.

  7. I agree that the type you get from the supermarket aren’t ideal for your own food re-use (more than a few uses anyway) but I like the idea of using them for young seeds.

  8. Lizzy says:

    Use them as little tubs for berry picking?

  9. Uliana says:

    Gather kitchen scraps in them, for the compost.

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)