Food and beverage storage containers (lunch boxes and bottles) are kitchen essentials. Chances are you’re loyal to a singular brand or a particular material for these containers. They are the tools everyone needs to store leftovers, carry along tomorrow’s meal, and store water.
It’s also important to keep those containers properly if you want to make sure they last for a long time. Some particular food and beverage containers (stainless steel ones) can last for years if kept properly.
In this guide, we’ll be comparing stainless steel vs plastic and which container is safer for storing food and beverages.
How Does Plastic Hold Food & Beverages?
In terms of durability, plastic is one material that’s most likely to show wear and tear and absorb food odors and stains.
It’s important to know how long you’ve had a plastic container, as plastic leaks chemicals when you heat it up. If you don’t know when you need to discard your current plastic containers, a general rule of thumb is when there are cracks in the plastic.
If you have any plastic containers that aren’t BPA-free, then you may want to get rid of them. BPA (Bisphenol-A) is an endocrine function-disrupting compound that can disrupt the hormone function of the body.
Based on the type of plastic the container is made from, it may need to be hand-washed. Regardless of how many precautions you take, plastic containers are just not an ideal way to carry your food and beverages.
How Does Stainless Steel Hold Food & Beverages?
Stainless steel is one of the best materials for carrying food/water and other drinks. The only downside of stainless steel containers is that they’re not transparent.
If you’re using stainless steel lunch boxes, you need to make sure they’re microwave-friendly.
Compared to plastic containers, stainless steel is odorless, so it won’t hold on to smells from other meals. Moreover, they’re durable, eco-friendly and dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning them super easy.
Plus, they’re completely free of harmful chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about containers hurting your body. The only thing that stainless steel requires is proper care, and you’ll have the containers with you for years.
Disadvantages of Plastic Containers
Plastic containers have a number of disadvantages that you should know about before buying them.
- Poor longevity
Plastic is not a durable material. If you have a plastic container, you must know how easily it can break and crack. Excessive exposure to light can also reduce plastic’s lifecycle.
- Absorbs flavors and smells
Another major disadvantage of using plastic containers is that they quickly absorb the colors, flavors, and smells of the food and drinks stored. If you have extremely flavorful food or drinks, the containers are surely going to absorb the flavor.
- Not ideal for environment
One of the biggest reasons to not use plastic lunch boxes and plastic water bottles is because plastic is the leading cause of pollution. Always make sure to recycle your plastic waste whenever it's possible to make sure you do your part to make the planet more sustainable.
Plastic is not a biodegradable material, so you need to make sure that you recycle it as much as you can before disposing it.
- Higher levels of BPA
While the chances are low, there are still some materials that contain BPA, as BPA is banned by several countries. If you’re not using a BPA-free plastic lunch box/plastic water bottle, then you need to switch to stainless steel.
Why Use Stainless Steel?
One of the biggest reasons to avoid using plastic lunch boxes and water bottles is safety. Plastic is known as a carcinogenic material and can hurt your body in the long run.
Plastic can leech chemicals into the items stored in them. Stainless steel is free of harmful chemicals and doesn’t have any harmful effects.
Compared to plastic containers, stainless steel is far more fashionable. Plastic may be the cheaper option, but if you’re looking for something classy, stainless steel is the option to look out for.
At first look, plastic may feel like the cheaper option. But plastic wears out quicker and is prone to breaking and cracks. Plastic lockable food containers tend to break off, and even regular air-tight container lids may crack and break.
Stainless steel water bottles may be expensive, but they last far longer than plastic ones and keep you healthy. Making them the better option.