Bottled dilemmas

What’s in the lid?

As I’m avoiding plastic and also tins and cans, my consumption of glass containers of all sorts has increased a lot. Although this results in carrying heavier bags home, I’m glad to see that there are still quite a few things you can buy in glass bottles or jars, you just have to take a bit of an effort to spot them. The other day I went to a Turkish deli near my place where I even managed to find herbs and spices in glass jars (I know that this brand is available in many Turkish supermarkets in Germany).

All this might sound quite positive, but in fact my happy glass story just describes where the next problem starts. Glass bottles and jars can be recycled, not only when you throw them in the recycling bin (without their lids) – I clean them and use them as a container for sauces, salad dressings, jam or cookies. Sometimes I even turn them into jewellery boxes or pen holders. And I also tend to keep them for a long time.

So far this doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Unfortunately there is a part of this story that gives me a little headache: Most of the metal lids and bottle caps contain a small plastic layer inside. As this PVC-layer cannot be found in all of them (but most), it causes a bit of a dilemma. The only way you can find out is by opening a bottle or jar. Once you do that though, you have to buy the product. So far I only know of a few organic producers that got rid of the plastic layer in their lids, all the other millions of glass bottles and jars remain a plastic mystery to me.

The left one has quite an obvious layer, the one on the right is more difficult to spot.

The left one has quite an obvious layer, the one on the right is more difficult to spot.

First serious obstacle, first serious comprise? I guess that sums it up… As the producers of PVC-free jars do not produce everything I need to last 40 days without plastic, in fact I only know their dips and veggie spreads so far, I’m making a compromise. I will try to buy bottles and jars with plastic-free bottle caps lids whenever I can, try not to indulge too much in glass bottles and jars in general and if I can’t find products without plastic layers, well then I can’t. At least this is nothing compared to the amounts of plastic I would waste if I bought a non-reuseable plastic bottle.

I tried to read about the issue of PVC in bottle caps and lids in other anti-plastic blogs, but I could hardly find any posts dealing with my question. If anyone knows more about the lid issue or wants to give me advice on how to solve my problem, please let me know!

Lesson learned: Once again: Plastic likes to hide – even in things where we wouldn’t expect it like glass bottles and jars.


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