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pickling garlic in plastic soda bottles

 
Posts: 252
Location: Nevada
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All in the spirit of reuse, recycle...garlic is small enough to fit through the opening so was wondering about using the bottles to pickle garlic.  I usually add applecider vinegar and honey, or other spices for up to 3 months. . I would have to cut the top of the bottle off to get the garlic out but i think the cut bottles can still be recycled. They would at least be reused one time.  I am concerned about chemicals leeching into the garlic.
 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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yuck! of course they do! I would never buy vinegar in plastic bottles. Chemicals even leech into water stored in these bottles. It is better not to buy stuff in plastic bottles in the first place then you don't have to think about how to recycle them.
 
gardener
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I am not rich enough to buy my vinegar in glass containers; where I live it’s all sold in plastic except for small volumes of specialty culinary vinegars. That said, plastics vary; the composition of a soda bottle or a vinegar bottle differ, so even if vinegar-in-plastic is safe (not proven) vinegar-in-soda-bottle might not be.

I respect in general the desire to keep foods out of plastic but my own level of concern there is not high. Still, I would not pickle in soda bottles for a different reason: glass is so much better! And it’s not like there aren’t plenty of glass jars in dire need of recycling use.

In general I am phasing all plastic containers (and items in general) out of my kitchen and pantry, replacing them as garage sales and scrounging allows with jars, cannisters, and containers of glass, ceramic, crockery, and stainless steel.  My philosophy has come to be that if I repurpose a crappy shoddy thing for temporary use, then in six months I have a trash item again, and what’s the gain? But if I rescue a solid thing from someone else’s waste stream that will last forever that is functional and pleasing to own and handle, somebody will rescue THAT from my estate sale.

By this standard, a cut-off soda bottle leaking smelly garlic-vinegar into my fridge is not worth owning.  What matter that I used it one more time before it hit the landfill? But a 50-year-old Atlas canning jar with wire bail that I got at a garage sail for a buck, or a half-gallon glass Vlasic pickle jar with a pretty blue steel lid that I bought with pickles in it, those I will have for a lifetime.
 
pollinator
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Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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Tom Connolly wrote:All in the spirit of reuse, recycle...


Most people forget about the first R these days, which is reduce. Dan's reply explains that point well.

Wanting to reuse things is an admirable act, and I've tried to reuse all sorts of condiment bottles in the past, but it's just not worth it. Either buying the infrastructure (glass jars) or buying in bulk will greatly reduce the amount of plastic one has to figure out how to recycle and in the long run it's the most economical choice.

I live in a rural area and 12 glass jars are $8. So for recycling 80 soda bottles @ $0.10 each, I can buy 12 glass jars. As long as I get 6 uses out of each jar, it's gonna be worth it over reusing the soda bottles 1 time. I've already gotten about 20 out of each in the last 2 years via water/tea containers, holding soups for lunch, storage, growing mushrooms, canning etc.

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Just to keep the spirit of reusing alive in this topic, something that is not so bad in my opinion, is to cut bottles in half and use them as cloches for seedlings. There will be some minor leeching into the soil I assume, not nearly as bad as microwaving plastic though, but you can at least reuse them multiple times this way. It's not like the cloches are outside for very long either - just a few weeks for frost cover.
 
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