Bev asks: What kind of containers should I consider when I'm buying goods at the grocery store: plastic, glass or aluminum?
First and foremost, avoid excess packaging whenever possible or buy the product or brand that uses the least amount of packaging.
Next, check in with your local recycling depot to see what type of containers they accept. Although many items are recyclable, your particular municipal facility may not have the capacity to recycle them. And if they're not compostable or recyclable, they head straight to the landfill.
For plastic containers, stick to those with a #2, #4, and #5 designation, because you can reuse these safely. You'll find the number on the bottom of the container. Again, check with your local depot to see if they recycle #1, 3, 6 and 7, it will vary.
Glass is one of my favorite forms of packaging because they're easily washed, re-used and most recycling centres in Canada accept them. Aluminum has long been recycled. Some blue box programs even accept aluminum foil. It can be broken down and used many times again.
Buying in bulk can be an excellent way to reduce packaging. For example, I keep the twist tie and bag together, tucked beside my flour jar. When I need to refill, I grab the bag and head to the store. This means you can reuse the bag and don't need to waste time in the store searching for that pen that never works, or that secret code because you've already labeled it the first time.