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7 Useless Plastic Packages in Your Refrigerator to Throw Away Right Now, and What to Buy Instead

Oct 03, 2023

Prices start at just $12.

Elisabeth Sherman is a writer, editor, and fact-checker in the food, culture, and entertainment spaces. She has been working professionally at national magazines since 2015.

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Opening the refrigerator and looking at a jumbled mess of plastic containers and disorganized shelves makes most people want to immediately slam the door shut. And a messy fridge leads to forgotten produce that spoils before it can be used. In my opinion, rummaging through your refrigerator to find what you need shouldn't be a task that elicits dread.

In fact, there are plenty of containers in your refrigerator that can be thrown out or recycled, clearing space and banishing clutter for good (you can organize your pantry the same way). To help you get started, we found seven organizational products that will fit neatly in nearly every refrigerator, that will help keep food fresher longer, and that will make it easier to find exactly what you need. Plus, we’re recommending the items in your fridge you can throw away or recycle right now. And the best part is, everything is under $25.


To buy: $20 (originally $25) at

Once you get home from the store, you need somewhere to put all the produce you just bought. Obviously those thin plastic bags the store provides won't do, so you can go ahead and throw those away right now if you haven't already (although some grocery stores will take produce bags back if you prefer to not add more plastic to a landfill). And if you’re just using produce bins at the bottom of the refrigerator, I bet there is a lot of dried cilantro floating around. This machine washable cotton bag is the solution.

A cloth produce saver bag eliminates the need for single-use plastic bags, and drastically cuts down on food waste. According to the brand, this one keeps produce two weeks longer than if it were stored in a plastic bag. Just dampen it lightly with water, wring it out, and pop your produce inside. Measuring 9.53- by 6.26- by 1.69-inches, it fits everything from bell peppers to cucumber to broccoli at the same time, offering one consolidated place to store all your produce.


To buy: $23 (originally $34) at

For people who stock their refrigerator with a lot of fruit (fellow parents, I’m looking at you) these Rubbermaid containers are a must-have.

Try these airtight containers instead of those flimsy plastic packages berries come in. These regulate the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide to maintain the freshness of your produce for longer. They are designed with an elevated base that limits contact with moisture. Plus, the transparent containers are stackable to keep your shelves organized, and make it easy to identify exactly what you need. The set comes with one 4.6-cup, one 7.2-cup, one 11.3-cup, and one 18.1-cup container (plus lids).


To buy: $19 (originally $20) at

The plastic and Styrofoam containers that eggs are stored in aren't stable, stackable, or even transparent. Not only are they a pain to store but keeping track of how many eggs you have left isn't seamless either. An egg holder is the perfect replacement, especially if you buy more than one carton of eggs at a time.

This particular egg holder is appealing because it doesn't take up extra shelf space. It hooks on to the bottom of the already-existing refrigerator shelf, and has a drawer that slides out from below. It is able to hold 18 eggs, and you can see how many eggs are inside instantly. Throw away those bulky egg containers, and free up more space in the refrigerator.


To buy: $20 (originally $24) at

If you like to have canned beverages on hand to sip throughout the day, consider picking up one of these bins. By storing canned soda and seltzers here, you can immediately recycle the cardboard box they come in when you get home from the store. This storage method is particularly useful if you hate rummaging around the inside of a half-empty box for your drink.

Plus, these bins eliminate the need to store the cans on the counter, or in the produce bins where your fruit and vegetables should be.


To buy: $20 at

If herbs aren't taken care of properly they tend to dry out quickly, sometimes before you even get the chance to use them. Instead of keeping parsley, dill, or basil, wrapped in plastic bags or inside the rectangular plastic packages they sometimes come in, use this herb keeper instead.

Measuring 4.72- by 7.28- by 9.06-inches, this herb keeper should fit snugly on most refrigerator doors. It features three dividers so you can use it for multiple types of herbs at a time. The clear lid (which makes it easy to find the herbs you’re looking for) has air vents that promote freshness. According to the brand, herbs last as many as ten days longer than usual in this container.


To buy: $12 at

The peel-away plastic packaging that bacon is typically sold in doesn't make it easy to remove just a couple of strips at a time, not to mention the fact that it becomes slimy quickly. This convenient container eliminates both these problems.

Just remove bacon from the packaging it came in at the store, and pop it in this box. When you’re ready to eat your bacon, simply lift off the lid and remove as much as you need. And it measures just 11.6- inches by 7.5- inches by 2.2-inches, making it narrow enough to fit in the fridge or freezer without taking up too much extra space.


To buy: $14 at

Bulky boxes of butter not only suck up space in the refrigerator, but don't always make it easy to actually access the amount of butter that you need. With this butter keeper, two sticks of butter are within reach at all times. The airtight lid not only keeps the butter fresh, but it also stops it from absorbing smells from other food. And if you like to have your butter cut into pads for baking or spreading on bread, it comes with a wire rack that snaps over the top of the container. Just push the stick of butter through the wires and it automatically cuts the butter into pieces.

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