🌎 Storage Jar 1L 🦋 Plastic-Free Food Container 🌱 Plant Based 🐞 Biodegradable 🌍 Good for Coffee Rice Beans 🌏 Long Lasting 🐝
- Handmade plastic-free food storage jar, robust and long-lasting
- Plant-based and biodegradable, made of polylactic acid (PLA)
- Aesthetic modern design: 1 litre cylinder, 110mm diameter, 148mm tall
- Subtle lid lettering says “love our planet – live plastic free”, helps opening
- Screw off lid is easy to use and tolerates grains of sugar or coffee in it
- No taste, no toxins – it’s good for your health as well as for the environment
- Stackable, foodsafe, does not take on water.
- Good for dry foodstuffs (coffee, tea, rice, beans etc), not guaranteed waterproof
- Particularly suitable to keep nuts and seeds dry, dark and cool, avoid going rancid
- Wash by hand, avoid dishwashers and microwaves
🌱 Material – plant-based: A key point about this container is that it’s plastic free. We have made it out of a plant-based material called polylactic acid (PLA). Lactic acid is entirely natural, occurring in many foods such as cheeses and wines. Lactic acid runs in our blood when we exercise and is also crucial in feeding the brain. When many lactic acid molecules join hands and form long chains, known as polymerisation, it creates a mouldable solid. PLA is a highly promising for humanity substitute for oil-based plastics.
🐞 Biodegradable: Interestingly, while it is taking water out that causes polymerisation, the reverse process, biodegradation, requires not just water but also the action of composting micro-organisms over a few months. So, your container in your kitchen stays strong for years of regular use. Furthermore, polylactic acid is used for temporary medical implants, such as pins to hold bones while they mend. PLA dissolves in the body over a couple of months.
🐳 Shape: This cylindrical container has rounded off edges top and bottom, with a radius of 10mm. The main body of the cylinder has 30 faces. The top and bottom are glass flat, whereas the other surfaces show the 0.2mm lines used in its construction. Subtle lettering around the lid adds to the overall modern look.
🌺 Style: These features in combination give the container a remarkable look that has been admired by many observers as clean, modern or futuristic and aesthetically pleasing. The 30 vertical faces give a feeling of computer aided design (CAD) and technological solution. Crafting this overall aesthetic design, whilst meeting the two dozen or so other requirements touched on in this description, has required months of design, iteration and innovation.
🙌 Handmade: Every one of these containers is unique with subtle variations from container to container. We make them in our workshop which is in a stone industrial revolution mill dating to 1690, by a rive. While we do use 3D printers extensively (and are developing a moulding process), there is a great deal of hands on design and fabrication in each container. We apply strict “post-processing” and quality control to each print, so small variations from one container to another should be appreciated as part of the overall design aesthetic.
🦋 Lettering: The subtle lettering around the lid has a primary purpose of adding hand-grip so that taking lids on and off is easy, even if there is a bit of food (e.g. coffee or sugar grains) sitting in the thread. The lettering says, “Love our planet – Live plastic free”. The font used for this lettering is our own design, aligned to a flowing moulding process, so the centre of letter “O” or “R” for example are not filled in, and corners are rounded off. The font style aligns well with the overall container design. In darker coloured containers the font is easier to read, while at the other end with the neutral one you have to look more closely to read it.
🌏 Lettering Meaning: “LOVE OUR PLANET – LIVE PLASTIC FREE” – is written in all upper case, fitting with a trend in modern typography, and adding to that modern feel. The phrase is a quiet or gentle statement that the container is plastic-free, including a rationale.
If you love our planet, do learn about the impact of plastic both on it as a whole (e.g. see David Attenborough’s documentaries, especially Blue Planet II) and on you as a part (your health). Based on this science, a logical thing to do is to go plastic free. If it were merely your personal planet there would be total freedom to do anything. Rather it is our collective planet and so it’s ours to look after. One small step to cherish our planet is to cherish these containers so that they last for years. and years.
A review of Blue Planet II, in Global Citizen states: “Once you’ve seen albatross parents feeding plastic to their chicks, there's no going back. The final episode of the BBC’s Blue Planet II has been widely heralded as a key moment sparking the war on plastics. And new research has shown that an incredible 88% of people who watched the programme have since changed their behaviour as a result. Half of these people said they had ‘drastically changed’ their behaviour, and half said they had ‘somewhat changed’ it.”
🍓 Texture: The top and bottom of this container are engineered to be glass smooth, and apart from a few spots of patina, cause bright reflections. The other inner and outer surfaces are built up from numerous thin horizontal lines, providing a warm tactile feel that people tell us they appreciate and admire. The inside or interior texture too is akin to wood, say a wooden chopping board, so its more suited to dry goods such as coffee or rice, rather than wet goods (such a butter or cheese). Just like cleaning wood, with a few brushes of a washing up or scrubbing brush food residue can be removed.
🔩 Thread: Our carefully optimised thread holds the lid securely on (say when you are out shopping and have filled the container with coffee powder). It is at the same time easy to get on and off, with just a quarter turn. When you put the lid on it is “self-docking” in that the lids line up without you having to turn to find the start point. Just one quarter turn, 90 degrees, is needed to close or open the lid. A key challenge with food container threads is that grains of sugar or coffee can get caught in the thread, and ours is engineered to be forgiving and not jam in that situation.
🛍 Use Purpose: This design has been optimised to cover three uses i) storing, ii) shopping and iii) serving. The containers are practical, strong, light, aesthetic and most of all functionally shaped. You can use this container to eliminate plastic wrapping.
- Storing: Ground coffee for cafetières, for example, is commonly purchased in standard size bags (200 to 250 grams, often 227 grams). If you cut the top off the bag to access the contents, subsequent storage is a challenge. Leaving it open loses flavour. Wrapping it up with rubber bands makes access clumsy. This container, in contrast, holds the contents of the full bag (plus previous dregs), keeps it air tight and most importantly provides easy access throughout the day. It also keeps the contents dry, in the dark and fresh.
- Shopping: Rather than buy the above plastic coffee bag, a great idea is to take an empty container shopping. Go to a shop that provides loose ground coffee (or rice etc); the container then does three jobs – shopping, storing and serving. This container is especially good for shopping as it is light weight (330 grams) and yet particularly robust. You can comfortably fit eight jars in a typical shopping bag, and it doesn’t matter if they are higgledy-piggledy. Bang them on the floor and all is fine.
- Serving: Be it coffee, sugar, rice or tasty dried fruits these jars are great for serving foods in the kitchen or eating area. They look great on any table and are practical for daily use. Three for coffee, tea and sugar is convenient. Or half a dozen for coffee, decaf, sugar, black tea, green tea and peppermint tea. They have a wide neck easy to dip spoons into. They also pour well for rice and the like.
🥥 Nuts and Seeds: This container is particularly suitable for nuts and seeds to avoid going rancid. These foods like to be kept in a container that a) keeps the light out and b) is air tight. Also, c) keeping the container in the fridge helps. Fresh nuts are one of the healthiest foods there is, promoting longevity amongst other benefits. But if they go rancid, they are not good for health. Dark, airtight, cool storage can extend the shelf life to six months.
🎒Size: Each container holds 1 litre – that’s the volume of rice etc you can conveniently store. The design gives 3mm of free space above the 1 litre so no spills. The dimensions are 110mm in diameter and 148mm tall with the lid on, 138mm with lid off. One litre holds 320g of coffee (a pack is 230g), 740g of rice, or 725g of butter beans. So its volume and dimensions are the same as Kilner – although its about 1cm shorter due to the simpler lid. We’ve found that this size is an optimal one, so that its large enough for almost all practical purposes, but not so heavy as to be cumbersome.
💪 Compared to glass: Our size and shape allow intermixing of glass Kilner jars and these plastic-free jars on a shelf, so if you have used glass storage jars in the past you can gently migrate over time to the new ones. Compared to glass the core advantage is they don’t break. Drop a glass jar and a) the jar is history, b) the contents are also wasted and c) importantly the bits of broken glass on the floor are a horrible health hazard. In contrast you can drop one of these from a high shelf onto a stone floor and it just bounces.
👅 Compared to Plastic: i) Environment: It’s not just the clean conscience from knowing this is plastic free, it’s not just the satisfaction that at the end of its life its biodegradable. So compared to oil based plastic, this bio plastic comes from the earth and returns to the earth – it’s dust to dust, and ashes to ashes (quoting the Bible and Bowie). ii) Health: Many plastics contain the toxin Bisphenol A (BPA) to soften them, and those claiming to be BPA free contain equally questionable substitutes such as bisphenol S (BPS). With oil-based plastics, while leaking toxins is bad, it’s the microgranules that are worst – studies suggest that we consume about one credit card of plastic a week due to microgranules. Many plastics introduce a subtle and unpleasant taste into food, whereas PLA is tasteless.
🥕 Foodsafe: The PLA we use to make these containers is certified by its Dutch manufacturer as a foodsafe grade, so it’s not a cheap filament of unknown origin. Similarly, the nozzles we use to extrude these containers are also not your ordinary nozzle, but rather are foodsafe ones certified to be pure steel. There are some fears written about on line questioning the food safety of PLA prints, but we have addressed those concerns as just stated. It is still true that the texture of PLA is akin to wood, so if you do put damp goods in the containers you need to scrub it like you would wood to keep it clean.
🗼Stackable: These containers are engineered to be particularly flat top and bottom so you can safely stack them five high. And if you stack them even higher and they tumble, no worries (unlike glass), they’ll just bounce.
🔖 Labels: We’ve discussed labelling with customers, and many tell us that the colour is enough to tell them (eg black is coffee, white is sugar, grey is tea). The lid contains a tube you can pass a string through, so you can attach a parcel-style label if you choose. Alternatively, some like to write on the container with an indelible pen, such as a sharpie – and that looks good too. [We are working on a paper insert label and mechanism, so that is coming soon].
⚱️ Inside the lid: If you take the lid off and look inside you will see our logo, which contains our web address. The idea is if someone wants to buy one, or buy more, this tells them where to go. Following the wisdom of Banksy, we wanted to make the logo unobtrusive where you’ll only see it if you look for it. You probably see the play on words here: one meaning is ‘ware’ as in ‘Tupperware’ for food containers, plus ‘bio’ for biodegradable, but the second meaning hidden in there is ‘aware’ for awareness, consciousness and conscience.
🔥 Heat: This Mark I container keeps its shape at all temperatures of ordinary use, so to wash it up any water you can comfortably put your hand in is fine. So avoid dishwashers, microwaves and ovens as they can make it too hot and distort the thread. Also prolonged exposure to hot sun, say on a car dashboard can also heat it over 50℃ and distort.
❄️ Cold: The container doesn’t mind cold at all. It’s fine in the fridge at say 4℃ and also fine in freezers at say -17℃.
💦 Water: The container is 100% solid (unlike many 3D prints) so it cannot and does not take up water when washed. So, getting it wet is absolutely fine. It’s not going to dissolve!
☔️ Not Guaranteed Waterproof. Although most of our Mark I containers are indeed waterproof, we do not guarantee it. So storing water in the container is at your own risk. If you do store liquids be aware that the Mark I seal of lid to base is not waterproof, so do not hold the container upside down (where it would leak).
🛀 Washing / Cleaning: Wash by hand in water your hands are comfortable in. Do not dishwash, as many dishwashers heat above 50℃.
🌱How to Compost: Use an insulated compost bin so that temperatures can reach 60℃ to 70℃. Start with a handful of soil or old compost to introduce microbes. After two to three weeks the temperature typically starts to drop as the microbes run out of immediately accessible food. When the temperature drops turn the compost to mix it up – either with a fork or with a rotary compost bin. Also to accelerate composting cut up any large pieces of anything into smaller pieces. Well before six months PLA and foodstuffs turn into new black soil.