Monday, 20 May 2013

Beware the plastic boxes of doom

At first glance they look innocent enough. Plastic storage boxes. Boxes that you put your leftovers in, or your packed lunches. They keep things tidy, economical. They are frugal, useful and organised. 

Like hell. 

Plastic boxes are sent from somewhere dark and fiery to torment, control and, eventually, destroy us. 

You think I'm exaggerating. Well, let's consider the evidence. 

Firstly look at how it all starts. 

The boxes and jars are orderly, they are clean and they are full of stuff like macaroons, jelly beans and lentils. So you buy them because you want, in your heart of hearts, to be the kind of person who has jelly beans long enough to transfer them into a plastic box or has pasta that isn't just spewing out of split bags. 

This is more malevolent than the creeping insistence that the best women should all be slender, polite and in possession of bounciness of hair and bosom. 

Some danger comes as the boxes even weasel themselves itself into your affections with cosy, clean-pinny kind of descriptions like 'stackable' or 'nestable'. Last time I looked 'nestable' wasn't even a word. It's just not fair to make up something just because it sounds a bit like a fluffy chic or a bar of chocolate. 
This is, apparently, nestable. Do you see any roosting birds? Nope, me neither. Just some imprisoned strawberries. 

The first letdown is when you get these boxes home, you put them into your kitchen and you wait. And wait. There is no magical order, no tidiness or clean stuff. Just the same old thing only you've got to make room for a bunch of boxes.

You sigh and start to decant things into the boxes where they remain until they go mouldy and you can throw the contents out. The box will now need washed and must, therefore be separated from the lid. They are unlikely to reunite. 

Lids are especially sinister. I suspect they may be off dancing with the odd socks or blocking up a tear in the space time continuum. Either way, it's no bloody good to me, because a lid will never be available for a box that is the correct size and vice versa.

And then even if you do get a lid, it will no longer fit tightly. It's plastic gasket will have become part of some junior Heath Robinson's invention or it will have become slightly distorted by heat. Perhaps the heat from the dishwasher, but most likely from the flame that accompanies a satanic burp. 

You see how these ones are transparent and clean. It's easy to observe the contents. Even the apparently empty one - clearly full of freshly slaughtered invisible trolls. 

But int he real world, that doesnt' happen. After the first wash the boxes are mysteriously stained red - even if no red was even in the house. Or the plastic has turned cloudy. Maybe even in an attempt to defeat the evil power of the box, you wrote a description of the contents in indelible marker. Then there won't be words, just black inky smear. In any case the upshot will be that you have no flipping idea what the solid brown frozen stuff is inside the box. Nor how long it's been there. 

None of this is news to you, is it? You know where the madness lies, yet you are in its clutches - every time the chaos encroaches, what do you do? You buy more boxes. I've seen you at it. Heck I've done it myself. 

We must fight back. It's time we rose up and demanded boxes that work, obedient lids and transparent sides. 

Because if we don't, the future is bleak, very bleak indeed. 

I told you it was bad. 

The images are all from Lakeland to whom I mean no malice, something they should be aware of given the amount of my money in the storage solutions that line their coffers. 


  1. Oh this is so true. My friend has a whole big drawer dedicated to Tupperware boxes and I must admit I am rather jealous, I would love to have pasta etc in pretty glass jars in the cupboard but I soon realised you can a cram a lot more into a cupboard if it's in a plastic wrapper.

    1. Does she manage to keep them in order? The only way to do this - in my opinion - is to dedicate hours and hours to it.

  2. The husband came in last night and complained that he couldn't a lid find for our box mountain. So this morning pasta sauce went into an old ice cream pot with lid


    1. Clearly a problem of huge proportions.

  3. haha, great post, well written! I use plastic boxes also, one in particular for biscuits, and it hasn't been washed out for at least 3 years! I also use a little plastic box for peanuts and I can't use it for anything else now because the peanut smell has lingered!

    CJ x

    1. Thanks. Not washing the dratted boxes is surely the key to their longevity.

  4. oh my god, this is so true! I'm afraid to even open that cupboard for fear of lids and boxes hurling themselves at me in a kamakazi fashion.

    1. And there you see, the boxes are victorious!

  5. "Plastic boxes of doom!" I love it! It seems that no matter what cupboard or drawer I open in my kitchen plastic boxes have multiplied there, moving out my truly useful kitchen implements (which I never used). It seems as though the plastic boxes have an agenda of their own, and it doesn't involve keeping my food fresh. I admire your willingness to fight against the inevitable tide but I for one welcome our new plastic box overlords!


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