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Home cook shares 'brilliant' use for empty fruit cups that will elevate any packed lunch: 'I love this hack'

"I keep them thinking there must be something I can do with them."

"I keep them thinking there must be something I can do with them."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Many food items are packaged in single-use plastic, but some can be reused in unexpected ways. 

One home chef and self-proclaimed "hack queen" recently shared a way to reuse empty fruit cups to prevent tossing out the plastic right away. 

The scoop

Suzie Durigon (@therealjustcrumbs) shared the hack in a TikTok video with more than 31,000-plus followers, saying it is perfect for those who love snacking on fruit cups.

@therealjustcrumbs If you like having fruit cups as a snack, save the empty plastic cup to use for this cool kitchen hack! #fruitcup #masonjar #snacks #unprocessyourfood #kitchenhack #nowaste #lowwaste #tipsandtricks #easyrecipe #eathealthy #nutritious ♬ original sound - Suzie Durigon

The healthy snack is usually pre-cut and packaged in thick plastic tubs that are often thrown away after eating. However, Durigon said they can be repurposed in the kitchen. 

She explained that sometimes when going to work, she will bring a premade salad or coleslaw in a Mason jar for lunch. 

"If I was going to bring this to work, I might want something crunchy to go on top, but I'm not gonna put it on now because it's gonna get soggy by the time I go," she said. 

This is where the fruit cup comes in. To keep the crunch topping fresh, Durigon recommended putting crackers, crisped meat, or granola in the fruit cup and placing the Mason jar lid on top. Then, the fruit cup should be flipped onto the Mason jar with the lip facing down. All that is left is to seal the container with the jar seal, keeping the salad and topping separate.

"Now when you take it to work, this [will stay] separate," she said, adding that the crackers, crisped meat, or granola will stay crunchy all day.

How it's working

Repurposing plastic items already in your kitchen that would typically be tossed is a great way to save an extra buck or two on storage items. Instead of purchasing newly manufactured Tupperware or mass-produced plastic bags, consider looking in your pantry first to see if you can reuse any items

This is also an easy way to reduce individual waste of plastics that would otherwise be sent to crowding landfills, contributing to toxic air pollution. 

Another option to keep personal waste down is opting to recycle. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that as much as 75% of the municipal trash Americans produce nationwide — which is nearly 300 million tons in a single year — can be recycled. However, only about 23% of that is actually recycled

There are several different ways to recycle plastic, including curbside pickup and through local organizations. Some states and municipalities even offer money to keep the materials out of landfills. 

Meanwhile, other items like textiles can often be recycled by companies like ThredUp and GotSneakers

What people are saying

Many TikTok users have gushed over the hack, with one person calling it "genius." 

"Other level brilliant….must follow," another commented, while a third chimed in, "I love this hack!" 

"I keep them thinking there must be something I can do with them," another TikTok user wrote. "Amazing! Thanks."

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