Monday, October 15, 2012
Since glass jars have been produced, they have been re used to store things in. Initially known as preserving jars as they offered air tight storage and preserving housing for fruit and vegetables meaning that they could be preserved and used over the whole year rather than just "in season". The addition of sugar, vinegar or alcohol offered year round food supplies often a lifeline to poor families without the modern fridges and freezers.
Home pickling chutney making and jam making is ever popular and many small cottage businesses have grown up around this trade. The ability to keep costs low in production have been embraced and many of these small businesses are recycling glass jars. Church hall fetes, WI ladies among others are also large recyclers of glass jars.
in the jam making and pickling process, all jars used are washed thoroughly in hot soapy water and are then heated in the oven or microwave to sterilise them (instructions for sterilising jars are HERE). Incorrectly sterilised jars will infect food and it will go off.
Recently there has been an uproar for the ladies in the WI, small businesses etc as a 2004 EU regulation has been publicised stating that jam jars used must be new and made of pure glass. The FSA has advised that each authority will make rulings and to contact your local environmental health department for guidelines and advice.
The cheapest glass jars I have located are: JazzJars 1lb jars wth lids pack of 56 £18.75 + £7.25 = 46p each
This is a lot for a small business to add into their costs and many of them may be pushed out of trading.