Plastic storage bins have a multitude of uses throughout society, from in the home to warehouses to farms and even when travelling. There are numerous styles and brands of plastic storage bins at RS Components that can be used for a multitude of different applications, but while some can be good for decades, others may crack after barely a year.
So which are the best and most durable plastic storage bins?
The timeless classic
Rubbermaid – Roughneck plastic storage bins are widely regarded as the very best and most durable plastic storage bins, manufactured with the use of tough, flexible polyethylene. These bins are seen as the gold standard for reliable and rugged storage.
However, they are actually becoming difficult to find in stores and often require buying in bulk, while imitators that are demonstrably inferior take their place.
The Sterilite – Ultra is another affordable polyethylene bin that has some design trade-offs but is easier to find in stores.
Features you need in durable plastic storage bins
Polyethylene and polypropylene
There are a number of features you need to look for when you are searching for a durable plastic storage bin.
In regards to the materials used in the construction of these bins, which is best – polyethylene or polypropylene?
Low-density polyethylene is considerably more flexible than is the case with polypropylene, being far less likely to crack if dropped on the floor of a garage while fully loaded. It will also not become brittle when temperatures drop to freezing, unlike polypropylene.
However, there are advantages to both of these materials. It is possible to make polypropylene transparent and it is also much more resistant to heat, even up to boiling point. While polyethylene is tougher it will become soft when temperatures rise to more than 110 Fahrenheit and will melt in boiling water.
A flip-up latch ensures that a plastic storage bin will stay closed even if it is overstuffed, which is useful for items such as puffy blankets and bulky sweaters. However, too much strain being placed on these latches could cause them to pop out from their mounting holes, which themselves are an entry point for insects as well as moisture.
Almost any plastic storage bin will be able to be stood on top of another, but there are some designs that are actually created with the intention of allowing them to mix and match big and smaller bins in a neat fashion without any risk of them toppling over.
Those building a collection of plastic storage bins to be better organised may find it more convenient to have bins with openings of the same size. This normally means that different sizes of bins can be stacked and nested in addition to sharing lids. There are normally a minimum of two sizes within a series of containers that come with a common footprint and lid size, with height making up any difference in volume.
Make sure you choose a plastic storage bin that is durable and of a size that is suitable for your needs.