Over the past couple of years I have been focusing on getting plastic out of my kitchen so this canning experiment is not exactly what I would have expected. The reason is this actually introduces plastic into my kitchen but in this case the benefits outweighs the negatives. Let me explain a bit further.
I discovered Tattler reusable canning lids doing an online search. While these lids use FDA and USDA approved materials they aren't actually approved for canning or at least I could not find anything that said they were. The company has been in business since 1976. The lids are made of BPA-free plastic and according to the manufacturers are indefinitely reusable. Separate rubber rings are necessary to create the seal. Essentially the lids work exactly like the disposable lids but both lids and rings are reusable and when properly cared for will last several years. There are reports of 20 year old lids and rings used multiple times still in use. I bought 3 dozen of the lids at a cost of $30.28 or 84¢ per lid which is 8 times the cost of regular lids. That means I have to use each lid at least 8 times to realize a payback. After that using the lids will cost me nothing. I'm not going to gloss it over as switching to the Tattler lids is pricy but they will eliminate the BPA concern, eliminate the disposability issue and guarantee a reusable source for canning lids.
I am currently in the process of testing the Tattler lids. If they test to the performance I want with very low seal failures I plan to make a bulk order for the lids. Five hundred lids with rings will cost me about $300 so this is an investment. Canning is an ongoing process here so there is a high turnover of jars that would also apply to the reusable lids. I will be seriously putting these lids through the wringer washer so to speak. I will be looking for ease of use, stainability, cleanability, initial performance, performance after multiple uses, storage, processing methods, and aesthetics. My first test run using the Tattler lids was quite promising. I will do a full review of these lids along with my unbiased opinion once I have finished the testing process so please watch for that sometime in September.