A lot of our customers reuse their tea containers and just order refill bags, which are the inside bag that holds the tea airtight. The old containers work fine: once the tea is open, the container keeps it fresh while you use it. Air is the enemy! To be fresh, tea needs to keep from oxidizing. (Pu'erh tea is an exception to this rule.)
Other customers re-use the containers for other things since they're solidly-made, airtight food-grade containers that can be used to hold coffee, sugar and other foods, or used to hold items like pencils, sewing gear and nuts and bolts.
For our part, we use a lot of tea in our lab and serve thousands of samples to customers... so we go through a lot of containers.
We save all the containers from which we've remove the bags, and refill them with fresh tea when new stock comes in. If your container has been recycled, only the outside of the container is recycled! (The inside bag, of course, is original and unopened since being packed at the farms in Fujian.)
A sticker on the bottom the container shows when the new bag was added with a Best By date.