6 Eco-Friendly Plastic Wrap Alternatives
Plastic wrap SUCKS. But have no fear, there are sustainable plastic wrap alternatives out there!
But I know that's a bold start to a blog post, I know.
Did you know that each year, Americans alone buy enough of it to shrink-wrap Texas?!
While the intention behind it was noble, keeping foods fresh longer to prevent food waste, the execution was horrific for the environment.
What Makes Plastic Wrap so Bad?
- It’s difficult to recycle. Because it’s so thin, it requires special processing by special machines, which rarely happens. One of those reasons is because it’s actually MORE expensive to recycle plastic wrap than to make it with virgin materials (according to National Geographic). And when it’s misplaced in the normal recycling bin, it will end up clogging the recycling machines.
- When it ends up in the landfill or incinerator, the PVC and PVDC material releases a highly toxic chemical called dioxin.
- When it ends up in marine environments, the plastic wrap material attracts a lot of bacteria and metals. And then the plastic starts to break into smaller material, which then fish will mistaken or unwillingly eat on accident.
But now that we know that plastic wrap is awful for the environment, let's jump into 6 awesome alternatives you can use instead that will keep your food fresh!
Eco-Friendly Plastic Wrap Alternatives
This is the most similar in feel to plastic wrap as it's a moldable thin material, making this a super common eco-friendly plastic wrap alternative.
However, it does take some getting used to.
You have to warm up the beeswax with your hands for a couple of seconds to make it moldable and able to stick to stuff.
And if you don't get it properly warmed up and sticky, it won't be airtight and the fabric might pull away from whatever it's attached to.
But if you do warm it up properly, it can be great for wrapping up sandwiches, blocks of local cheese, and other snacks.
These are amazing because they pretty much work with any bowl you already have.
If you have too much spaghetti leftover in your bowl, all you have to do is pull out the silicone bowl cover that is just a bit smaller than the diameter of the bowl and stretch it over.
The stretchy nature of the silicon will make this an airtight lock on your bowls to keep your leftovers fresh for a long time.
The good 'ole classic glass container. They have a special place in my heart because they can hold a lot of food.
And the best thing about glass containers though is that they are microwavable safe. So I can bring my meal preps to work and plop this directly in the microwave to heat up without worrying about transferring my food to a plate, which then I'll need to clean after.
Their downside is that they can be a bit heavy and are breakable. That being said, I've dropped mine a couple of times and they didn't break! But I think I may have just gotten lucky, so be careful.
Tip: Don't rush out to buy new ones. Keep your pantry and fridge to find any food products that came in a glass jar (like peanut butter, pasta sauce, and even pickles). You can clean those out and use them! (I do this all the time.)
These Stasher Bags are the bomb.com because they are made of out a thick layer of silicon, making them the most durable baggy I've ever used. And I use them CONSTANTLY.
I'll bring my sandwiches in them to take with me to work or I'll use them to help keep me organized.
Like most things, these cost more upfront than traditional plastic baggies. However, with proper care, these will last you years and years without tearing, making them a great investment for your kitchen.
Bowl and Plate Trick
This is one of the easiest and cheapest plastic wrap alternatives out there, because you will most likely have a bowl and plate at home.
Super easy, all you do is put your leftover food into a bowl, and then place a plate on top.
Place in your fridge and you have a great way to keep your foods fresh without needing to pollute the earth with plastic wrap.
In all honesty, I don't use these a lot. They're not airtight, don't have a way to seal the top, and aren't made to be reused. I do like that they are compostable though! But I'd prefer to reuse my items because I don't see the point in paying for items that have the intention of only lasting a few uses.
But I wanted to include these in case anyone was still hanging onto the notion of having a more 'traditional' baggie.
While not as great as the other reusable option on this list, they are a lot better than plastic baggies. So if this is what you or your loved ones need to start to make a transition to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, then I say go for it!
Wrapping it up!
Plastic wrap is so bad for the environment, but there at least 6 different ways you can avoid it with more eco-friendly alternatives.
I hope that whatever you choose to go with, it serves you well!
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Hi, I'm Taylor
Amateur adult. Zero waste zealot. Personal finance fiend. Spicy food supporter. I’m an mid 20’s gal living in Denver, Colorado. My love of the outdoors has cultivated my zero waste lifestyle, which inadvertently fueled my passion for personal finance. Cheers to everyone interested in lessening their footprint while growing their wallet!