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What Can I Use Instead of Plastic Wrap? 5 Environmentally Friendly Plastic Alternatives

Updated: Mar 20

Plastic wrap is a staple in most kitchens but its convenience comes at a cost to our environment and our health. Thankfully, there are several plastic alternatives available that offer a safer and more sustainable option for food storage. Here are what we found to be the 5 most environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic wrap.


5 Alternatives for Plastic Wrap

1. Bee’s Wrap

Bee’s Wrap is our favorite alternative to plastic wrap. These wraps are extremely versatile, they can be used to cover food directly or used to cover bowls, plates and other containers to keep food fresh. They are washable, reusable (up to a year), biodegradable, compostable, and come in several pattern and size options. The small size is great for a halved fruit or veggie, medium size is great for cheese or as a lid to a small to medium size container, the large is great for bigger containers.  The biggest plus: zero plastic pollution. The biggest downside: they can leave a residue after use, but this will come off with soap and water.




2. Fabric Food Covers

Fabric covers offer a sustainable and versatile alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. Fabric covers come in premade sizes that are easy to use on most containers as they are made with a stretching bottom. The downside they require proper care and may have limitations depending on individual needs and preferences.


3. Plates

Using a plate in place of plastic wrap

Yep, it’s really as it sounds. For half used fruits or veggies just place it cut side down on a plate. For leftovers simply take an additional plate and place it upside down over the other plate. Don’t knock it until you try it. We love this option because it’s free, no purchase necessary. Repurposing things you already have will always be the most environmentally friendly alternative. Downside: it's not an airtight solution which can create an opportunity for airborne bacteria to come in contact with your food.


4. Stainless Steel Storage Containers  

Stainless steel storage is a great option for meal prep, food storage, and leftovers. Most well known for being tough and dishwasher safe. These are great for use in the fridge, freezer, pantry, and can even be used for cooking in the oven (but not in the microwave). Not sure about it not being see-through? No problem, you can quickly label these directly on the container with a dry-erase marker. The biggest plus: lightweight and easy to clean. The downside: it’s not made for storing liquids.

We love this stainless steel option which comes with a large and small container that can be used separately or together. It is made with top quality food-grade stainless steel, and will never give off a metallic taste or absorb food odor.


Large Box: 7 x 5.2 x 2.5

Small Box: 4.75 x 2.5 x 1.5




5. Glass Jars

Glass jars offer a cost-effective option for food storage, as chances are you already have some lying around in your fridge or pantry waiting to be repurposed. They're not only affordable but also endlessly recyclable and versatile beyond just storing leftovers. The best part? No need to buy anything new, and you can keep repurposing them for various uses.


What’s the problem with plastic wrap?

Plastic wrap is a single-use plastic product that is made synthetically (meaning man-made through chemical processes). This is a problem for our environment because any man-made materials, like plastic wrap, are not biodegradable. Being non-biodegradable is what makes plastic products, like plastic wrap, so harmful to our environment. While plastic wrap can be recycled (when taken to specified drop off locations), the recycling success rate for this type of plastic is only 7% [1]. Here is more information on recycling plastic.


Check out these additional resources for reducing plastic waste:

 

References:

[1] Kulkarni, G. S. (2018). 1 - Introduction to Polymer and Their Recycling Techniques. Recycling of Polyurethane Foams, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-51133-9.00001-2

Kali Phillips (2023). Product Photos. https://photosbykali.com/



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