We all know that plastic is bad for the environment, but how bad is it really? According to recent estimates, we generate about 300 million tons of plastic waste each year, and about half of all the plastic produced worldwide is single-use. Since the 1950s, a total 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced, and about 60% of it has ended up in landfills or the environment. That’s a lot of plastic! Plus, it takes a long time to break down — many common plastic items take hundreds of years to decompose. Luckily, we can start to implement small changes that can make a big difference for the health of our planet.
Plastic is a popular item because it is convenient and easy to use, and plastic wrap is no exception. We reach for the plastic wrap when packing lunches or putting away leftovers because it requires little effort and can be thrown away afterward. Yet all the reasons we love plastic wrap are also the same reasons it’s so difficult to recycle. It might feel like extra work to implement a more eco-friendly routine, but swapping out that plastic wrap for a green alternative requires little effort. Unlike the bigger, sometimes less convenient changes we are asked to make for the environment — like changing our diets or driving less often — making this small change is easy and can add up big for our planet over time.
All of the plastic wrap alternatives listed below are reusable — meaning you’ll save money over time — easy to use, and require only a quick wash or laundering. Once implemented to your routine, reaching for the reusable option over single-use plastic will become second nature. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing you’re doing your part in creating a more sustainable future.
1. Bee’s Wrap Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps
These beeswax wraps are the most similar alternative to plastic wrap on our list. Made with organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, these beeswax wraps are reusable, ethically sourced and fully biodegradable. Like plastic wrap, these wraps mold to food and seal to dishes, meaning your food will stay fresh for longer. There are a lot of beeswax food wraps for sale, but we like this product from Bee’s Wraps.
2. Anlomi Reusable Cloth Sandwich Bags
These fun cloth sandwich bags are a convenient way to store food and are an eco-friendly way to pack snacks and lunches for work, school and travel. Made of cotton fabric and lined with food-safe polyester, these bags are easy to clean, moisture-proof and dishwasher safe. Plus, they come in 10 quirky designs for you to choose from.
3. Qinline Reusable Ziplock Storage Bags
These reusable ziplock bags are a great option for freezing and preserving food for extended periods of time. Made of sturdy food-grade PEVA material, these bags are leak-proof and feature an easy-seal zipper. Simply give them a good hand wash after each use to keep using them over and over again.
4. Earth Bunny Reusable Fabric Bowl Covers
These fabric bowl covers are a hassle-free way to keep your leftovers fresh. Simply cover your serving dishes with these 100% cotton covers when you’re done eating. These covers feature flexible elastic bands to keep them secured around bowls and can be thrown in the washing machine for an easy clean.
5. Utopia Kitchens Glass Food Storage Containers
You can never go wrong with a set of traditional food storage containers. Made of durable borosilicate glass, each container comes with a four-latch lid with a rubber seal that is leak-proof, airtight and water-tight. These containers are freezer safe and dishwasher safe. They’re also ideal for long-term food storage.
6. Unwasted Silicone Stretch Lids
Unlike traditional lids, these versatile silicone lids stretch to fit any bowl or container. These lids have elasticized edges that form an airtight, leak-proof seal that keeps food fresh and gross fridge odors out. They can be used in the oven or microwave to prevent food splatter and can be thrown in the dishwasher when finished for an effortless clean-up.
7. Ball Mason Jars With Lids
Another foolproof plastic wrap alternative, mason jars are an eco-friendly and convenient way to store leftover food. These mason jars are made of glass and steel, meaning this food storage option is completely plastic-free. Plus, the screw-on lids prevent leaks and keep food fresh. While the size of the jars may not accommodate every type of leftover, they’re a great tool to keep in your kitchen cabinets.
8. MizTag Homewares Reusable Vegan Wax Food Wrap
An alternative to beeswax paper, these vegan wax food wraps are made of sox wax, coconut oil, jojoba oil and natural tree resin, meaning they contain no animal byproducts. Like plastic wrap, these wraps cling to food and storage containers, keeping leftovers fresh. They are also reusable and biodegradable, making them one of the best plastic wrap alternatives.