Discover the best plastic wrap alternatives for food storage, microwaving, and freezing!
Alternatives to plastic wrap have become increasingly popular due to to increased awareness about the potential dangers of storing food in plastics and the negative impact plastics have on the environment.
Today I'm sharing a carefully curated list of the best alternatives to plastic wrap for virtually every need.
If you're reading this post, you probably already have doubts about the safety of storing/cooking food in plastic wrap and/or want to find a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. That's why I'm not spending a lot of time writing about the potential dangers of plastic wrap or it's harmful effects on the environment. I'm including a few links if you want to read more, but not dwelling on these issues for very long.
This post includes affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase though one of these links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you.
If you do want to read more about the potential health risks fo using plastic wrap, this acre on clear plastic wrap and food safety is a good place to start. It has several linked sources for further reading.
If you want to know more about the dangers of plastics, in general, the book Slow Death by Rubber Duckie is an incredible eye opener. Researchers measured the levels of toxins in their bodies (BPA, triclosan, and phthalates) and how they increased in response to drinking beverages bottled in plastic and eating canned products. The book examines the incredible quantity of toxins we're exposed to in our everyday lives.
- Smith, Rick (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 352 Pages - 01/01/2011 (Publication Date) - Counterpoint (Publisher)
By now pretty much everyone knows that plastics are terrible for the environment. According to National Geographic, plastic wraps release toxins when they're incinerated or placed in landfills and contribute significantly to the plastic pollution problem. Even if you're not concerned about the safety of storing and cooking foods in plastic, the environmental cost of disposable plastics is obvious.
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Biodegradable plastic wrap
Yes, there really is a biodegradable 'plastic wrap' available now! Although it's still a throwaway item, the Bonnie Bio Cling Wrap is made from corn and completely compostable.
Starting with a biodegradable cling wrap can make the transition to greener alternatives easier for people who are accosted to single use items.
Earlier versions of the item were somewhat difficult to use, but the newer version has perforations that make it easier to tear off sheets.
***If this item is out of stock on Amazon, check the BonnieBio website***
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Bonnie Bio also compostable drinking straws and trash bags if you're looking for more plastic alternatives! According to the company, their compostable products degrade by 90% in just three months without releasing toxins.
If you're thinking about making purchases online, sign up for a free Ebates account today! (They're called Rakuten now, but it's the same thing.) You can earn cash back on online purchases you were already going to make! I wish I'd signed up ages ago because I would have gotten so much cash back over the years with all my Amazon purchases. 🤦♀️
Plastic wrap alternatives for food storage
There are many eco friendly ways to store your sandwich without resorting to plastic wrap. Let's take a look at a few of the best cling wrap alternatives for food storage.
Biodegradable and compostable bags
For many people, it's easier to start "greening" their routine by finding single use alternatives that are more sustainable. Although reusable products still are even better, making the switch to nontoxic plastic alternatives that decompose is an easy way to remove plastics from your life.
BioBag resealable bags are a great way to pack your lunch without worrying about plastics. Although they're good for short term storage, they aren't ideal for longterm food storage because they don't keep out moisture the same way a 'conventional' plastic bag does.
- Contains 25 compostable resealable sandwich bags, 6.5 inches x 6.7 inches, 1.8 mil
- Suitable for storing all kinds of foods, including fat and acids
- Perfect for packing school lunches, work lunches and other on-the-go activities
If You Care makes the only recyclable and biodegradable parchment paper. (Most parchment paper can't actually be recycled due to the nonstick coating!) They also make recyclable greaseproof sandwich and snack baggies. They're a great choice if you're worried about things like sauces and cheeses leaking through a paper bag to stain your other belongings.
If you don't need a leakproof bag, then a simple unbleached paper sandwich bag may work well for you.
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Reusable bags for food
Reusable bags for food are an even better choice than compostable disposable bags. When treated well, they can last for years! About 5 year ago, I made a bunch of reusable sandwich and snack bags for a craft fair. I gave my mom a couple, and she's still using them.
You can either go with fabric reusable bags or silicone zip top bags. I like fabric bags for actually packing lunches and silicone for storing food in the fridge.
Silicone zip top bags are like 'conventional' plastic zipper baggies, only thicker and made from silicone. High quality, FDA complaint silicone is completely food safe up to about 450ºF.
Silicone ziplock bags are suitable for food storage in the fridge or freezer. They also work for sous vide cooking! Silicone bags are best for longterm fridge storage because they seal well and keep air out in a way that fabric or biodegradable bags usually can't.
There are many sizes of silicone zipper bag available from snack and sandwich baggies all the way up to large freezer bags that are a great plastic wrap alternative for freezing foods.
Fabric sandwich bags are another great alternative to plastic wrap. Fabric snack bags aren't usually dishwasher safe like silicone bags are, but most of them can be washed in the washing machine.
Just a few years ago, you cloth sandwich bags were difficult to find. Now there are lots of options!
Bumkins makes a wonderful zippered fabric sandwich bag.
- LOTS OF USES – Not just for food, Bumkins sandwich and snack bags make excellent organizers for storage and travel; stash inside your purse, diaper...
- REUSE AND REDUCE WASTE – The better alternative to single-use plastic bags, our bags are made from Bumkins' original waterproof fabric that’s both...
- LAB TESTED FOOD SAFE – At Bumkins, we take pride in our rigorous product testing to ensure you have the safest possible products; our sandwich and...
The Evoo Earth zippered bags have handy wristlet straps!
- ♻️ECO-FRIENDLY REUSABLE SNACK BAGS – Quit throwing countless dollars at plastic sandwich bags every year. Our great-looking reusable bags are...
- ♻️DESIGNED IN CALIFORNIA, MULTIPURPOSE USE – Unlike other reusable food pouches that are translucent and unattractive, our stylish food bags...
- ♻️FOOD-SAFE, NO-LEAK DESIGN – Buy your reusable baggies with confidence knowing they’re made with high-grade, food-safe EVA lining to keep...
Nordic by Nature also has a line of zippered sandwich and snack bags that look well made.
Silicone lids and bags
Silicone lids and bags are another great way to store your food without plastic wrap!
People frequently use plastic wrap as a quick and easy way to cover a dish before putting it in the fridge, but silicone lids are even easier to use (no wrestling with clingy film or trying to cut it on that horrible little cutting strip!)
Grab yourself a set of round silicone lids to quickly and easily cover most bowls.
For an even tighter fit and better food preservation, look for a set of stretch silicone covers! You can even use these round stretch covers to "wrap" the end of a cantaloupe, watermelon, or other fruits/vegetables people frequently cover with plastic wrap.
- IS THERE ANY LEFTOVER FOOD? Don’t throw it away! Simply cover it with these silicone lids and it will stay fresh until you get hungry again! The...
- ABSOLUTELY SAFE MATERIALS: Your safety is our top priority, for this reason we’ve made sure the silicone stretching lids are BPA-free, food grade...
- COLD AND HEAT RESISTANT: Feel free to put the stretchable food lid in the freezer or even in the microwave and dishwasher. Since the silicone material...
Silicone "Food Huggers" are perfect for smaller fruits, veggies, and jars. We have a set and love them so much we gave my mom some, too. They are perfect for covering bowls with missing lids, keeping avocados more fresh, storing halved onions, and so much more.
- USE ON A VARIETY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: The Farberware Food Huggers fit perfectly on a variety of fruits and vegetables like lemons, onions,...
- USE THEM ON HARD GOODS: These food huggers can be used to reseal open jars in cans; Never worry about using up Tupperware because of a misplaced lid
- EXTEND THE LIFE OF UNUSED FRUIT & VEGETABLES: The Farberware Food Huggers are made to help extend the life of your unused fruits and vegetables; These...
If you're removing plastics from your life, you may want to look into glass, stainless, or silicone food storage containers.
Although they're not exactly 'plastic wrap alternatives,' I wanted to include a few of my favorites here because we're currently upgrading our meal prep container collection to get rid of plastic containers. Having containers with dedicated, secure lids can help prevent the need for plastic wrap! Some stainless steel containers even come with silicone lids.
Although beeswax wrap takes a little more care (and getting used to) than the alternatives listed above, it's another fantastic alternative to cling plastic.
Beeswax wrap can actually stick to itself, which is handy, but it isn't safe for cooking. It also isn't good for storing raw meats or other foods that could contaminate the wrap with bacteria. It is washable, but has to be carefully handwashed with warm water so the beeswax doesn't melt.
If you're feeling crafty, you can learn how to make your own beeswax wrap at the bottom of this post on aluminum foil alternatives.
If you'd rather save yourself time and dirty dishes, there are several good brands of beeswax wrap available.
Plastic wrap alternatives for microwaves
Many people use plastic wrap to cover food while cooking or reheating it in the microwave. Heat from dishwashers and microwaves can cause plastics to release toxins, so it's best to avoid microwaving food in plastic or with a plastic wrap covering.
Silicone lids are a fantastic way to cover your food in the microwave.
Just like with food storage, I recommend getting a set of silicone lids. They're great for microwaving and easy to clean.
Substitute for plastic wrap for dough and baking
One of the big things people want to find a plastic wrap alternative for is wrapping doughs for breads, pies, and cookies.
Although a clean flour sack towel can work well, especially if you're simply covering a bowl, a large beeswax wrap is best if you need to wrap your dough and store it in the fridge.
This 13"x39" beeswax wrap is big enough to wrap just about any dough ball you make at home!
- ECO-FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS - Made of cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. Beeswax food wraps fabric and...
- EXTRA LARGE AND CUTTABLE WRAPS - 33 x 100 cm (13 x 39 inch). Can be cutted as needed. Natural alternative to plastic wrap. Wrap up cheese, fruit,...
- WASHABLE AND REUSABLE - Use the warmth of your hands to soften the wrap and form over a bowl, container, or piece of food. As the wrap cools, it...
If you need even more coverage, this 75"x14" wax wrap is the largest one I've been able to find.
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Alternative to plastic wrap for freezing
Many people wrap foods, especially meats, in plastic wrap before freezing them, to help prevent freezer burn.
The two best alternatives to cling wrap for freezing are silicone zip top bags and beeswax wrap.
Because people frequently freeze larger items, a big piece of beeswax wrap is best for freezing. You can cut it down into smaller pieces, if needed, but it's difficult to patchwork several smaller wraps together to cover a large item.
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I hope you've enjoyed this list of cling film alternatives and found something useful!
If you're looking for healthier, greener alternatives for your home, you may enjoy these other posts on The Artisan Life: