Ditch The Plastic With These 3 Easy Plastic Free Food Storage Tips
Plastic free food storage is a big issue. In this post we provide advice, recommendations, and tips on sustainable plastic free food storage alternatives.
Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes
Whether you're new to sustainability, working on building a zero waste kitchen, or have no idea what rabbit hole you went down to get here, you’re here for one reason: to learn about plastic free food storage recommendations, tips, and ideas.
Luckily, there are many ways you can store your food without plastic to help you cut back on plastic consumption and reduce food waste!
Let’s get into it!
Why Plastic Free Food Storage Is Essential
From plastic produce stickers to plastic wrapped fruits and veggies, plastic pervades our grocery stores.
While many of us attempt to reuse plastic containers (how many takeout containers do you have in your fridge right now?) The ugly truth is that they weren’t made to be reused.
- They don't wash well
- They break easily
- And their safety is questionable (at best)
Storing food in plastic containers is safe, but heating those containers may cause them to leak harmful chemicals into your food. Ick!
It’s no secret the earth is infested. With plastic.
It’s no secret the earth is infested. With plastic.
Just look at the 500 tons of trash removed from the Thames each year — most of it plastic. Or a beach in Mumbai that is now unusable thanks to plastic pollution brought in fresh each day by the ocean tide.
Spend just 30 minutes outside and you’re likely to find plastic in the sewage grates, wrapped around trees, breaking down into microplastics in empty fields, in lakes, beaches, and other bodies of water.
We can all do something about the plastic problem by using less of it. Prioritizing local, seasonal food, not wrapped in plastic, is a great place to start.
Read on for our recommendations about plastic free food storage!
You might be interested in: Plastic Free Water Filter, Reusable Utensil Kit
Plastic Free Food Storage Recommendations
1. Silicone Stasher Bags
Made of 100% pure platinum silicone, Stasher bags are non-toxic, hypoallergenic, BPA and BPS free. They are tough enough to be frozen, microwaved, baked, and run through the dishwasher.
Tips To Use Stasher Bags For Food Storage
Tare your stasher bag, you can even write it right on the bag, and head to your favorite bulk store to stock up. They’re much easier to carry and travel with than glass jars!
With different shapes and sizes, these bags can easily store any leftovers: veggies, soups, casseroles, proteins, and more! They’re easy to transport and can be put right in the microwave.
Portion out your meals ahead of time in one or two stashers; keep your prepped food safely stored by category and easily grab what you need to put together a meal. Pre-pack the ingredients for a smoothie; prepare a salad in a bag for a healthy lunch!
Make popcorn with popcorn kernels, oil/butter, and your favorite toppings; Steam veggies in the microwave with a bit of water; marinade a protein in a stasher and pop the whole thing into the oven.
Freeze & Reheat
Defrost and warm-up a frozen soup by boiling the entire stasher bag; freeze rice in portions and steam it when needed; freeze your favorite curries, soups, meatloafs (and more), reheat them right in the stasher.
Freeze fruit that won’t be eaten; reuse it later for smoothies, jams, and desserts! Pack snacks from cheese sticks to nuts to crackers; store fresh herbs and spices; keep fruits and vegetables safely stored to prolong their shelf life.
To clean, run your stasher bag through the dishwasher but do not turn inside out!
If your bag happens to get a rip or tear, try repurposing it for cords, pens, or anything that won’t leak.
Pro Tip: Carry a stasher bag in your purse or car; next time you eat out use it as an alternative to a takeout container!
Get Your Zero Waste Stasher Bag Starter Kit Here!
2. Wax Wraps
With beeswax and vegan options, the possibilities with wax wraps are endless!
Tips To Use Wax Wraps For Food Storage
- Wrap the end of partially used veggies such as: onions, tomatoes, avocado, jalapenos/serranos, potatoes, zucchinis, carrots, eggplants, and more!*
- Make a pouch or bowl to secure snacks like apple and orange slices, crackers, cheese sticks, candies, and dried fruit.
- Cover bowls, jars, and containers whose lids have disappeared (or never existed)
- Head to the bakery and wrap your breads and pastries in a wax wrap instead of plastic
*Do not use wax wraps on meat, fish, or raw eggs.
To use, fold the wrap around the desired object and hold it together with your hands for 30+ seconds. The warmth from your hands will help the wax hold its shape.
To clean, wash in cool water with a gentle dish soap and air dry.
Get Your Vegan or Beeswax Wraps Now!
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
It is advised against storing food in single use plastic containers because they were not made to be used more than once and are more prone to damage and chemical leaking. While we’ll never truly escape these chemicals, we can make better choices, like choosing glass!
Who else loves saving glass jars? 🙋🏽 Who also ends up with a cabinet full of unused glass jars with missing lids? From mason jars to pasta sauce jars, it’s time to put them to use!
Tips For Using Glass Jars For Food Storage
Sauces & Dressings
- Store extra sauce and dressing in a small jar and use it later (maybe on eggs in the morning?).
Canned Goods (Sans Can)
- Have you ever used an entire jar of chipotle peppers? Recycle that can and keep it safely refrigerated or frozen in a glass jar until you need it next.
- Pasta jars make great containers for nuts, trail mixes, DIY dried fruit, as well as baking goods like flours, starches, chocolate chips and more!
- Tare your jars then head to your local bulk store — or even Whole Foods. Be sure to scratch off or completely remove the existing barcode — also remember this will get heavy. We made both mistakes so you don’t have to.
- Asparagus can be stored upright in a jar of water; poke holes in some lids (or leave them off for ventilation) and store grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries; add paper towels (or reusable towels) and keep clean, dry lettuce tightly sealed; cut the bottoms off herbs like cilantro, parsley, and mint and store upright in a jar of water; wrap herbs like oregano, rosemary, and thyme in a damp towel and store in an open jar.
- Make your own broth from scraps and freeze in partially filled jars. Freeze other things like leftover veggies (peas are great to use later in curries), rice, and lentils; prepack the ingredients for a smoothie in a jar so all you need to do later is add a liquid and blend.
Canning & Preserves
- Should canning your own food make a comeback? We think so and it can certainly help to reduce food waste! What can be canned? DIY veggie and protein broths, berries (whole or preserved), tomatoes, salsa, and most vegetables.
You might also be interested in: Stainless Steel Lunchbox, Zero Waste Kitchen Super Kit
Final Comments on Plastic Free Food Storage Tips
Photo by Mariana Medvedeva on Unsplash
At the center of the plastic free movement are two main ideas: to make any kind of change we first need to change our habits (take messy action), and to put our money behind the kinds of products we want to see more of.
Before you go out and replace all your plastic containers, if they’re not damaged, keep them! Once they start breaking down, replace them with sustainable alternatives. The most sustainable thing you can do is use what you already have.
We hope our recommendations for plastic free food storage got you thinking about how you can switch up your food storage practices!
Other Blogs You Might Find Helpful:
- 6 Sustainable Dish Brush Alternatives That Are Completely Plastic Free
- 17 Things You Can Make Plastic Free ASAP For Plastic Free July
- Hack Your Way to a Zero Waste Kitchen With These Easy Swaps
- Zero Waste Home Products and How To Dispose of Them Properly
- Why Composting Is So Important And Easy Tips To Help You Compost At Home
Written by Lauren Plug, content creator for ZeroWasteStore & Sustainability Enthusiast!