Why do we need eco friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags?
After all, Ziploc has been around since the 1950s. Their sealable plastic bags have become indispensable for storing sandwiches, snacks, leftovers, and travel toiletries.
They’re incredibly flexible, versatile, durable, easy to use… And a major contributor to single-use plastic waste in our landfills and oceans.
With new research on how microplastics are invading our bodies, there’s never been a better time to seek out eco friendly alternatives to Ziplocs.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information click here.
Why Aren’t Ziploc Bags Eco Friendly?
Ziploc bags are made of low-density polyethylene, a polymer used in plastic bags and zip closures, and there’s no skirting around the negative impacts of plastic on our environment.
Ethylene production emits huge amounts of greenhouse gasses, which accelerates the climate crisis.
Over 6 billion tonnes of plastic have been thrown away since Ziplocs were first manufactured, but only 600 million tonnes have been recycled. The remaining 4.9 billion tonnes are disposed of in landfills or released into the environment.
Not only do plastics in landfills take around 450 years to decompose, but they also pose a significant risk to marine life.
RELATED: What You Need to Know About Freezing Mason Jars
Benefits of Reusable Food Storage Bags
Plastic Ziploc bags have only been around for 70 years. If humanity survived the past without them, so can we. Plus, there are some benefits to making the switch that you may not have considered.
Apart from being better for the environment, opting for biodegradable and reusable Ziploc bags can also turn out to be more economical in the long run.
Although Ziplocs are technically reusable bags, they are not designed to be ultra-durable or used repeatedly. And buying a new box every time you run out of them can really rack up the costs.
That’s where eco friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags come in. They’re not only longer-lasting but also more cost-effective as well.
There’s also the very real fact that some sustainable swaps are just plain better. Ziploc bags, at the end of the day, are just that–bags.
They’re floppy, prone to leaking, and aren’t always the best tool for the job. Plus they’re difficult to clean and absorb odors rather quickly.
From durable silicone to stainless steel, these eco friendly ziploc alternatives make it easy to ditch the plastic.
Best Eco Friendly Alternatives to Ziploc Bags
Reusable Sandwich Bags
Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag
Stasher’s reusable silicone bags are a favorite in the low waste community.
Containing no BPA, PVR, or latex, their trademarked airtight seal keeps food fresher for longer. They’re also dishwasher and microwave safe.
Stasher bags are slim and come in a range of sizes to ensure they take up as little space in the fridge as possible.
You can even put them in pot to sous vide or simmer your food, which is perfect for soup-loving batch cookers like me!
Nordic By Nature 4 Pack – Eco Friendly Sandwich Bags
Reusable cloth bags are another great alternative to Ziploc bags, and Nordic By Nature’s sandwich bags are a step above the rest.
With 4 different sizes in a single pack, they are perfect for packing sandwiches, snacks, and school lunches. You can even wash them in the dishwasher or washing machine.
The minimalist zipper design makes them very easy to open and close. Unlike plastic Ziploc bags, reusable cloth bags are highly durable, making them an excellent replacement for long-term use.
The only downside is that they are not as airtight as silicone sandwich bags. Having said that, these bags are still just fine to use for storing non-perishable, solid foods.
Reusable Food Wraps
Bee’s Wrap – Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps
Bee’s Wrap’s beeswax food wraps are a cute and versatile eco friendly alternative to Ziplocs.
Made in the USA with organic cotton, beeswax, tree resin, and plant oils, they make excellent eco friendly sandwich wraps or covers for your leftovers.
Beeswax wraps are easy to use. Just wrap it up and seal it with the warmth of your palms. It’ll retain its shape once it cools down, creating a breathable and naturally anti-bacterial seal.
To reuse it, just remove it carefully, rinse it with soap under some cold water, and let it air dry. Bee’s Wraps can last you up to a year with regular usage and careful care.
Food Wraps by Plan B Planet
Plan B Planet’s food wrap is similar to beeswax wrap, but uses plant-based materials rather than animal-derived ingredients. Made from plant waxes, oils, and resins, this non plastic wrap is totally cruelty-free.
Its sticky texture makes it easy to wrap over a container or even a piece of cut fruit. Plus, they are 100% compostable at the end of their life.
Khala Reusable Vegan Food Wraps
Khala‘s variety pack of handmade vegan food wraps are cheerful and sustainable. They come in four different sizes that range from 13×13″ to 6×6″.
Made with cotton-hemp fabric infused with consciously-sourced soy wax, jojoba and coconut oil, and tree resin, these food wraps make perfect gifts for new vegans in your life. Khala is also a 1% for the Planet company and makes their wraps in the USA.
Compostable Sandwich Bags and Boxes
Responsible Products Certified Compostable Sandwich Bags
I was delighted to discover that sealable, compostable sandwich bags really do exist! This eco friendly version of Ziploc bags is probably as close to the original as you can get.
Made of plant-based materials, these bags can go in the fridge or freezer. And unlike some of the other compostable competitors, Responsible Products’ bags can even store fatty and acidic foods.
Stack Man 100% Compostable Clamshell Food Containers
Stack Man’s paper boxes are made with 100% sugarcane fiber, making them both tree- and plastic-free. These containers offer the same sturdy functionality and easy cleanup as other plastic options on the market.
The containers are also temperature-friendly, so you can use them for hot or cold food without a problem.
While I recommend reusable Ziploc bag alternatives for everyday use, these compostable food containers are perfect for potlucks or get-togethers where you want to send food home with guests.
Lunchskin’s Compostable Paper Sandwich Bags
Made from unbleached, grease-resistant paper, Lunchskins’ non plastic sandwich bags are great for storing sandwiches, snacks, and more.
While paper bags are usually available at the local grocery store, they may not be compostable due to petroleum-based parafin wax lining. Thankfully, Lunchskins lunch bags are uncoated and safe for the compost bin.
Eco Friendly Lunch and Snack Boxes
ECOdipper Travel Snack Container
The ECOdipper Travel Snack Container is the ideal everyday go-to snack container.
Made with 100% stainless steel, each container can hold up to 7 ounces of dry or moist snacks. These containers can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher after use, making them convenient to use and maintain.
LunchBots Uno Stainless Steel Sandwich Container
LunchBot’s stainless steel sandwich containers are another great option for carrying dry foods like sandwiches, salads, and wraps. They are dishwasher safe, long-lasting, and tear-free – practically indestructible.
And if you’re wondering about the colorful topper attached to the lid, it’s BPA-free and designed to help little kids grip onto the lid for easy opening.
INVVNI Bento Lunch Box Japanese Bamboo Containers
Made from food-grade polypropylene that is 100% recyclable, INVVNI’s Bento Lunch Boxes are microwave-proof, dishwasher-proof, and freezer-proof.
This attractive container has a natural, eco friendly bamboo lid that can also be used as a chopping board or tray by turning it upside down.
The silicone ring in the lid makes it 100% leakproof and airtight. It even has a moveable compartment inside that makes it ideal for when you want to pack different varieties of food.
Freezer Bag Alternatives
Pyrex Simply Store 18 Piece Storage Containers Set
BPA-free and nonporous, Pyrex’s storage containers have been a household staple for decades.
Their odor and stain-resistant properties are excellent for preserving food. They are microwave friendly and dishwasher safe; an all-around great eco friendly Ziploc bag alternative.
They come in multiple sizes and feature airtight lids. Suitable for your freezer or fridge, these glass containers are great for meal prep and long-term food storage.
Aluminum Pan/Containers with Lids
Because aluminum is one of the easiest recyclable items and has a relatively small environmental impact, it’s a sustainable choice for food storage.
Aluminum pans can go from freezer to oven, making them a superior plastic freezer bag alternative. Just be sure to wash the container thoroughly before putting it in the recycling bin!
Frego 2 Cup Glass Food Storage
Frego’s silicone and glass boxes are perfect for storing food in the freezer, and if you’re careful enough, will last you a lifetime.
They’re stackable and their airtight lids prevent food spoilage. In addition, they are dishwasher and microwave safe.
These silicone freezer boxes are made of borosilicate glass and FDA-approved silicone, so they won’t leach any chemicals like BPA or PVC into your food.
Waterproof Snack Bags as Zero Waste Ziploc Bags
Bumkins Snack Bags
With a soft, yet sturdy build, and waterproofing from inside, Bumkins’ adorable fabric snack bags are made of 100% polyester and embedded with TPU for durability.
They’re perfectly portable and lightweight, making them ideal for travel snacking or lunch packing.
Kids ZipTuck Reusable Snack Bags
This pack of two cute snack bags is perfect for packing school lunches or picnics. They are made from reusable and resealable FDA-grade EVA material.
Full Circle Home’s reusable snack bags are airtight, leakproof, dishwasher and freezer safe–what’s not to love?
Looking for more eco friendly kitchen tips? Check out these posts: