Lately I’ve been on the hunt for great plastic bag alternatives that will work for my son’s lunches to help reduce waste — and, work with my own lunches too. Because with all the Kommari-ing going on out there, I’ve become more aware of my own consumption habits and how I could reduce, reuse, and recycle a little better every area of my life.
While bento lunch boxes are great for some parents, they’re not a perfect fit (literally, ack!) for every kid. So for every parent out there looking for a plastic bag alternative for a regular old lunch box, these four should have you covered.
And hey, not only will they make you feel better about throwing away less plastic, they’ll save you quite a bit of money over the long term.
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Related: 3 eco-friendly plastic wrap alternatives that parents swear by.
Liz has been a fan of the reusable silicone sandwich bags from Modern Twist for years, and recently they’ve been rebranded as Stasher bags. (Also shown at top) As the #1 reusable bag on Amazon, clearly she’s not alone! I love that they have a pinch-press closure that even a toddler can finagle and that they come in translucent solid colors, as well as kid-friendly designs like cats in space suits or aliens riding bikes.
Conveniently, they come in half-sizes for snacks or half-sandwiches, and you can get them in multi-packs as well so you’re not constantly washing out the same reusable bag every single day.
I’m really digging the frond design on these Ziptuck reusable lunch bags by Full Circle, but they have some other cute options like chevrons and geometric, making them a great option for both adults and kids to share. A lunch set including a sandwich and snack sized bag is pretty affordable, but there’s a good number of sizes available.
Ziptuck bags are made from food-grade EVA — but just note that it’s not as heat-resistant a material as silicone, so stick with cold or room temperature sandwiches and snacks.
Related: 8 brilliant school lunch hacks for picky eaters
Another favorite we’ve shared is the USA-made Bee’s Wrap reusable lunch wrap, and we still think they’re pretty delightful. They’re actually made from organic cotton and infused with beeswax, jojoba and tree resin to keep your snacks and sandwiches fresh naturally and stave off bacteria.
To clean, just wash them with dish soap in cool water then air dry. The designs are lovely, and that little wooden button closure makes them downright fancy — with a price to match. But you do get a set of 6 in each pack.
If your kid absolutely cannot remember to bring a lunch box home, you can still reduce waste by opting for these Swedish-made paper sandwich bags. They’re made by the brand If You Care (no pressure there) from the unbleached pulp of renewable spruce trees.They’re even microwave safe since they’re not coated.
Paper sandwich bags are definitely a good choice if you’d rather avoid plastic, but still really need the convenience of a disposable sandwich bag. And hey, you can even compost them, should they make it back home in that lunch box after all.