14 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic Wrap

Say no to plastic and yes to zero waste lifestyle by using any of these eco-friendly alternatives to plastic wrap for preserving leftovers, storing food, and a greener home.
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Sandwiches in paper wraps.

It’s about time we break our reliance to plastic wrap for food storage and opt for sustainable alternatives. They’re undeniably convenient to use but each usage leads to serious and long-lasting consequences for our health and the environment.

A recent study revealed that out of the 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste, only 9 percent are recycled and only 12 percent are incinerated while 79 percent end up in landfills.

To add to this grim picture, there might be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 if we don’t break the habit today. Clearly, there’s no time to lose so let’s say goodbye to plastic for good and scroll down for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic wraps.

1. Beeswax Wraps

Sandwiches in beeswax wraps beside cut green bell peppers and tomatoes on wood chopping board.

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One of the biggest reasons that people are shying away from plastic wrap in the modern era is due to environmental concerns. Plastic wrap isn’t something that is biodegradable, making it a terrible option for the planet. So many plastic items are junking up the ocean and sitting around in landfills. To help avoid solve this very real problem, people are doing their best to stop using plastic products.

If you want an alternative to plastic wrap that can function just like it, then you should turn to beeswax wraps. These beeswax wraps are completely biodegradable, so you won’t have to feel guilty when you throw them in the trash. You will be able to use them to help store your food just like you would with plastic wrap. They can help to keep your food fresh, and you can throw them out when you are done using them.

The beeswax wraps are also reusable for a certain amount of time, too. Some people have been able to reuse beeswax wraps for up to a year. You will need to wash them in cold water in order to keep them in the right shape. They will certainly be one of the handiest food storage options that you can make use of.

Pros:

These beeswax wraps can be used the same way as you would use plastic wrap. You can keep your food fresh and won’t have to worry about harming the environment. To add to this, these beeswax wraps are even reusable for up to a year, so long as you take care of them right. This is a cost-effective option that will definitely work out well for you.

Cons:

You have to be careful with how you wash these beeswax wraps if you want to keep using them. They also leave a slightly waxing residue on your hands sometimes. This is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that using products of this kind provides, so it shouldn’t bother you too much.

2. Cotton Bowl Covers

Three white bowls with cotton bowl covers.

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Using cotton bowl covers to help store your leftovers is a great idea as well. You will be able to buy specific cotton bowl covers that are meant for this task. It is also possible to make your own using dish towels and rubber bands. The cotton bowl covers aren’t too costly, so you shouldn’t need to go the DIY route unless you really want to.

The idea behind cotton bowl covers is nice and simple. You are simply covering a bowl in order to make it safer for the food. The food will last longer and stay fresher when it is covered. Your cotton bowl covers can be washed so that you can use them time and time again.

This option is easy to make use of since it is so simple. You shouldn’t have a hard time making use of the cotton bowl covers at all. It essentially allows you to turn any of your bowls into food storage containers that you can place in your refrigerator. It isn’t airtight, but it should help to keep things fresher anyway.

Pros:

This is an affordable way to keep your leftovers fresh. It isn’t completely airtight, but it will help to make your food last a bit longer. Putting the cotton bowl covers on the bowls is simple. You can buy different sizes of these covers to fit different types of bowls.

Cons:

This option isn’t quite as good as using a food storage container. It isn’t an airtight option, so it will not keep your food fresh for incredibly long periods of time. If you want something to help you store food for short periods of time, then these will work nicely.

3. Food Storage Containers

Different sizes of food storage containers with different types of food.

Food storage containers such as this are one of the most traditional ways of storing food. In many ways, this was always a preferable method for storage when compared to plastic wrap. If you need to store leftovers from dinner, then using food storage containers such as these will be your best bet. You can keep the food as fresh as possible, and it is safe to use.

You’ll be able to use food storage containers pretty much indefinitely, so long as you take care of them. Some food storage containers will be dishwasher safe, and others will not. You should always look at the recommendations before putting new containers in your dishwasher. Even washing these food storage containers by hand should not be an onerous task, though.

This is an economical solution to your food storage needs. You will be able to store all kinds of food in these containers. There are many different sizes of food storage containers as well, so it is a versatile storage solution. Every home should have a set of food storage containers that can make life a little bit easier.

Pros:

These food storage containers are perfect for storing large amounts of food or even just a few leftovers. You can buy them in multiple sizes so that you will have the perfect container for any occasion. They seal tightly to keep your food fresh and can be washed over and over again. If you want an option that will work for many years or longer, then buy these food storage containers.

Cons:

Some of the food storage containers will not be dishwasher safe. Even if they are, you may need to run the dishwasher using special settings. If they are dishwasher safe, it may be tough to fit certain food storage containers in your dishwasher conveniently. Sometimes it may be best to wash these items by hand. Some may consider this an inconvenience, but it shouldn’t be a big issue due to how useful these food storage containers are.

4. Cloth Food Storage Bags

Food storage bags with different types of fruits.

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Cloth food storage bags are another option that you need to be aware of. Many people are using these types of bags to store produce in their refrigerators. Fruits and veggies need to be stored properly in order to stay fresh. A nice produce bag like this one here will keep all of your food as fresh as possible.

This is a much more environmentally-friendly option than wrapping your produce in plastic. You’ll be able to store plenty of food in these types of bags and they aren’t specifically meant for produce. You can find cloth bags on the market that are excellent for storing many types of food. If you want an option that is convenient to use and easy to wash, then this should work out well.

Pros:

You can store a lot of different types of food in these bags. Some people take these bags with them on shopping trips too. After washing the produce, the bag can be put right into the refrigerator. It’s a convenient food storage bag that will be usable for a long time.

Cons:

This option is great for transporting food and storing it, but it may not always be easy to clean. Sometimes it may feel like getting into the crevices of the food storage bag is a pain. It’s worth taking the time to clean it thoroughly, though.

5. Cotton Sandwich Wraps

Reusable sandwich wrap

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Cotton sandwich wraps are perfect for when you need to store a sandwich or another small item in your refrigerator. People also use these cotton sandwich wraps to help them take sandwiches to work in lunchboxes. The cotton wraps wind up functioning pretty much the same as plastic wrap would. They will keep your sandwich fresh, and you’ll be able to keep using them.

The fact that you can keep using cotton sandwich wraps makes them preferable to plastic wrap. You won’t have to worry about your sandwich getting stale in the lunchbox, and you can simply wash the wrap when you get home. This solution can save you some money in the long run, and it is better for the environment. Sometimes these wraps are made out of cotton, and other times they will be made from polyester.

Pros:

You can keep using these cotton sandwich wraps over and over again. You just have to wash them up when you bring them home. This is something that will work nicely for taking a sandwich in your lunch, and it will also work well to store food in your refrigerator for later consumption. They don’t cost too much money either, so they’re definitely a viable option.

Cons:

This isn’t a long-term food storage option. These cotton sandwich wraps are meant for storing sandwiches and other small items for short periods of time. They don’t lock in the freshness quite as much as something like an airtight bag or food storage container. They’re still desirable options for transporting food in your lunch, though.

6. Airtight Silicone Bags

Airtight silicone bag beside a fork and a whole and slices of lemons on a wood chopping board.

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Another good option for storing your food is to use airtight silicone bags. These silicone bags are excellent for storing many different food items. Whether you are storing a sandwich to finish at a later time or putting away leftovers from dinner, these bags will work out nicely. They have the ability to keep your food fresh while being far better for the environment than plastic wrap.

These airtight silicone bags are completely reusable. You will be able to wash them up with a little bit of soap and water after using them. This allows you to keep using the same bags over and over again. The silicone is actually quite durable, and it will stand up to regular use so long as you take care of it. If you take the time to wash your bags properly, then you will wind up saving money when compared to buying plastic wrap.

Airtight silicone bags are see-through, as well. This means that you will easily be able to identify what food items you have placed in each bag. If you want a convenient way to store your food, then these food bags are going to work out nicely. They aren’t too expensive, and they will be usable for a very long time.

7. Mason Jars

Mason jars filled with vegetable salad.


Glass containers like mason jars work great as food storage for both dry goods such as rice, beans, and flour as well as soups, sauces, broth, or some leftover casseroles and sides.

8. Dishcloth

Apple pie wrapped in dishcloth on wooden background.

Use a dishcloth for wrapping fresh produce or use it with a bowl so you can lay the dishcloth over the top and add a rubber band to make it airtight.

9. Parchment or (Soy Derived) Wax Paper

Leftover hamburger on a soy wax.

Use parchment or soy-derived wax paper for quick wraps of sandwiches, baked goods, produce, and deli items. Parchment or soy wax is compostible, non-toxic, and typically made of sustainable materials so it’s safe and eco-friendly.

10. Dishtowel and Dinner Plates

A plate of mixed viand on top of a dishtowel.

Store food in bowls with a plate on top or dinner plates and wrap with dishtowels.

11. Aluminum Foil

Apples, oranges, a pear, and a lemon individually half-wrapped in aluminum foil.


You can use aluminum foil for food storage and use the foil multiple times by rinsing off any food residue.

12. Paper Bags

Spilled contents of a paper bag containing different food grocery items.

Paper bags are compostible and can be used for storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. It will also speed up ripening produce if you just set them in the counter.

13. Cheesecloth

Pears, grapes, and apples beside a cheesecloth.

Use cheesecloth for storing food that needs some ventilation like herbs.

14. Reusable Food Wrap

Different fruits on reusable food wraps of different colors and sizes.

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You’ll love reusable food wrap as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wraps. It’s made from organic cotton, beeswax, and tree resin and can be used multiple times by simply rinsing off food residue. It’s compostible but can last up to a year. It comes in various sizes and can help keep your food fresh.







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