ziploc bags

10 Best Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Ziploc Bags (To Help Lessen Plastic Waste at Home)

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Hello Mamas, sharing with you today the 10 best eco-friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags that are affordable and easy to find, in the hope that it will help you in your efforts to lessen plastic waste at home.

I know eliminating plastic waste at home is sooo difficult. We started our low-waste efforts in 2018, but we are still very far from achieving our goal.

But we are slowly making progress and are trying to find more sustainable alternatives to common single-use plastic items that we are using at home like plastic bags and plastic containers.

10 Best Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Ziploc Bags

The top 10 environment-friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags are beeswax wraps, reusable silicone bags, stainless steel container boxes, glass container boxes, bamboo container boxes, compostable food containers, reusable mesh produce bags, cotton produce bags, paper bags, and glass jars.

Though Ziploc bags are originally invented to be useful tools in storing foods, they pose an environmental problem since they’re made of plastic.

Plastic pollution is one of the major environmental problems on the planet. National Geographic has reported that from 2.3 million tons of plastic produced in 1950, it has increased to 448 million tons in 2015, and the production is expected to double, which means it will be an estimated 896 million tons by 2050.

Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.

– National Geogprahic

These are indeed very alarming facts and that is why I believe that we, adults and children alike, should do our best to help improve the huge problem of plastic pollution in our own little ways.

And we can start in our own home by replacing the plastic items we are using with sustainable swaps. But this doesn’t mean that we have to throw all the plastic items we have at home all at once but to slowly replace them with reusable alternatives as they get broken.

Today, we are going to look at the best alternatives that are easy to find and won’t break the bank to one of the most common plastic items in our home – plastic Ziploc bags.

Here are the 10 best eco-friendly Ziploc bag alternatives:

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1. Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax wraps are originally made as an eco-friendly alternative to cling film or plastic wrap, but it can also be a great solution in replacing Ziploc bags especially in wrapping dry snacks such as cheese and baked goods or as sandwich wraps.

Most commercial beeswax wraps are made of organic cotton coated with beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. But you can also make a DIY version just using cotton cloth and beeswax. I have made it in the past using 2 ingredients.

Beeswax wraps - one of the 10 best eco-friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags.
My DIYed beeswax wraps using old bedsheet and our own beeswax.

Remember though that bee’s wrap is not ideal to use with raw meat. Aside from being an alternative to clingfilm and Ziploc bags, it can also be used as a lid to cover bowls and plates with food, or to wrap vegetables, fruits, herbs, bread, and other dry food items.

Here are some of the high-rated beeswax wraps on Amazon that cost less than $30:

Hunny Bee Beeswax Reusable Food Wraps

Beeswax Food Wrap by Akeeko

Natissy Beeswax Wraps

2. Reusable Silicone Bags

These bags look almost the same as Ziploc bags, only that they’re made of food-grade silicone instead of plastic.

Buying reusable silicone bags for the first time will be expensive compared to buying another batch of Ziploc bags, but it will save you money in the long run, because you don’t have to keep on buying since they can be reused over and over again.

They will last a long time because silicone is durable, they’ll probably last a lifetime if you take care of them very well. You just clean them well after each use, then just keep reusing them. Your investment will be totally worth it!

Reusable silicone bags come in different sizes and a variety of colors, so, you have a lot of options to choose from, depending on your preference and usage. You can use the perfect size for sandwiches, perfect for school lunches for your kids, or as reusable snack bags when going out of the house.

Here are some of the famous brands of reusable silicone bags on Amazon:

Stasher Bags – Platinum Silicone Food Grade Bags

Reusable Food Container Silicone Bags by Xomoo Store

3. Stainless Steel Container Boxes

These are the most durable among all the alternatives, in my opinion. It will not break no matter how many times it will fall. We have stainless steel plates and glasses for our kids and they have fallen many, many times, but they remain intact and undeformed!

These are also perfect as an alternative to plastic sandwich bags. Here are some stainless steel containers with high ratings on Amazon:

LunchBots Small Protein Packer Toddler Bento Box

3-in-1 Stainless Steel Bento Box by GreenLunch Bento

4. Glass Container Boxes

Glass containers are also eco-friendly alternatives to your plastic Tupperware, but if you have small kids at home, like me, then this option is not ideal. You can still use them but make sure to store them in an area where your kids can’t access them.

I learned the lesson the hard way because I used to store our glass containers in the very bottom drawer in the kitchen, then one day, while I was cleaning the bedroom, I heard a smashing noise. I went to check and saw my then 2-year old near the broken glass container.

Here are some glass container boxes with high ratings on Amazon:

Glass Meal Prep Containers by C Crest Store

Bayco Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids

PrepNaturals Glass Meal Prep Containers

5. Bamboo Container Boxes

Bamboo containers are very good-looking, but they’re not very durable. We have a set of 3 at home, but the bigger one has already cracked because one of the kids had dropped it accidentally, so we can only use it with dry goods. It’s lighter than glass containers though, so, it’s a good option, especially when bringing a food pack outside the house.

If you want something with bamboo, choose the containers with a glass body, but bamboo lid. Though they are still prone to breakage just like the ones with the bamboo body.

6. Compostable Food Containers

These are another eco-friendly alternative to Ziploc bags that can also be used to replace disposable take-away food containers especially if you have to prepare a lot of food packs that have to be transported far from home.

These are also good alternatives especially when you don’t feel like washing extra dishes since they can be thrown right away into the compost bin.

Here are some of the high-rating compostable food containers on Amazon:

100% Compostable Clamshell Take Out Food Containers

Kraft Compostable Paper Food Cup with Vented Lid

7. Reusable Mesh Produce Bags

Though mesh bags are originally made to replace grocery store plastic bags, they can also be used as a Ziploc bag alternative.

I bought a set of mesh bags when we started our low-waste efforts in 2018 and they’re still functioning up to now. Some edges are already tearing and they’re not as durable as cotton cloth. One mesh bag is already in a very bad condition, so I only use it to store the rest of the mesh bags, to extend its life as much as possible.

Here are some of the best seller reusable mesh bags on Amazon:

Ecowaare Set of 15 Reusable Mesh Produce Bags

Naturally Sensible Reusable Produce Bags

Earthwise Reusable Mesh Produce Bags

8. Cotton Produce Bags

These bags look very similar to the mesh bags in #7, only that they’re made of cotton, some are even made of organic cotton. These are also another alternative for plastic grocery bags.

These bags are more durable than mesh bags and you can DIY them if you have unused cotton cloth or even old bedsheets. I made several bags of various sizes using an old white bedsheet. I use them very seldom though.

Another good thing about cotton produce bags, as well as mesh bags, is that they can be washed into the washing machine with the rest of the laundry for easy cleaning. Hand washing is also easy with hot water or cold water (depends on your preference) and a bit of laundry soap or even dish soap.

Here are some of the best seller cotton produce bags on Amazon:

Washable Cotton Produce Bags

Organic Cotton‌ ‌Produce‌ ‌Bags by Small Fish

9. Paper Bags

Another great alternative to Ziploc bags is paper bags. They’re easy to store since they’re not space-consuming. Though they’re not as durable as cotton bags or mesh bags, they can still be used over and over with proper care.

Though these bags are usually used in establishments as an alternative to plastic bags, these can definitely be used at home, too. They can be used as lunch bags to carry the food items you need to bring to work or outside the house. Large sizes paper bags can also be used as gift bags instead of the usual gift wrap.

They can also be used to carry fresh produce when doing your grocery.

Here are some of the high-rating paper bags on Amazon:

Paper Bags Medium Size

Kraft Brown Paper Bags

10. Glass Jars

Glass jars are another zero-waste alternative to Ziploc bags. These are best when you want your herbs and other fresh produce like asparagus and other veggies to last longer by putting them into the glass jars with water.

They can also be used to store leftover produce in the refrigerator, just like glass container boxes or stainless steel containers.

You can have glass jars for free by repurposing the glass containers of items that you are buying from the store like coffee, tomato sauce, peanut butter, tuna spread, and other items.

Freshly made homemade Spanish natillas.
Some of my repurposed glass jars with homemade natillas.

I have a huge collection of glass jars from things we constantly buy from the store. We buy the same brand of coffee cereals and I save the empty jars to store rice, macaroni, etc they look good because they are of the same size and design. I also have a collection of small glass jars from the tuna spread that my husband loves to eat for breakfast. I use them as individual containers everytime I make homemade natillas and homemade petit suisse.

Final Thoughts on Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Ziploc Bags

I hope that these eco-friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags are helpful in slowly ditching disposable Ziploc bags. If you are still far from your goal, don’t despair or be discouraged Mamas because you’re not alone. I am in the same boat, too.

Our aim here is not perfection, but to keep progressing, albeit slowly. I’m always reminded by my favorite low-waste/zero-waste quote everytime I feel down with my low-waste efforts:

We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

Anne Marie Bonneau, Zero Waste Chef

Do you have other eco-friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags that are not on the list? Feel free to share them in the comments below.


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