Last Updated on March 14, 2021
Taking care of our children is a full-time job. Parents should take advantage of all the modern inventions to be more efficient, and plastic bags with a seal (or ziplocs) certainly are one such example. That said, another important job for us is to raise environmentally-conscious individuals who will take care of our Earth. One of the best ways we can do this is to model conserving resources and choosing sustainable materials. Finding alternatives to ziploc bags can help reduce our environmental footprint. Scroll down for a list of various products that can help you cut harmful and wasteful plastic bags out of your household.
Oh, and one more thing, when I talk about ziploc bags, I’m referring to all plastic bags with a seal and not just to the specific firm.
Alternatives to Ziploc Bags
Below you’ll find numerous alternatives to disposable ziploc bags. Since you likely use ziploc bags in many different ways, you may find that you want to try a few of these alternatives to cover your range of needs.
1. Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bags (or Reuse Your Ziploc Bags)
Silicone food storage bags are very similar to traditional ziploc bags. The most significant difference is that they are easy to clean, and some bags may even be dishwasher- or microwave-safe. As a result, you aren’t throwing them out after a single use. Additionally, silicone is a food-safe material. Like ziploc bags, they come in various sizes to hold everything from small snacks to larger quantities of leftover foods. I’ll give you three popular choices.
Chicobags are designed to be used multiple times to reduce waste. The company is committed to creating long-lasting bags to keep landfills from overfilling or oceans from getting clogged with garbage. These bags are made using only food-safe materials. They are BPA-, phthalate-, lead-, and PVC-free. You can easily adjust the size to accommodate different food items with the hook and look closure that also prevents foods from spilling out. To keep the bags cleaned between uses, you can wash them in the washing machine.
3. Reusable Tote Bags
Reusable tote bags are a much more planet-friendly option than getting disposable bags from the grocery store. In addition to using reusable tote bags to bring home your groceries, you can also use them in many other ways. Some other uses include a tote bag for work, an overnight bag, a diaper bag, a beach tote, holding knitting and other craft projects, a gift bag, a lunch bag, storing clothing or shoes, and more. Reusable bags may be made from various materials, including canvas, natural fibers, and more. They are also available in a range of sizes, colors, and designs. I’ll give you three popular alternatives to ziploc bags as an example.
4. Biodegradable Bags
Biodegradable bags are manufactured using a different process. The way the petrochemicals in biodegradable bags are formed allows them to decompose or breakdown more quickly. Whereas regular plastic bags can take hundreds of years to decompose, biodegradable options are designed to decompose in a few years (or even a shorter amount of time). Some biodegradable bags also use bioplastics made of renewable sources like corn, vegetable oils, and different grains. Bioplastics may also be labeled as compostable plastic. This label indicates that as the bag decomposes, it creates humus to add nutrients to the soil. Below you can see three popular choices that serve different purposes.
Jars, like Mason Jars, also are an excellent alternative to ziploc bags. Jars are a good choice for freezing items that you may typically put in a plastic bag. They are reasonably-priced, easy to clean, and reusable. You can also seal jars to offer protection against freezer burn or help foods last longer. Jars made of glass are also non-toxic and BPA-free, so you won’t need to worry about any harmful chemical leeching into your foods. Larger glass jars are also available for holding dry foods in your pantry or on your countertops. Besides being used to store foods, you may also find that they can take over some of the other uses of plastic bags, such as organizing craft or office supplies or keeping toiletries separated in the bathroom. As you can see from the examples below, you can find many different designs and sizes out there.
6. Plastic Lunchboxes
Plastic lunchboxes are another alternative to consider. Many plastic lunchboxes, which may also be called bento boxes, offer individual compartments for different food items. These make an excellent option when packing lunches for school or work since you can keep different foods separate from one another without needing to bag each item individually.
7. Metal Lunchboxes
Metal lunchboxes that offer different compartments to hold foods are also available. Like plastic bento boxes, metal bento boxes can eliminate the need to bag different food items individually. These lunchboxes are non-toxic and BPA-free, so you can feel confident about what your food or your child’s food will come in contact with. Many are also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup between uses. Below you can see three popular alternatives to ziploc bags.
8. Glass Containers
Glass storage containers, such as Pyrex, are an excellent alternative to plastic bags when you’re looking to store leftovers or pack items for school or work. Compared to plastic bags or cheaper plastic storage containers, glass products are guaranteed to be BPA-free. They also won’t stain or degrade over time, providing you with a more durable and longer-lasting product. Glass is dishwasher-safe, freezer-safe, and you can also microwave many glass containers. As a result, these may often be excellent alternatives to ziploc bags. You can see three popular options below.
9. Metal Containers
Stainless-steel food storage containers have been increasing in popularity over recent years. Stainless steel is a very durable material that won’t break or chip as easily as plastic or glass options. Stainless-steel is also food-safe, BPA-free, and non-toxic, making it a good choice for holding leftovers and other food items. It doesn’t rust and can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher as well. Some stainless-steel containers may have silicone lids, while others may feature locking plastic lids. They can often be perfect alternatives to ziploc bags. I’ve listed three popular choices as an example.
10. Silicone Lids
Silicone lids provide an alternative to using plastic bags or plastic wrap to seal containers. Silicone lids can stretch to fit a variety of different container sizes, so you don’t have to worry about finding an exact match for all of your storage containers and bowls. Using a silicone lid will also provide an air-tight seal to keep foods fresher. Silicone also resists a range of temperatures between -100 °F and 450 °F, meaning it is both freezer- and microwave-safe. Silicone is durable and can last for up to 10 years, so it can also save your family a fair amount of money over time. As a result, these are often ideal alternatives to ziploc bags. My top pick is the Perfect and Simple Store pack of 5 because they work with suction.
11. Bee’s Wraps
Bee’s Wrap is a reusable wrap that is environmentally friendly. It is made using organic cotton with beeswax, tree resin, and jojoba oil. This wrap is able to create a seal on different containers to keep foods fresh. It can be washed and reused for up to a year.
12. Plant-Based Wraps
Plant-based wraps offer yet another possible alternative to using plastic bags or plastic wrap to keep foods fresh. These wraps are made using sustainably sourced natural ingredients such as organic cotton, tree wax, and jojoba oil. They can be used multiple times and washed between uses. To use a plant-based, simply make it into a ball, warm it up by holding it inside your hands, and then cover it over a bowl or container. It will seal around them as it cools to keep food fresh. When these wraps get damaged or destroyed, you can rest easy knowing that they are biodegradable and won’t further pollute our Earth.
Why Should You Find Alternatives to Ziploc Bags?
Did you know that the average American goes through about 500 ziploc bags each year? Not only is this waste contributing to our overfilling landfills, but many plastic bags also find their way into oceans or other animal habitats. In short, using ziploc bags is increasing pollution on Earth.
Although ziploc bags are theoretically reusable, I’m betting on the fact that most people treat them as disposable items. Ziploc bags are not recyclable, and they are not easy to clean, which leaves users with little choice regarding what they can do with them after they have served their purpose.
Finding reusable alternatives for ziploc bags and other disposable plastic variations will significantly decrease the amount of waste left to fill up our landfills and pollute animal habitats.
While you may wonder if your family making the switch and finding alternatives to plastic bags will have that great of an impact on the planet, remember that small changes can make a big difference. The more people who begin to make the switch, the better the results will be. Plus, you’ll be modeling Earth-friendly actions for your children and will be contributing to a more climate-conscious generation.
Common Uses of Ziploc Bags
Ziploc bags offer a wide range of uses (which you probably know because you’re on this page:) For this reason, there isn’t necessarily one particular product you’ll want to purchase, but rather a variety of products that will cover all the ways you use your ziploc bags. And for some jobs (like organizing) these plastic bags are an excellent choice as you use them for a long time.
Some common uses include:
- Storing leftovers
- Marinating meats
- Packing snacks and lunches for school or work
- Packing toiletries or medications for a trip
- Storing and organizing crafting or office supplies
- Keeping baby items clean
- Keeping documents dry and clean
- Making an ice pack
- Storing shoes
- Organizing jewelry
- Storing children’s toys or puzzles
- Making individual treat bags for birthday parties
To Sump Up
As you can see, there are so many great options to choose from if you’re looking to ditch plastic bags, reduce your family’s waste, and set a good example for your children. Which alternatives to ziploc bags are you most excited to try?