13 Zero-waste Alternatives to Cling Film
Cling film is no good, but you must know that - thats why your here.
In case you’re not quite sure or need reminding, let’s recap.
Is cling film recyclable?
In most places cling film is unrecyclable due to its construction and composition.
Not only that, but it’s sometimes toxic particularly when heated. It can release chemicals such as BPA into your food.
This problem is multiplied when you realise just how prevalent cling film is.
With 80 million americans using a roll every month and similar numbers being seen across the world clearly we need to look at sustainable alternatives.
But what options are out there?
In this post we’ll be covering the 13 best alternatives to cling film so you can ditch this toxic plastic pollutant once and for all.
Let’s get started.
Swap #1 jars
One of the key principles of living zero-waste is using what you already have.
A great item for reusing is probably in your kitchen cupboard and recycling bin right now!
Glass jars are a great alternative to cling wrap and are perfect for storing food thanks to being inert, easy to clean and abundant.
Swap #2 tin foil
Tin foil is a great alternative to cling film because its recyclable, reusable, cheap and plastic-free.
A few key points to note when using tin foil as an alternative to cling film:
- Tin foil can be wiped clean and left to dry
- When tin foil has reached the end of it’s life make sure you gather and squeeze it into a ball to make it easier to recycle.
Swap #3 Tupperware
On the theme of using what you have most of us have Tupperware or tiffins in our kitchen cupboards.
Tupperware is a great alternative to cling film as its reusable, just take care to make sure your Tupperware is microwave safe.
Else you might end up exposing yourself to the chemicals you are trying to avoid when ditching cling film.
Swap #4 Silicone food covers
Silicone food covers are a versatile alternative to cling film and are an ideal solution for covering bowls, half used items of food, drinks and more.
Despite their benefits these eco lids are made from Silicone which is very similar to plastic, it is a synthetic polymer and made in much the same way as plastic.
As a result disposal and biodegradability can be a problem.
Swap #5 reusable paper sandwich bags
Made from unbleached pulp of Scandinavian spruce trees, paper sandwich bags such as these are greaseproof and of course compostable making them a winning alternative to cling film.
Swap #6 Beeswax wraps
Beeswax wraps are a firm favourite when looking for an alternative to cling film.
These reusable food wraps are hugely popular, and for good reason.
Not only are they reusable, sustainable and compostable but thanks to the beeswax coating they will keep food fresher than cling film reducing food waste to boot!
They also last too, find the right wrap and with care your wraps will last years.
Check out our organic cotton beeswax wraps here.
Swap #7 Silicone food bags
Silicone food bags are a versatile alternative to cling film and other food storage options.
They are freezer, dishwasher safe and can be used in the oven, microwave and even to boil and sous vide food.
Swap #8 Elasticated fabric food covers
If you’re not a fan of silicone but are looking for a similar alternative, elasticated fabric food covers may be the perfect option for you.
It’s important to note fabric food covers may be more difficult to clean than their silicone counter part and so may spoil quicker.
Swap #9 fabric snack pouches
These reusable snack baggies are perfect for on the go. They contain a water-resistant lining and are portable.
To clean simply rinse or pop in the washing machine.
Swap #9 reusable silicone cling film wrap
This is a great reusable cling film.
If you’re looking for something a little more versatile than silicone lids that can be used to cover a larger range of items you’ll want a silicone cling film wrap.
Much like it’s silicone counter parts it’s microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe but also shares the same properties meaning it’s pretty similar to plastic!
Swap #10 a trusty plate
Covering food with a plate or bowl is a zero-waste favourite alternative to cling film as it doesn’t require purchasing anything new.
Just be aware you won’t be getting an airtight seal which may reduce the shelf-life of what you’re covering slightly.
Swap #11 takeaway boxes
Next time you order a chinese or indian hold on to your takeaway containers, they can be washed and repurposed as a perfect zero-waste alternative to cling film.
Swap #12 biodegradable cling film
Biodegradable cling film is made from a bio-polymer meaning it can be composted at home after use.
Whilst not reusable like many other options on this list it is the most similar to traditional cling film with the added bonus of being biodegradable.
These 12 alternatives have covered a wide range of use cases and materials, so to make things simple we’ve pulled out our favourites for some common requirements:
The plate has to top this one, hopefully you all have a plate in your cupboard, the downfall is obviously that certain plates will only be able to cover certain sized bowls
Beeswax wraps are our winner here. They can be used to wrap sandwiches, fruits and veges and cover all your plates and bowls
The most sustainable choice is to use what you have, but failing that our pick once again goes to beeswax wraps.
Made from all natural materials and with a low energy cost to manufacture these all rounders are sustainable, compostable, reusable and look pretty great too!
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