Monday, March 23, 2009

No Excuse for Plastic Baggies


We've been served! As of today there is no excuse for using disposable plastic baggies anymore, because there are now at least a gazillion reusable alternatives.

The latest one sent in to me are these clear Fresh Snack Packs. As the site says, they are "PVC-free EVA plastic, phthalate free, BPA free, and lead free". They come in sandwich and snack size, and I like the way they double-wrap; I imagine that helps keep things well-sealed and fresh.

What other baggie options do we have? Let's see, there's...








I'm sure there are even more reusable baggies that I don't know about yet. If you know of one, tell us about it in the comments.

43 comments:

Laci said...

Hooray for reusable and enviroment-friendly baggies! Maybe in your next book you could include some of you fav. products such as the vitamix and these bags, and explain why they're so useful and worth it :0 You certianly persuaded me to get my ever-so-popular laptop lunch! :D

Bianca said...

I still use plastic baggies that I bought like a year ago...I just wash them with soap and re-use. Once they finally give out on me, I doubt I'll buy more though. I love those wrap-n-mats.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i like these: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5491749 which are all cloth baggies. I've been happy with them...

Cesia said...

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6895847

Here are some I have been drooling over.

- Cesia.

Pretty Little Pixie said...

Do they leave a taste? Sometimes when I use reusable plastic things, even normal lunch boxes they leave a plasticy taste

Jennifershmoo said...

Good question! I've only tried two of them -- the Lunch Skins and the Wrap-N-Mat. I haven't noticed any plasticy taste or smell from the Lunch Skins, but I did think the Wrap-N-Mat smelled strongly of plastic. I passed it on after using it once or twice.

Steph said...

For my daughter's lunch, I just use a lot of different plastic containers. They all go in the dishwasher, and they all get re-used daily.

I do end up using gallon plastic zip bags for storing homemade bread or other large items around the house, though (and re-use them forever) - and what alternatives for those? I have the little things covered, but not the big things.

Macie said...

Thank you SO much for posting this!

Small said...

Hi! Cesia, from Designs by Cece @ http://www.designbycece.com/, sent me to your site and this article. It's wonderful! There are so many great, reusable lunch containers these days. I'm sure the earth is smiling!

Kennewick, WA? Wow ... I was born there! :)

I'm going to follow both this blog and your new one ... and I'll add both of them to my blog roll.

Thanks for all the great information!

Small Footprints
http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

Monique said...

I would have to say that for me, the most eco-choice would be the item made in USA, due to the fact that less shipping is involved, and the US tends to have much stricter environmental standards than China. I do appreciate when companies tell me upfront where something is made, so that I have the choice. Thanks for the info on this!

Mrs. Sullivan said...

A great alternative - made by a stay-at-home-mom, no less - is eco lunch gear. It's a well-designed fabric wrap, PVC-free lining, opens completely so no crumbs... I use them every day in my kids' lunches (and mine) and never a leak, a leftover taste, or nasty splodge of something in the corner. www.ecolunchgear.com

veggievixen said...

the wrap-n-mats look awesome! i want to try them! i try to reuse plastic baggies as much as possible, but sometimes the items in them are just too messy...

ali said...

Not to bad-mouth a company trying to do the right thing, but Wrap-N-Mats use PVC vinyl (yucky VOCs) and are made in China.
If you're going to buy a fabric sandwich wrap, look for one with PVC-free nylon.
I like how the Mats fully unwrap - the only other one I've found is eco lunch wrap. Cute fabrics, too.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Great post, as always! There are so many cute, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic baggies, thanks for sharing them!

DJ Karma said...

I've never seen these- what a great idea! Are they easy to clean?

jd said...

Very cool post!

I'm glad to see lots of different options for ditching the plastic baggies in one spot...

Thanks :)

Kristen said...

Exciting product ideas. But...

The lunchskins look like the perfect product until you probe a little further. Here's what they say on their site:
This unique high-quality fabric is manufactured in Germany by a family-owned business and has been used for many years in bakeries and restaurants. The fabric meets all EU, as well as US, standards for food contact.
Please note that they say "the fabric" meets health standards but they carefully exclude the safety factors of the coating!!!

Here's some info:
Polyurethane:
Isocyanates are compounds containing the isocyanate group (-NCO). They react with compounds containing alcohol (hydroxyl) groups to produce polyurethane polymers, which are components of polyurethane foams, thermoplastic elastomers, spandex fibers, and polyurethane paints. Isocyanates are the raw materials that make up all polyurethane products.

Health effects of isocyanate exposure include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, chest tightness, and difficult breathing. Isocyanates include compounds classified as potential human carcinogens and known to cause cancer in animals. The main effects of hazardous exposures are occupational asthma and other lung problems, as well as irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.

OMG!!! They should be ashamed of themselves!!

Quorlia said...

Wrap'n'mats are fine but what size bread and appetite are they made for??? If I try to make two rounds (four slices of bread) of sandwiches using standard sized bread the fastening only just does up (I add a rubber band for security). But then if one eats only half the sandwiches the package is too loose....

Those lunch skins look good, but not large enough for hubby's walking lunch (he takes a plastic box on work days but likes to keep weight down when hiking).

penny said...

Will definitely have to check these out!

Food Meister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Food Meister said...

Wow, I didn't realize there were so many greener alternatives to plastic baggies. I've been using baggies in my oldest child's lunch (and reusing them for a few days) because the plastic containers with lids are too hard for her to open. But now that I know there are better bags out there, I'm going to look into buying those instead.

Very cool post. Thanks!

Anne alias Purrceyz said...

If you do as search on etsy.com for "sandwich bags" and "snack bag" you'll find lots of handmade alternatives (or you can make your own along with cloth napkins.)

Virpukka said...

First this is going to be off topic but I didn't know where to send it so that you would find it. I found this writing from fanstory where people write fiction and non-fiction. I think you may find this information interesting. My hope is that they don't get this done in States because I believe that it will have impact in other countries too. No one should have this much power over food. And I don't know how many there even knows that they try to get this kind thing through in there.

http://www.fanstory.com/displaystory.jsp?id=265089&bk=1

Jennifer said...

This is so great! I typically never buy baggies but the other day I did. And every time I go to throw one away I feel guilty! Thanks for this info, I'm going to get some reusables. What's your favorite/recommendation?

Jenn
http://helloveggie.org

Jennifershmoo said...

>>What's your favorite/recommendation?

I don't know, I haven't tried them all and they all look so good! Those Dajo bags are sure cute.

BroccoliCat said...

These are all great ideas. Does anyone have any suggestions on alternatives to those flimsy plastic produce bags in the grocery store? Something that keeps the fruit/veggies separate and off the dirty cart, but is lightweight and reusable?

Dane said...

Ever since you posted this five days ago, every time I use a plastic baggie, I feel guilt about it. Thanks! (kidding) I, too, wash my baggies, but your post has inspired me to explore these new, better alternatives. :-)

Lynn said...

In regard to reusable produce bags, I bought these mesh bags off of etsy.com and LOVE them!

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5692686

Virginia said...

I just bought some of the Dajo Bags because of the materials they were made with (no pvc) and they are made in the US. Love them! the colors are also adorable.

Alecia A. Lott said...

Those are all adorable. It makes me wish I had a kid so I could pack cute lunches every day--is that wrong? lol

Girasol said...

I've developed a new option for people who want to avoid plastic usage as much as possible and I'm trying to get the word out about www.ecolunchboxes.com

I'd encourage you all to check out my new ECOlunchbox Kit. It's 100% plastic-free, waste free, lead-free, BPA-free, PVC-free and vinyl-free.

And the lunchbags and boxes aren't just for kids. They fit adults great.

Amy said...

I haven't tried these yet but I've had the site bookmarked for awhile. When I have a little extra money I'm planning to order some. They are just cotton twill so no plastic which I like and more importantly they actually have some BOY prints. I'm not sure how much I'd love the velcro though.

http://www.plumcreekmercantile.com/collections/snack-bags-1

The Guestroom Closet said...

We make, use and sell these bags using rescued fabrics (both boy and girl prints - sandwich and snack bags). http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=17295289

They hold up great and are fun to use!

CCC (Crazy Cooking Camper) said...

Thank you for this nice list of reusable bags. I linked it today to PassiFlora magazine http://passifloramag.com/2009/04/money-saving-and-lunch-bags/ Hope you don't mind

Lunchbox Obsessed said...

Kids Konserve has another option too called a Food Kozy. So, there are lots of choices! They pay for themselves over the course of a few months and you save plastic from going in the landfill. A great thing!

Onegreenmom said...

Hello Everyone! One of 3greenmoms here. I wanted to respond to Kristen's comments about LunchSkins. Although she has done some research, she hasn't adequately portrayed the full picture here. Our food safe coating AND our fabric (that means our cotton and the lining) meets all health standards for food safety in the US and in the EU - very stringent ones indeed. The "coating" has NOT been excluded from these requirements and has been proven safe and stable. On the contrary, 3greenmoms is not ashamed of its LunchSkins. In fact, we are proud to offer this high quality product as an alternative to the plastic baggie

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Hi. Love your blog! I just ordered a set of sandwich and snack bags from a website called, www.grazeorganic.com.

I've been looking everywhere for reusable baggies that don't have any plastic lining - and these didn't! All the fabric and inks are organic, too! The designs are really hip looking. I got my order just a few days after I placed it. Love em!!

Check it out! - Melissa

Shannon said...

I use the sandwich wraps from eco lunch gear, www.ecolunchgear.com. They hold the larger size bread that I use for my sandwiches, and they wash and dry quickly. They even have special tabs so that they don't snag other stuff in the wash-love that!

Julia said...

I came across your blog entry and thought that you may be interested in knowing about these Waste Free Lunch Kits.

They include a stainless beverage bottle, a thermos for hot meals, a neoprene washable lunch bag and an optional set of stainless food containers.

They come in a variety of configurations as well.

Here's the link:
http://www.gogreeninstages.com/shop.php/waste-free-lunch-kits

Thanks,

Julia

rObrak said...

THey are all eye catching huh! But I would still preferred using stainless steel container. The one I found on Happy Tiffin site (http://www.happytiffin.com) The steel tiffin carriers are very reusable, durable, portable and safe to use. I have no time that I have difficulty in bringing it with me. In fact I really love it. Have a visit in the site. Its really fantastic you can save more.

Mountain Knitter said...

I love the ones at this shop:
www.SustainableHomestead.Etsy.com
simple, no velcro, no inside seams.

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