Plastic is everywhere and we use it constantly. It’s in our appliances, clothing, furniture, electronics, hygiene items, and even food. After learning how bad plastic is for the environment, there has been a huge campaign around the world to use less plastic, including sandwich bags.
When it comes to keeping food or leftovers, Ziploc bags are the standard. The flexibility of these bags makes them practical, adaptable, and simple to use. They are also great for keeping small objects around the house. However, Ziploc bags are made from single-use plastic, which is known to be damaging to the environment and marine species. Plastic also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change.
What Are the Materials Used to Manufacture Plastic Sandwich Bags?
Polyethylene, a synthetic polymer derived from fossil fuels, is used to make plastic sandwich bags. Nonrenewable resources including crude oil, natural gas, and coal tar are used in its production.
The final product is made by putting these oil products through a series of chemical steps. This process puts harmful greenhouse gases into the air, which makes climate change worse. Not to mention that plastic may take over 1000 years to degrade, releasing the same dangerous chemicals in the process.
Why Are Alternatives Needed?
Zip-seal and Ziploc bags, along with the vast majority of other low-density polyethylene (LDPE) sandwich bags, are the most common kind of plastic sandwich bags. Even if you can recycle this material, you won’t be able to use the items again for many months at the very least. The majority of these plastics end up in landfills.
Plastic has become such an integral part of our everyday lives that it might be difficult to imagine attempting to eliminate it totally. However, the following are some convincing reasons to seek alternatives:
- Plastics include chemicals that have been related to infertility and obesity. It also includes hormone-disrupting endocrine disruptors.
- Many animal species, particularly those found in the waters, are negatively impacted by chemicals on plastic. The damage may be irreparable, and it continues to worsen.
- It takes one thousand years for these LDPE bags to completely decompose, and many of these plastics make their way into the ocean and the ecosystem, causing damage to hundreds of species of animals on land and in the water each year.
Alternatives to Plastic Sandwich Bags
Consider looking into alternatives to using plastic bags around the house for the benefit of both the environment and the wellbeing of your loved ones.
Initial costs for reusable alternatives to Ziploc bags are high. They are the type of product that may be considered an investment since, in the long run, they will save you money. That does not imply, however, that you are required to go out and get a stylish and pricey stainless-steel lunchbox.
Here are several alternatives to sandwich bags that are less expensive, more environmentally friendly, and cost-effective.
1. Reusable Containers
The first alternative is to use a sandwich container, this is without a doubt the simplest choice. There are stainless steel containers available, but they are somewhat pricey. Moreover, if you like bento-style lunchboxes, there is a vast selection available.
Stainless steel lunch boxes are sturdier than plastic ones and will keep your sandwich from flattening out in your backpack. These containers are stylish, functional, long-lasting, and simple to use. It is perfectly safe to put hot food inside of it since it is constructed of steel. Locks are included, although not all of the containers are leak-proof since they are composed of metal without silicone gaskets. However, some are equipped with a silicone seal to prevent leaks.
2. Beeswax Wrap
As an alternative to sandwich bags, beeswax wraps will keep your lunch from drying out or spilling all over the place. These wraps are breathable and self-seal. They can keep everything from fresh veggies to leftovers like biscuits. They seal in moisture and keep your food from drying out by creating just the proper amount of stickiness. You can keep your food fresh and prevent sandwiches from coming apart by using beeswax covers.
These well-crafted beeswax covers come in a set of three styles, colors, and sizes. You can easily clean them with cold water, let them dry in the air, and use them again. Additionally, they are biodegradable and compostable.
3 Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bags
These bags are constructed of food-grade silicone and contain no phthalates, BPA, BPF, BPS, or other potentially hazardous substances. These bags are stronger and less prone to leaks than regular plastic sandwich bags.
Reusable silicone sandwich bags are an excellent substitute for both plastic and paper sandwich bags. They’re ideal for on-the-go lunches and snacks. As silicone can resist high temperatures, most silicone products are also dishwasher safe. Additionally, you may feel good about your purchase since it will lessen trash.
4. Sandwich Pouch
A sandwich pouch, sometimes known as a sandwich “envelope,” is a reusable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic or paper sandwich bags.
To clean, depending on the brand (see the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions), turn inside out and wipe or wash in warm soapy water. Rinse, then air dry.
Certain brands may be machine-washed.
5. Silicone Food Bag
This one varies from the reusable silicone bags in that it has a distinct, sandwich-friendly form. This reusable bag is suitable for use in the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher, and it can be used to steam vegetables and fish. It has a pinch-lock seal to maintain food’s freshness.
6. Compostable Sandwich Bags
Compostable bags are an excellent choice if you’re seeking for reusable and eco-friendly snack bags. Composting will not be an issue with these bags since they are created from biodegradable materials. They provide the comfort of a Ziploc bag while degrading in the environment much more quickly.
7. Food Wraps
These items are produced from flat-opening recycled PE plastic. It is also created from a material that is waterproof, washable, and does not adhere or stain. Use it to wrap apple slices, bagels, sandwiches, and whatever else you want to bring with you.
8. Wax Paper
For people who wish to minimize or decrease their usage of plastic, wax paper is an excellent substitute. It is constructed of paper that has been covered in a thin coating of wax. This makes it waterproof and ideal for wrapping sandwiches or snacks. Because it can be broken down by composting, wax paper is an excellent eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap.
9. Zippered Lunch Bags
Reusable and environmentally friendly zippered bags are available. These are safe for use with food since they lack harmful substances like BPA and lead.
Get Rid of Plastic Waste by Not Using Plastic Sandwich Bags
Eco-friendly alternatives to plastic Ziploc bags are reusable and dishwasher safe. If you’re searching for an alternative to Ziploc bags because you’re concerned about the negative effects plastic bags have on the environment, or if you’re just seeking for something more durable than standard sandwich-sized zip lock bags, you’ll find what you need on the list.
Indeed, giving up single-use plastics is difficult since they are so handy to use. However, it is an essential step that we must all take if we are to save our planet. So, the next time you prepare your sandwich, use one of these alternatives!