Want to replace Cling Wrap? Here are 12 alternatives to single-use plastic food wrap, that will help you have a low or zero waste kitchen.
Reducing plastics at home isn't as hard as it might seem, there are many options that provide an easy substitute for those going zero waste, low waste or wanting to live a little greener.
This post does contains some affiliate links, meaning that if you click and purchase something, the price is the same to you, but I may receive a small commission that goes towards keeping this site up and running.
1. Use Plates and Bowls To Cover Food
In my opinion, using plates and bowls is the simplest and easiest method to replace glad wrap for covering leftovers.
Just look in your kitchen cupboards and you will find a variety of plastic-free, dishwasher safe and microwave safe options staring you in the face just waiting to be used.
Plates, bowls, saucers and serving dishes can cover and protect a variety of foods, including awkward sized items and is also useful for any containers that have lost their lids.
2. Invest in Silicone Dish Covers
Solid silicone food covers aren't exactly cheap, but they are very durable and a super handy item to have in the kitchen when replacing glad-wrap.
They also create a seal, meaning your food is sealed airtight and plastic-free. They are oven safe up to certain temperatures, BPA free and usually microwave and dishwasher safe (of course read the label, they can differ)
Here's a bad picture of my two favourite ones below:
- Green banana leaf cover perfectly fits large baking trays eliminating the need for foil and cling wrap (you can find them here)
-The Daisy cover works great on multiple sized bowls aswell as jugs and salad dishes. (You can find a Silicone Lily Pad version here)
3. Baking Trays, Pots and Pans
Before ever purchasing cook ware, always consider how versatile and long lasting it will be. It is easy to sucked into advertising or new products that are designed to serve only one purpose.
I was lucky enough to inherit this deep double baking tray, it's not glamorous but it is extremely useful. They fit together and can easily cover leftovers, including an entire roast chook and veggies. it also works for pasta bakes, lasagne, and many other baked items and we use it all the time.
Some other examples of baking trays with covers here and here.
The Pots or Pans you cooked in are ideal for storing food - put the lid on and place straight into the fridge (once it has cooled down of course).
Frypan and wok lids are fantastic for covering dinner plates or serving dishes, so search through your cupboards and see what items you already have.
4. Plastic Containers
Using a variety of shapes and sizes, most foods can be accommodated for. Here I have a bread container, a salad bowl which has a lot of uses, a pink soup/pasta bowl and smaller items for dips and snacks. Some are suitable for both storage, freezing and reheating but always check first as many plastics shouldn't hold hot food.
5. Glass Containers
Glass Jars and containers are brilliant for storing food plastic free, and usually have a lid, so absolutely no need for cling wrap.
Any liquids like freshly squeezed juice, passata, dips, sauces not to mention pantry items.
The rectangular one is glasslock and can be used in the oven and freezer too, which is pretty handy.(I love multi-purpose items)
If you're reusing jars, check out this simple method to remove labels and glue from glass jars.
6. Plastic Bags
I try to prepare our own bread, but I just don't have the time to make all of it, and we end up with plastic bread bags along with other plastic food bags as it is so hard to avoid.
Bread bags, pasta bags, frozen food bags can be washed and used several times. This is great for cheese, cold meats, sandwiches, snacks, and is useful for freezing. I don't recommend using them too many times as the plastic will begin to deteriorate and I don't trust this with food I plan to eat.
7. Silicone Food Huggers and Wraps
Perfect for fruit and veg, these food huggers (pictured below) great for half items such as tomatoes, onions, cucumber as well as covering cups of soup and small bowls.
Another thing that works great are reusable silicone food wraps, like these food grade, stretchy ones here that can replace baking paper, foil and act very similar to cling wrap, but are washable and reusable.
8. Use Cups and Vases
If you are still wrapping celery, herbs and cut fruits in cling wrap then you really need to try this. There are a number of fruits and vegetables that do well in vases and glasses of water. We don't need glad wrap on our veggies. Do this for celery, spring onion, asparagus, herbs, apple slices and more.
If you want to give this a go, check out my guest post on 1 Million Women here.
9. Reusable Freezer Bags
These bags are heavy duty and designed for long term use. To replace cling film, cut into sheets to make a flat piece for wrapping. Just wash in hot soapy water after every use. Check out the instructions and details here.
10. Beeswax Wraps
You can buy or make your own and there are a lot of tutorials online, plus you might find local workshops near you.
The wraps are pliable and can be shaped to food items, helping them stay fresh. The downside is when washed in hot water, the beeswax will melt and need reapplication so remember to rinse in cool water only.
They mould around bowls, food and even cut flowers. I think these are essential in any home wanting to reduce their waste and reliance on disposable plastics.
Here is everything you need to know about beeswax wraps (including how to care for them, what to use them for and things to watch out for, plus an awesome 15% off the entire Eco Patch online store)
11. Tea Towel or Fabric
Probably the oldest method known to man (or grandmothers), just cover or wrap in a towel. Reusable food storage pouches designed to replace plastic, can be used for cheese, herbs and vegetables and also taken shopping as a produce bags (see an example here) and there are many fabric food covers like this available these days. You can even get specific bags like those for Ham or these really cute bread bags also useful for homemade cakes! All can be thoroughly washed and reused umpteen times.
12. Snack Pouches Sandwich Wraps
Obviously great for packed lunches and snacks, but why not use them for wrapping and protecting other food too. The one below can be found here, but there are many around and can often be found in markets along with zero waste stores. Being close fitting, this can replace the need to glad wrap deli items and leftovers.
Did this List help? or are there still items you can't avoid the cling wrap?
I'd love to know, as people use cling wrap for all kinds of things. If you have some great tips, feel free to share them in the comments below.
Go here for more zero waste tips