6 green alternatives to plastic sandwich bags
It’s hard to believe that it’s already back-to-school season again here in the USofA.
Some students are already heading back next week. Eek. Fortunately my guys have another month of pure summer bliss before we dive back in.
I’ve seen tons of back to school promotions hit my inbox in the past week. But one thing has been missing from most of the the lists and advertisements I’ve seen – and that is alternatives to plastic sandwich bags.
Yes, they are more expensive than plastic sandwich bags…at least upfront. We purchased a set of 5 reusable bags for $35 three years ago. Certainly expensive when you consider a box of plastic Ziploc sandwich bags (50 bags) costs about $2.29 at Target. But, when you consider the per-use cost, things start to look a lot better for the reusable bags because if you buy a high quality set, they’ll last and last. I have packed well over 600 lunch boxes with those same 5 bags over the past 3 years (not necessarily including summer camp lunches – it is higher if I include those!). The per-use cost of a Ziploc: $0.05. My per-use cost of reusables (so far): $0.06 — and it will keep going down as I will use them again this year.
The neat thing is that, with each year, more fabulously cute reusable sandwich and snack bags arrive on the scene. If you haven’t switched to reusable sandwich bags, there’s never been a better time!
Here’s a quick roundup of top options. Mix and match your way to a complete set.
I first discovered Itzy Ritzy bags at the Housewares Show in Chicago two years ago. I love how they line their bags with a wipeable PVC-free waterproof lining. These bags are perfect for fruits – I use them all the time. Find them at ItzyRitzyStore.com
SnackTaxi makes bags that are awesome for sandwiches. Not only are they just the right size – but the inside of the pouch is lined with BPA-free polyurethane-coated nylon so all you need to do at the end of each day is wipe down the interior of the bag with a sponge and it’s ready to be used again. I typically use these bags for half a week to a week before tossing in the wash. You can find them at The Container Store.
LunchSkins come in a both snack and sandwich sizes. The line has a wide variety of colorful designs, too. I personally love the motto of the founders: “Reduce your daily lunchprint.” Couldn’t agree more! See the entire product line at LunchSkins.com
Pottery Barn Kids
Shop Pottery Barn Kids complete line of reusable food storage
This is the very first set of reusable lunch bags I purchased. I love that they are made in the USA from 100% certified organic cotton & hand silk-screened using water-based inks. They are very, very well made. As I mentioned, our set is going on year #4! They also have adorable lunch bags. Check out their entire line at GrazeOrganics.com
I’m massively in favor of buying from individual craftswomen when possible. The good news in this category is that there are dozens and dozens of affordable options handmade by Etsy shop owners. Just type “reusable sandwich bags” in Etsy! I love this design (and lined bag) from seller PepperJackHome.