stretchy silicone lids

Stretchy Lids are ideal to replace plastic wrap and aluminium foil to keep food fresh. These are diwasher-safe and can also be used in microwaves (don’t heat baby or pet food in microwaves). They can be used 100s of times and are sold in a set of 6 sizes. Silicone does use fossil fuels to make (mixed with sand) but is food-safe, easy to recycle at end of use and does not break down into millions of microplastics. It also lasts years, is easy to clean and moulsd around jars and tubs.

Clingfilm is a very thin plastic that often falls apart (so bits get stuck to food you’re sealing) and the boxes usually have a cutting edge that doesn’t work that well. It’s also wasteful and expensive. Originally made from PVC PVC (polyvinyl chlorine), most clingfilm is now made from LDPE (low-density polyethylene) which is not good either and doesn’t stick well. It was invented (by accident) back in the 1930s by someone trying to remove something from a lab vial, it’s now been around for almost 100 years.

The average family uses 26 rolls of clingfilm a year, but it’s made by melting tiny plastic pellets (nurdles) that often drop on the factory floor and end up in the sea (it’s estimated 50 million nurdles end up in oceans each year). These look like fish eggs to marine creatures, who end up eating them (so do you, if you eat fish).

a set of 6 reusable silicone lids

silicone lids

This set of reusable silicone lids is idea to replace plastic wrap on empty jars and cans. Silicone does use fossil fuels (with sand) but it’s food-safe, lasts years, easy to recycle and doesn’t break down into millions of microplastics. A one-time purchase, they can cover different-sized bowls and cans and jars, or even use to snugly seal over half-cut fruits like melons and onions, to keep them fresh.

silicone lids

Incredibly versatile, silicone moulds to the shape and size you need, to avoid mess and spills, but without the disposable plastic clingfilm. One set should fit all items. Freezer-and-microwave safe, they are also dishwasher-safe on the top shelf. Sold in plastic-free packaging with a 1-year guarantee. A tree is planted for each order.

silicone lids

a reusable ziplock silicone freezer bag

reusable silicone freezer bag

This reusable silicone freezer bag is ideal to replace plastic disposable freezer bags. Silicone does use fossil fuels (with sand) but it’s food-safe, lasts years, easy to recycle and doesn’t break down into millions of microplastics. A one-time purchase, this bag has an airtight and leakproof seal, to ensure food stays fresh for longer, with no spillages. The pouch can also stand up, making it easier to fill with liquids.

reusable silicone freezer bag

The bags are also good to reduce bread waste. Just freeze your loaf and pop extra slices in the bag. Then just take out a slice at a time, to pop direct in the toaster. Incredibly versatile, this bag is heat-resistant up to 230 degrees and freezer safe up to minus 40 degrees. Also microwave and dishwasher-safe (remove slider before you put in microwave). Remove odours or stains by soaking in a little baking soda and white vinegar.

If you prefer disposable, you can buy compostable freezer bags (only industrial composting so just bin, don’t put them in your own compost bin, they need special conditions to break down).

linen reusable bowl covers from Cornwall

reusable bowl covers

Helen Round Reusable Bowl Covers (also in a blue stripe design) are made to fit different-sized bowls and offer a stylish and practical way to keep food covered, without clingfilm or aluminium foil. Made by local artisans, these keep food fresh and add natural charm to your kitchen. Made from linen (the flax plant), they are also machine-washable to use again and again. Use them in the fridge where (unlike plastic wrap) they still let your food breathe.

paper sandwich bags in cardboard boxes

if you care paper sandwich bags

If You Care makes greaseproof sandwich bags (also good for nuts, crisps and baguettes) and unbleached unwaxed paper (free from chlorine in cardboard packs – the latter is pre-cut and also be used to warm up pizza). Toastabags offer paper sandwich/snack bags (and compostable clingfilm), as does Ecoleaf and Lakeland.

Cafes, restaurants and hotels may wish to invest in Agreena, a reusable silicone alternative to clingfilm (that also replaces foil) to wash and use again. Sold on a roll, silicone does contain fossil fuels (mixed with sand) but lasts for years and at end of life, is easily recycle. It also withstands high temperatures, and stretches over glass bowls to keep prepped foods in the fridge.

Smart Freeze Containers are made from food-grade silicone, ideal to freeze all your leftover foods. With a seal to keep soups and sauces safe, these can also withstand heating up in ovens and microwaves, and are dishwasher safe. You can also use the QR app to track contents and delete once you’ve removed the item if you’re techy-minded (most of us will just write the date on!) Stains can be removed by soaking in hot water with baking soda, and the lid sealed. You can also use them to make and store homemade ice cream or to bake loaf cakes, or marinate items then take straight from freezer to oven.

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