According to EcoWatch statistics, the average American throws away about 185 pounds of plastic each year. That’s a staggering number. And, even more staggering, almost every piece of plastic ever produced still exists in some shape or form. Just in terms of plastic bags alone, about 500 billion are used worldwide which equates to one million bags per minute.
To make matters worse, your body absorbs plastic chemicals. Over 90% of Americans test positive for BPA, a plastic chemical. Some of these chemicals are powerful endocrine disruptors.
So, what can you do? Start by reducing plastic in your kitchen. It might be easier than you think. Try one or two of these kitchen plastic alternatives.
The Best Kitchen Plastic Alternatives
1. The Best Way to Replace Plastic Wrap & Baggies
Finding a replacement for plastic wrap and plastic baggies may seem impossible. But, there really is a way to replace this type of plastic in your kitchen. You’ve probably tried covering a bowl by putting a plate on top or maybe you’ve placed a melon face down on a dish to try to keep it fresh.
Well, you can stop the balancing work.
Try Bee’s Wrap. It’s the perfect way to cover bowls and wrap cheeses, produce, sandwiches and nuts. Really anything. It’s made of organic cotton and bee’s wax.
And, it lasts. Up to one year. Wash it in cool water with mild soap.
Watch this short demo. The wraps are so versatile. The warmth of your hands molds the beeswax to whatever you are wrapping.
Bee’s Wraps come in different sizes – big enough for your favorite loaf of french bread, the perfect size to cover a bowl or the sandwich size.
The healthiest way to store food that you might have wrapped in plastic.
2. Ditch Plastic Storage Containers – Glass is Best
If you’re still using plastic storage containers, take a look at your collection. Chances are your stash is a jumble of sizes, some without lids, and some permanently stained by tomato sauce. Yours are probably scratched and some probably sport an oily residue.
Not exactly appetizing, or safe.
So, what do you use instead? Throw those plastic containers in the recycling bin and opt for glass storage containers. You’ll wonder why you ever used plastic.
Glass containers are easier to clean (say goodbye to residue and scratches) and it’s easier to see what’s inside (no more surprises). Storing food in glass and not plastic is much healthier for you and the environment.
Plus, if you microwave food, it’s always safer to microwave in a glass covered with a towel than using plastic. When you heat plastic, it can cause toxins to leach into your food.
Finally, look how neat and tidy these will look in your cabinet. They stack really well.
3. Opt for Stainless or Glass Water Bottles Rather than Plastic
Those plastic water bottles sure seemed convenient and smart when you bought them. Now, not so much. You’ve got great options to replace the plastic by either using glass or stainless bottles.
Here’s the one that we like at Pure Living Space. It’s insulated (bet your plastic bottle can’t claim that) and won’t freeze or burn your fingers because it’s double-walled.
It’s also safe. Thinksport water bottles undergo rigorous chemical and biologic testing to insure they do not contain toxic chemicals.
These bottles have the advantage of lasting forever unlike plastic which should really be discarded once it gets scratched.
4. Plastic Cups, Plates & Plastic Ware – You’ve Got Good Alternatives
You may think that large parties or picnics mean that you must opt for plastic. But, you’ve got other options. You can buy inexpensive plates, glasses, and silverware that can be used for years. After a few uses, your glass and silverware will have paid for itself.
Not only is this cost-effective, it keeps plastic out of the landfill, reduces pollution from plastic production and your guests will appreciate having “real” plates and glasses.
While you’re at it, you might want to also consider buying cloth cocktail napkins too. While these don’t contribute to plastic waste, it will complete your eco-friendly and healthy approach.
5. Banish Plastic Cooking Utensils
So many better options exist for cooking utensils than plastic that it is incredible that manufacturers started making plastic utensils in the first place.
What to use instead of plastic?
Wood spoons and spatulas work great and you won’t have to worry about plastic toxins leaching into your food. Stainless whisks, ladles, serving spoons, and spatulas are perfect and clean up easily. Plus, neither wood or metal will melt if it gets too hot.
Toss your plastic cooking utensils into the recycling bin for better health.
6. Opt for Wood or Glass Cutting Boards, Not Plastic
Wood cutting boards are great options to replace plastic. Think about how gnarly your plastic cutting boards look after a few months of slicing and dicing.
What you may not know is when plastic gets scored, it can release toxins into your food.
Wood holds up much better and is healthier. You can easily sanitize your wood boards by rubbing the surface with a lemon slice. You may also like to use glass cutting boards because you can pop them in the dishwasher.
Photo Credit: Friedr Dick https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/17407215582/in/faves-141143735@N06/
7. What to do about Plastic Grocery Store Produce Bags – You’ve Got Options
Every trip to the grocery store ends up with using a plastic produce bag for each item. It’s easy to pick up 5-10 at each visit–that’s a lot of plastic waste over time. You may have tried not using the bags, but having produce grouped together in a bag just makes things easier.
So, what are your options?
Try these reusable produce bags that will change your life. You can see through the bags, so there’s no mystery about the contents. And, they have a convenient drawstring. The fabric is machine washable and durable. Plus, the fabric has been tested to make sure that it is free of harmful chemicals (no lead, heavy metals, BPA, or phthalates).
You can store your produce in these bags, and they store easily in your larger reusable grocery bags.
What’s your Favorite Kitchen Plastic Alternative?
Please share your favorite kitchen plastic alternative. Which are you already doing or plan to do?