24 Plastic Wrap Alternatives for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Discover the best plastic wrap alternatives including bowl covers, beeswax wraps, silicone food bags, reusable food storage containers & more, to help you move toward zero waste in the kitchen. 

Eco-Friendly Plastic Wrap Alternatives

Let’s talk about plastic wrap today, shall we? If you’re like most people, you probably have a bright yellow box of plastic wrap in your kitchen drawer. It’s one of those kitchen staples that’s always there for you – and when you start to run low it immediately goes on the shopping list so you won’t ever be caught without it.

What if the next time the plastic wrap container got low, you just never replaced it? Is it possible to live without plastic wrap? You’ll be surprised how easy it is to skip the plastic wrap and other single-use plastics once you discover the many reusable alternatives to plastic wrap! 

If you are looking for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap and disposable plastic bags, I’ve got you covered with reusable alternatives like beeswax wraps, bowl covers, silicone bags and more!

plastic wrap alternatives - silicone sandwich bags

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Why Cling Wrap Alternatives are Important

Plastic cling wrap hasn’t always been in our kitchen drawers. It was invented in the 1940’s by a chemical company (red flag #1) and was originally made with toxic PVC plastic or polyvinyl chloride (red flag #2). Plastic wrap is now made primarily of LDPE (low-density polyethylene) which is deemed safe by the FDA but safety concerns about plastic wrap still exist (red flag #3).

Here are some good reasons to ditch the plastic wrap and ziplock bags:

Health Concerns of Plastic Wrap

Environmental Impact of Plastic Wrap

  • Plastic is not biodegradable
  • Plastic production creates pollution
  • Single-use items create plastic waste that ends up in landfills (reusable is always better than disposable!)

Full disclosure: I am not a zero-plastic eco-hero. My kitchen drawer usually contains one of those ubiquitous yellow boxes of Saran wrap, it just doesn’t get used very often. I focus on how to reduce waste at home but I am far from perfect! Avoiding plastic wrap as much as possible is just one way I try to be a conscious consumer.

Bowl covers on cutting board small

Eco-Friendly Plastic Wrap Alternatives

It’s odd how we feel like we can’t live without plastic wrap since people survived without it for ages before it was invented.

Check out this big list of eco-friendly alternatives to plastic wrap – I bet there’s one or two plastic wrap substitutes here that will work for you! Let me know your favs in the comments!

1.) Beeswax Wraps

If you are looking for a reusable plastic wrap alternative, beeswax food wraps are a great solution! Beeswax infused cotton creates a pliable cloth that can be molded around food and over bowls. The warmth of your hands softens the beeswax and helps it “stick” but without leaving behind any unwanted residues.

Wash beeswax wraps in cold water to use over and over again. Beeswax wraps are biodegradable, so you can toss them in the compost or organics recycling at the end of their useful life. Beeswax wraps can be purchased as flat sheets or as sandwich wraps with a tie closure. Vegan options are also available. I’ve even got a tutorial for DIY to make your own beeswax wraps if you are so inclined. 

Check out some of the best beeswax wraps:


2.) Reusable Bowl Covers

Bowl covers are another super easy substitute for plastic wrap. Reusable cloth bowl covers come in colorful prints with stretchy elastic edges that slide easily over bowls of all shapes and sizes. I love my reusable bowl covers from Etsy because they are made with food-safe laminated cotton that is easy to wash, but you can find fabric bowl covers made with untreated cotton if you prefer. 

Reusable bowl covers are perfect for covering food in the refrigerator for short periods of time, and for taking to a potluck or picnic as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. My husband uses bowl covers to cover bread dough while it is rising.

Check out some of the best reusable bowl covers:


RELATED: Reusable Kitchen Products to Save Money & the Planet

3.) Silicone Food Bags

Reusable silicone food bags are self-sealing, air-tight bags made from durable silicone. Silicone is a rubber-like material (different from plastic) and food grade silicone is considered safe for food storage. Silicone bags can be used in the freezer, fridge or cupboard and are a great way to store food – including both dry or wet food. They are dishwasher safe too – a major bonus!

I use silicone food bags instead of disposable plastic bags for storing everything from cheese, to fruit and veggies, to snacks and more. Since they are translucent, you can see what’s in the bag and you can use a dry-erase marker to label contents if you want. Beware of knock-off brands made of thin silicone material and that do not seal properly. Stasher Bags are high-quality silicone bags that I recommend highly! 

Check out some of the best silicone food bags:


4.) Silicone Bowl Covers & Lids

Silicone food covers and lids are affordable alternatives to plastic wrap that can be used over and over again. Food-grade silicone is dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. Silicone bowl covers and silicone tops can be stretched tightly over bowls and food items. Silicone lids come in many different sizes and create a tight seal and suction on top of bowls. They are a great alternative to plastic wrap in the microwave. I recommend buying a set of silicone covers in a variety of sizes so you can skip the plastic wrap as often as possible. 

Check out some of the best silicone bowl covers:


Related: Plastic-free food shopping tips

5.) Reusable Sandwich Wraps

Instead of grabbing yet another plastic baggie, switch to a reusable sandwich wrap made from washable cotton or beeswax infused fabric. Unlike those single-use plastic bags, reusable wraps can be used over and over again. Bonus: reusable food wraps double as a placemat for school lunch or other lunches on-the-go!

Check out some of the best reusable sandwich wraps:


6.) Reusable Food Storage Containers 

Pop leftovers into food storage containers with lids and there will be no need for plastic wrap. Reusable containers made from glass or stainless steel are durable, food safe and dishwasher safe. You can also use glass jars, mason jars or any other glass containers that you have on hand. Durable, reusable plastic containers with recycle code #5 are a type of safer plastic that you can use in a pinch as well. Remember, reusable lunch containers can also double as food storage containers for leftovers and are a great way to reduce food waste. 

Check out some of the best reusable food storage containers:


RELATED: Why Buy Natural, Non-Toxic Products

7.) Reusable Cloth Bags

Reusable bags are great for storing food and come in all shapes and sizes – from the classic reusable snack bags to cloth produce bags to large food storage bags made from food-safe ripstop nylon.

Check out some of the best reusable cloth bags:


RELATED: How to Use Less Plastic in Your Home & Life

8.) Dishtowels & Dinner Plates

Long before the invention of plastic wrap, food was stored in dishes (a bowl with a plate on top) and wrapped in dishtowels. I keep a set of large flour-sack cloths in my kitchen for all sorts of food-related purposes.

Check out some of the best dishtowels, tea towels and cloths:


More Favorites from Mindful Momma

What are your favorite alternatives to plastic wrap? Let me know in the comments!

green & healthy wishes Micaela signature

P.S. Ready to tackle your bathroom next? Zero waste bathroom swaps!


  1. Have you noticed if these alternatives work as well as the plastic wrap, in terms of keeping out other smells from surrounding foods in the fridge?

    1. I think the best bet for keeping out smells would be a storage container with a lid! Hope that helps!

  2. I do my best to avoid plastics and use reusabkes as much as possible. But I run into problems with my rectangular casserole dishes when I have half of dinner still left and I store it in the dish. The paid wrap keeps it from dropping out. Would love a solution for that 🙂

    1. Sorry for the typos….this font is very small on my phone.

    2. Awww…that’s a tricky one. I would think a sheet of beeswax wrap could do the trick! Also perhaps one of the stretchy silicone covers – they are made for round bowls but could possibly stretch over a rectangular dish. Let me know if you have any luck!

      1. Carol Rambo says:

        I will take that food, make individual servings, and store those in the fridge or freezer. Wash my glass rextangular dish. I use glass bowls with lids. People can pull them out and heat them in the microwave anytime they want to eat. Works well for my family. I date the ones I put in the freezer with tiny labels (also state what the food is).

  3. When taking a bowl of food to any event, I always use a plate to cover it, tied shut with a big cotton tea towel. You just put the towel on the counter, center the bowl and plate covering it and bring up the two opposite corners to tie a square knot. Grab the other two corners, knot them and you’ve got a nice, secure cover, with a convenient carrying handle.

  4. I’m loving your zero waste swap ideas! I literally just posted on my own blog about how to reduce toxins in your kitchen and nixing the plastic is one of them. So many great ideas here!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. So glad you loved the tips! Excited to check out your blog!

  5. Thanks for this post. Maybe this is a dumb question but what about aluminum foil? It’s recyclable.

    1. Sure, aluminum foil is recyclable but still mostly a one-use item. Better than plastic wrap though!

      1. Crunchy Mama says:

        Aluminum foil is better than plastic wrap? I was always under the impression it could leach just the same into foods?

        1. In terms of safety – the science on aluminum is inconclusive. From what I’ve read, aluminum foil is safe for cold products but could be more of a concern when used with hot foods or on a grill. With all these great alternatives, it’s possible to keep both plastic wrap and aluminum foil to a minimum – that’s what I try to do!

  6. I create soaps woth a high glycerin content. Thru have to be sealed and pretty for customers. Air tight, and cost effeciant.Any ideas?

    1. Hmmmm….seems like you’ll need to stick with some plastic there – but it’s not much and if you can skip the box, you’re still using minimal packaging!

  7. Sarah Richardson says:

    My dilemma is, when I switch, what do I do with the plastic wrap and Ziploc bags I have now?

    1. I would keep them and use them for times when you really need them like wrapping food that you are giving away or something super messy.

  8. Kristen Bringas says:

    Thank you so much for helping us start a plastic free life! Both my husband and I HATE plastics and try to do our part by not buying or using any plastics, including those pesky plastic utensils they try to give you at restaurants! Next stop, the kitchen! I don’t want to buy any more plastic baggies, so thank you for all the great recommendations. I will be buying some (off your blog to help support :)) very soon. I wanted to make a recommendation to the group. Plastic water bottles are a HUGE problem for our planet. So my husband and I only buy reusable, plastic free water bottles and fill those up with our osmosis system! Osmosis systems are a great way to clean your drinking water, holds over 50 gallons of clean water and refills its self every time you use it. We bought ours through amazon. They are not cheap, however, for how much money people spend on water bottles in their lifetime doesn’t come close to how much you will spend on one osmosis system. You save money, save the planet, get clean water that tastes good, and the filter only needs to be changed about once a year! WINNING!

    1. Congrats on all your plastic-free efforts! Yes, I’ve heard great things about osmosis water systems but do not have one myself.

  9. Susan Highland says:

    I am trying so hard to cut back on plastic. I HATE those beeswax things because they are too small for anything and don’t stick well for a seal. I did use your affiliate link for the stretch top silicone lids. I hope they work! I am trying to use foil to wrap sandwiches because I just rinse it off and it can be recycled.

    1. Hope you like the stretchy silicone lids – I use mine a lot!

  10. I tend to use grease proof paper for wrapping solid food. Liquid is popped in a dish covered by a spare plate.
    I use spare plates to cover dishes in the microwave..
    I’m still looking for a plastic alternative to freezer bags, I know there are silicon alternatives bit that just seems to replace plastic with expensive plastic.
    I save jars and reuse them in fact most of my teas are in old coffee jars,along with herbs and vanilla sugar.
    My son has a thing for shop brought salsa, I discovered that Aldi salsa jars hold half a tin of baked beans or. Tin tomatoes.

    1. Sounds like you have a lot of great solutions! I do recommend the silicone bags – they are technically in the rubber family – not the same as most plastics. Also very durable and long lasting!

  11. I like to make muffins and freeze them for easy breakfasts during the school year. I used to wrap each one in plastic wrap but I’d like to get away from that. Is there a container that is best suited for the freezer? Thank you

    1. You can use heavy duty glass containers (like a pyrex-style) in the freezer.

  12. Lia Kulla says:

    Thanks for this article. It’s definitely useful and gives lots of good ideas. Non-plastic wrap is definitely an investment. I couldn’t buy many Stasher bags at once that’s for sure due to the expense. I love my reusable bags by Russbe. They are plastic but dishwasher/freezer safe and I have replaced all my single use gallon, sandwich, and snack size plastic bags with this brand.

    1. I haven’t heard of the brand Russbe – thanks for the head’s up!

      1. MT Hannigan says:

        The Russbe website says their snack and sandwich bags are free of BPA, PVC, latex, and phthalates, but it doesn’t say what they ARE made of, whether they are silicone or not. The advantage of silicone is that you can throw it in the oven or microwave.While not a “100% natural” material like rubber, food-grade silicone is a non-toxic polymer mostly made from silica (sand). It can withstand heating and freezing without leaching or off-gassing, hazardous chemicals – unlike plastics, which contaminate food in these environments

        1. I’m definitely a fan of silicone bags – but I don’t use them in the oven or microwave.

  13. Linda J. Yancey says:

    Where have you been all my life? Seriously, thank you for what you do and for the blog. I plan to buy and read your book and get educated. Tgank you, thank yiu.

  14. I’m proud to say I have not used plastic wrap in over a year. Finally my husband has started to reach for an alternative rather than telling me to put plastic wrap on my shopping list. That said, Here is MY take on a few of your suggestions. First, they can’t require too much time to maintain. Washing and drying the bees wax wrap is a pain in the neck. Where do you store it while waiting for it to dry? More importantly, I don’t think the bees wax wrap was effective. I tried wrapping a piece of cheese. And a baguette. Didn’t keep anything fresh. I tried the fabric reusable bowl covers. In all fairness, I bought non-laminated cotton covers. Used it on a cut watermelon half. Ugh! A day later the cut area of the watermelon was dry on top. I have switched all my plastic food storage containers to glass or stainless. The stainless can be expensive especially if someone takes it for lunch and doesn’t return it. I do love the silicone stretch lids. They took some getting used, but I love them. Easy to wash in the dishwasher. They tend to be expensive, but I love how they work and wash up so I’m willing to spend the extra money.

    1. Congrats on ditching the plastic wrap! I appreciate your insights on the products you have tried. I agree – the silicone stretch lids are super handy!

  15. These are great ideas! I’m the path to reduce plastic and paper in the house but I run into some things that I can’t figure. My mist recent are pounding or tenderizing meat e.g chicken breast, and portioning meats or pizza dough for the freezer. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Those are tricky. I would suggest saving plastic bags from other things and reusing them for these purposes. Hope that helps!

  16. A few more ideas…

    Plastic take-out food, margarine or icecream containers make fantastic freezer/ fridge/ giveaway/ shared lunch containers…the lids fit tightly, so food does not get freezer burn, smell is contained, and you dont need to worry about getting your containers back. And you can write on them, some of mine have so many crossed out “content and date”, it shows how sturdy these ‘one-use’ containers are.

    Use plastic bread bags for tenderising meat, wrapping sandwiches, wrapping un-iced cakes, giving fruit or vegetables away, etc. Plastic bread bags are great for storing ‘stinky’ rubbish – I have one in the freezer for food waste that cannot be fed to the chickens or put in the compost bin.

    Kitchen bin liners can be eliminated by taking more care with what we put in our bins, and by re-using the bag that comes wrapped around potatoes, kitty litter, potting mix, etc. I have a basket in the kitchen for recycling, which is sorted into the outdoor bins, a little bucket for food scraps, and a kitchen bin for what cannot go into either of those. Our family of six fills a kitchen bin once every two or three weeks with “absolute” trash.

    We also use bread bags walking our dog, to pick up her waste, and our daycare has been using them to wrap used disposable nappies before putting them in the bin. Why buy a new bag, when you get one free with sliced bread? My children were in cloth nappies, traditional and then the modern cloth ones, so I took a 10l paint bucket for their nappies to go into.

    I do try and use greaseproof paper and string or a rubber band instead of plastic wrap as often as feasible, sometimes I can use a cut-open plastic bag to seal over a dish. I still use plastic wrap for some things.

  17. Valerie Clow says:

    THANK YOU!! Such great information, I feel as I am ready to make a start at a cleaner lifestyle.

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