An average family of five uses between 1,800 to almost 2,400 plastic sandwich bags per year. More than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches end up in U.S. landfills.
There are eco-friendly alternatives to those plastic baggies we’re accustomed to using. Colorful, fashionable, affordable dishwasher and washing machine safe, they can be reused hundreds of times. And these are all made in the U.S.
Here’s my “Best of the Best” list. They were all created by Moms unwilling to keep using an unsustainable, petroleum-based “baggies” and who, after searching for a great alternative, ended up creating one.The first three products are reusable sandwich and/or snack bags that have Velcro fasteners. The fourth one looks like a bright-colored plastic food container, but isn’t. ReUsies are made of soft, 100 percent cotton and lined with a non-waterproof, lycra-nylon material. They’re made in Seattle, Washington and are free from lead, BPA, phthalates, and other potentially harmful chemicals.ReUsies have lots of colors and patterns that are a fit for women, young kids and adults. Among their newest styles is a new organic solid bag that’s comparable in price to the ones they already carry. “We’re really aware of who our audience is,” says inventor-Mom and co-founder Karen Whorton.
ReUsies have a long lifespan, depending on use and care. “They may not look pretty after 2 years,” said Whorton, “but they’ll still work.”
To clean them, flip them inside out, take a sponge, rinse it, then let it air dry. Once a week, put them in the washer and dryer or into the dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning.
ReUsies come in two sizes – large sandwich size for $8.95 and smaller snack size for $6.95. “If you do the math as to how long they last and how much you’d spend for plastic bags and plastic wrap,” said Whorton, “they pay for themselves.”
LunchSkins Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags were created by three stay-at-home Moms and are made by a family-owned manufacturer in Pennsylvania.
On a mission to greatly reduce the number of baggies that are tossed each year, with their colorful patterned snack, sandwich and “sub” bags, LunchSkins is on the right track!
Made from a thick cotton fabric coated with a food-safe polyurethane liner. you can pack these grease-proof and moisture proof, reusables with all kinds of favorite messy foods. They’re a little stiff but, with repeated use, they’ll soften and fade a bit.
Besides being perfect for food and snacks, LunchSkins can be used to hold make-up, pet treats and baby take-alongs. You can also personalize these patterned bags by writing your child’s name on the nameplate so it won’t get lost or tossed out. was created by a stay-at-home Mom in
ReSnackIt was created by a stay-at-home Mom in Connecticut who was tired of the waste created by using plastic bags.
Made of undyed nylon, these reusables are made for “on the go eats” says Kristin Webster, founder and CEO of Live and Dream Green, the maker of ReSnackIt.
These bright colored bags come in at least 15 different patterns and colors, with more to come.
They work really well, says Webster, and your food doesn’t dry out. “They can go in the fridge till lunchtime,” she said, but they’re not for long-term storage.
Like these others, you can put them in the dishwasher but since there’s no spin cycle, they won’t dry in it, so let them air dry.
They’re NOT leakproof, so be careful what you put in them.
ReSnackIt bags are currently available in three regions of Whole Foods stores (the North Atlantic, the Northeast and the Rocky Mountains), at boutiques across the US and online at www.ReSnackIt.com.
This last product resembles a small lunchbox but it’s better. LunchBots is made of recycled stainless steel, with a lid with a jump-out-at-you color.
LunchBots come in four color-coded styles. Their original and still popular versions are the Uno, with its deep blue lid, and the Duo, a split container with a bright orange lid. They’re perfect for sandwiches, salads, sushi or whatever your favorite lunch is.
The Pico is a smaller version of the Uno, made for toddler and kid-sized portions. It sports a sunny yellow lid and a split insides. The newer Eco – with its green lid – is designed for larger portions like big salads, larger sandwiches or yummy leftovers.
Lunchbots recently introduced their LunchKit lunch system, a waste-free, eco-friendly, on-the-go lunch solution. These have everything you need: LunchBot containers, Mimi the Sardine’s LunchBug Tote and two cloth napkins by Fabkins. They’re a bit pricier than the LunchBots alone, but considering they’re durable and can be reused hundreds of times, the numbers even out. You’ll find these at LunchBots.com.
One more product bears mentioning here. ReUsies recently introduced a Drying Rack. Made by the folks who created Tinker Toys, it’s a must for drying those cleaned reusable bags and for freeing-up counterspace.
There are benefits to using these reusables. They help reduce landfill waste. They can be reused hundreds of times. They’ll cut way back on having to buy plastic bags. And best of all, they’re a healthy (green) choice!
Filed under: Cool useful product | Tagged: BPA, chemicals, eco-friendly, Fabkins, green, landfills, LunchBots, LunchBug, LunchSkins, organic, phthalates, plastic, recycled, reusable sandwich bags, ReUsies, Whole Foods |