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I try really hard to reduce the amount of single use plastic in my home, but one thing I’ve never been able to get on board with are those beeswax wraps.
Beeswax wraps are 100% natural and biodegradable, so of course they come up as the best alternative when you’re trying to banish Glad Wrap from your pantry, but I just don’t love the feel and fiddliness of them, and find them annoying to wipe clean because they’re so malleable.
The same can be said for those soft silicone lids that everyone raves about; they come in a range of different sized circles and have little tabs on the sides to help you stretch them over a bowl to seal it.
I must be really bad at judging the size of containers because I always pull the wrong one out and manage to dirty it before realising it’s too small. They’re also just as fiddly to clean as the beeswax wraps and sometimes stick together.
I know these are not big cons, and honestly they’re complete non-issues for most people, but when you’re exhausted and time poor, it’s the annoying little things that make you reach for the more convenient, single use option instead.
Silicone lids as a Glad Wrap alternative
These are not meant to act exactly like Glad Wrap but they perform the same function. Instead of moulding the silicone around a bowl of leftovers you want to store, you use it like a lid and pop it on over bowls, mugs, pots, or containers whose actual lids have vanished.
They’re thicker and firmer than the soft and stretchy silicone lids which makes them much easier to clean, plus they don’t take up much space on your dish rack or in your dishwasher because they’re still relatively thin and don’t have bulky handles.
A lot of brands also say that their silicone lids create an airtight seal if you gently press into the middle of it and release, helping to keep your food fresher for longer in the fridge.
Honestly, I think they’re the perfect lazy-man’s alternative to Glad Wrap, but they do come with one major con.
Because they’re flat and not as flexible as a wrap, you can’t use them to cover a plate. You’ll also run into trouble if you’re covering a bowl whose contents has been heaped up over the rim, as the edges of the lid need to be in contact with the rim to be able to seal.
Handheld vacuum sealer with reusable bags
One advantage of beeswax wraps over silicone lids is that you can use them to wrap up things that aren’t already in a bowl, like a half-eaten block of cheese.
A slightly more expensive - but still environmentally friendly - alternative to this, is to get yourself a hand held vacuum sealer that uses reusable bags, like this $53 one.
If you’re as lazy as I am, a regular vacuum sealer is too bulky to pull out every time you want to pop some cheese back in the fridge, plus most bags are single use so you may as well be using Glad Wrap.
Whereas this one works like one of those vacuum storage bags that used to always be on infomercials; you just close the ziplock top and then suck the air out from a side opening.
The main positive here is that the vacuum seal keeps your food super fresh, and of course, once you’ve eaten the contents of the bag, you just wash it out for next time.
Plastic-free alternatives you already have in your pantry
Of course there are also ways of reducing your Glad Wrap use without going out and buying anything new.
Before I was introduced to silicone lids, I tried to eliminate my Glad Wrap use by putting all my leftovers in reusable containers or covering bowls with saucepan lids.
These were both good alternatives using what I already had at home. The major positive for the containers is that they stack really well and save you space in your fridge, but if you work from home and prefer to eat your food out of a plate, it seriously increases your washing.
Saucepan lids were the closest I got to the ease and convenience of the silicone lids, however their high handles sometimes made it hard to fit leftovers into the narrower shelves of my fridge.
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