Replacing plastic sandwich bags

Last week I wrote about the paper vs. plastic debate. While plastic used less resources than paper, it is not a green choice.


Reusable bags are the way to go at the grocery store, but what about at home?


If you brownbag your lunch, do you use plastic sandwich bags to keep your foods separate?


We have some and I feel guilty every time I pull one out. Since I’m so gung ho about our reusable shopping bags, I thought I should look for alternatives to the plastic sandwich and zipper bags.


According to the Film and Bag Federation, plastic sandwich bags were introduced in 1957, and quickly became a part of our routines.


What did people do before 1957?


Mary Conlin Milker, a blogger with Eco Child’s Play, wrote about using wax paper or even cloth napkins to wrap her children’s sandwiches.


That’s a novel idea, but I know not everyone digs the retro scene.


So, I kept looking and found a blog post at Mommies with Style raving about the Wrap-N-Mat.


The Wrap-N-Mat is a washable sandwich wrap that unfolds to become a placemat.


These wraps are washable and reusable, making them much more environmentally friendly than plastic sandwich bags. These wraps are made with a thicker version of low-density polyethylene (LDPT), the same material used to make most plastic sandwich bags. The thicker material makes them reusable.


We are big fans of re-using the plastic containers that come with some products. I do take care not to microwave foods in these containers.


Still, these wraps sound like a great idea, have you used these or a similar product? I would love to hear your opinion.


8 comments on “Replacing plastic sandwich bags

  1. Jennifer Lance
    February 1, 2009

    We do have two wrap-n-mats, and I don’t use them that often. I have thrown them in the washing machine,but I don’t think they can take the dryer. My daughter prefers her laptop lunch, so that is what we use for all her lunch needs.

  2. Christine
    February 2, 2009

    We use Laptop Lunches, which kids seem to prefer because the food is portioned in just the right size. I’ve noticed they make them in more grownup colors too like red and black, though those are harder to find in stores. I like using napkins, since they’re easy to wash.

  3. Rob
    February 3, 2009

    The best is not to use any of it! Anyway, i found a website that contains heaps of information about the environment. Here’s the link: Hope you guys enjoy it!

  4. Pingback: Making your own plastic wrap | BeGreenMinded

  5. Sandra Dee
    June 30, 2009

    Great post! I am working on being greener in everything I do but I forget about plastic baggies. Call me simple but I like the retro ideas: wax paper or cloth napkins. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Jenna
    July 1, 2009

    Those sound very neat, I haven’t tried them. A great reusable (and extremely versatile) bag that I use both to buy produce and as handy snack-carriers are Carebags. They’re strong, lightweight, and breathable, so you can buy, wash, and store produce in the bag to help keep them extra fresh, but you obviously can’t wrap sandwiches in them. What I do if I have a sandwich or something quickly perishable is just wrap it in wax paper or put it in a Ziploc I’ll reuse later, and then pack the odds and ends of my lunch up in my nifty Carebag. They’re great for making first aid/earthquake/toiletry kits, washing beans and grains, growing sprouts, and even (this one is really handy for me) separating my gym clothes from the rest of my bag after I go to the gym (I was really getting sick of my sweaty clothes getting wrapped around everything else in there)! They’re simply packaged and committed to being a long-term solution for a daily waste problem, and now I can’t imagine not using them! 😀

  7. Kelsi
    July 26, 2009

    We had three wrap n mats. One took a wrong turn and ended up in my washing machine, and couldn’t be used anymore (it shrunk). Another one has been used for three years, and is now a bit grubby, but still usable. The third, I kept for myself and took out only this year. After a year of wear by me, it’s still in great shape, and I used it at least three times a week. The cool thing is when I bought them years ago, I had to buy online, but last month I saw a bunch of them at my local grocery store for only $5.99. I think for that price, its a good investment, especially if you make sandwiches a lot. Expect way more wear with the kids using them!

  8. Pingback: Brown bag lunches go green | BeGreenMinded

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