Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.
5 Best Substitutes for Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap, more commonly known as cling film, is a thin, stretchable plastic you put over bowls to keep leftover food from going bad in the fridge or freezer. It might be convenient to use cling film, but it’s not environmentally friendly, and it’s also wasteful since it’s a single-use product.
Cling film is low-density polyethylene or linear low-density polyethylene, types of plastic. As you know, plastic isn’t healthy for the environment, and neither is cling film.
Although cling film doesn’t contain bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates, two chemicals that have negative health effects, Dr. Andrew Weil points out that it may contain diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA), a chemical that disrupts hormones in the human body.
That's why so many people are looking for ways to get rid of cling film and replace it with alternatives. If you want to reduce your use of plastic wrap but aren't sure how, read on! You’ll discover clever substitutes that will help you cut back on your plastic waste while keeping your food fresh.
1. Mason Jars
Mason jars are the ultimate substitute for cling film, as you can use them to store virtually anything. They're particularly useful in the kitchen and make great storage containers for leftovers, dry goods, and even wet produce like lettuce or tomatoes.
They're also ideal because they come in a variety of sizes—perfect if you need something small to cover your cheese slices before you throw them in the fridge, or want something larger than usual when storing fresh herbs!
2. Reusable Silicone Containers
Reusable silicone containers are ideal for storing food in any temperature environment: refrigerator, freezer or pantry. Ones made of 100% silicone are plastic-free and don’t contain chemicals, like BPA and phthalates, that can leach into food. If you have leftover foods, using reusable containers is an easy way to avoid plastic wrap! Silicone containers are safe to use in the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher.
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3. Parchment Paper
Parchment paper is a type of baking paper made from natural fibers, like wood pulp. It can be used for cooking, freezing, and storing foods. Some people also use it to line cookie sheets to prevent sticking.
Parchment paper is easy to use and clean up. It’s reusable, and you can cut it to any size you want. You can find parchment paper at most grocery stores or online, and use it for wrapping food, covering bowls, covering dishes and pans (oven-safe or not), baking sheets, and baking pans.
4. Silicone Cling Film Wrap
Silicone cling film wraps are another eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. Made from food-grade silicone, it’s reusable, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe. Silicone cling film wraps is heat resistant, so they can be used in the microwave or oven without any problems. You can even use them as a hot pad for serving dishes or bowls. Silicone cling film wraps are also BPA-free, and FDA-approved.
5. Beeswax Wraps
Beeswax wrap is an organic cotton sheet coated with beeswax and other natural ingredients. It comes in different sizes and colors, but the most popular style is clear.
You can reuse beeswax wraps multiple times if you allow them to air dry between uses. You can also wash your bee's wrap in warm (not hot) water with mild soap, although using soap will shorten its lifespan.
This alternative to plastic wrap is biodegradable, since it's made of wax, and beeswax has natural antibacterial properties. It's also safer than cling film because petrochemicals or phthalates don't come into contact with your food.
Although beeswax wrap works well as an alternative to plastic wrap, it isn't as effective as parchment paper if you’re trying to freeze items in the freezer. This type of wrap is also porous and doesn’t trap heat in a way that causes food to go bad faster, like plastic film.
What Do You Think?
Now you know about some viable alternatives to cling film. These are more eco-friendly, healthier options to cover your food when you store it in the fridge or freezer. Some of them, like Mason jars, are reusable containers, so you can use them again and again. Not only are they better for the environment than cling film, but since they are reusable they will save you money over time.
- "Is Plastic Wrap Safe? - Ask Dr. Weil." https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/healthy-living/is-plastic-wrap-safe/.
- "What is BPA? Should I be worried about it? - Mayo Clinic." 08 Mar. 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331.
- "Phthalates Factsheet | National Biomonitoring Program | CDC." 05 Apr. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Phthalates_FactSheet.html.