14 Alternatives to Ziploc Bags to Reduce Plastic Waste

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Ziplock bags can be helpful for short-term storage, but they’re not the most environmentally friendly option.

If you’re looking for sustainable alternatives to Ziploc bags, there are plenty of great options that are both affordable and eco-friendly.

Picture of a Ziploc plastic bag filed with berries beside a vine on a wooden surface

14 Alternatives to Ziploc Bags

Here are 14 alternatives to Ziploc bags that you can feel good about using:

1. Bee’s Wrap Organic Food Wraps

Bee's Wrap - Assorted 3 Pack - Made in USA - Certified Organic Cotton - Plastic and Silicone Free - Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps - 3 Sizes (S,M,L)

Honey’s Wrap is the perfect natural alternative to plastic wrap for those who want to avoid or reduce their plastic use.

Several uses are possible for this product, including a plate, sandwich wrap, cover for a bowl, or small lunch bag.

Beeswax and jojoba oil are infused into organic cotton swatches to create a material that seals out air and moisture, preserving items from fruit to flowers.

A woman-owned company has been making Bee’s Wraps since 2012, so you can feel good knowing your purchase goes back into a small but mighty business.

2. Paper Bags

AJM Brown Paper Lunch Bags 40 Count

You can find paper bags at most any store, and they come in a variety of sizes. They’re perfect for packing a sandwich or some snacks for a road trip.

While not reusable, paper bags are recyclable, so they won’t end up in the landfill as plastic bags will.

Plus, paper bags often have fun prints or designs, so they can add a bit of personality to your lunch. You can also look for them in different sizes.

Bring paper bags to school, work, camping, and more.

3. Stainless Steel Bento Boxes

2 Pieces Toddler Bento Box Stainless Steel Lunch Box Containers Metal Lunch Containers with Compartments for Sandwich Nuts, Meat, Cheese, Foods, 3 Sections (Small)

If you’re looking for a reusable option, bento boxes are a great alternative to Ziploc bags. These boxes are made out of durable stainless steel, so they’ll last you for years.

They’re perfect for packing a lunch or snacks on the go. They have several different compartments for holding a variety of items, and they’re leak-proof, so you don’t have to worry about spillage.

Plus, they’re easy to clean – just pop them in the dishwasher when you’re done. And, because they’re reusable, you’ll be doing your part to reduce waste.

4. Compostable Sandwich Bags

Responsible Products Certified Compostable SANDWICH Resealable Zip Bag, Extra Strength Food Bags, Plant-Based Freezer-Safe (50 Pack)

If you’re looking for snack bags that are both sustainable and reusable, compostable bags are a great option.

These bags are made out of plant-based materials, so they’ll break down in the compost bin.

They provide the familiarity of a Ziploc bag while breaking down in the environment in a fraction of the time.

5. Foil Wrapper Sheets

Foil Hamburger Wrappers - 100 ct. - Grease resistant Hamburger Bags keep your Cheeseburgers and Sandwiches Hot and your Guests and Customers Hands Clean.

Foil wrapper sheets are a great alternative to plastic wrap. They’re perfect for wrapping up sandwiches or snacks.

They also retain heat, so they’re great for packing warm foods. Foil is recyclable and can be used many times before discarding, so you can feel good knowing that your wrapper won’t end up in a landfill.

6. Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bags

Silicone Bags Reusable Silicone Food Bag Reusable Sandwich Bags Silicone Storage Bags Silicon Containers Plastic Conteiner Freezer Gallon Size Snack Sous Vide Lunch


Reusable silicone bags are a great alternative to both plastic and paper sandwich bags. They’re perfect for packing a lunch or snacks on the go.

Because silicone can withstand high temperatures, they are usually dishwasher safe as well. You can also feel good knowing that your purchase is helping to reduce waste.

7. Glass Food Storage

18 Piece Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids, Glass Meal Prep Containers, Glass Containers for Food Storage with Lids, BPA Free & Leak Proof (9 lids & 9 Containers)

Tupperware makes a great alternative to both Ziploc bags and reusable snack bags. Glass containers are durable and safer to use than plastic.

It’s also microwave and dishwasher safe. A good set of glass storage containers will last much longer than Ziploc bags and are extremely environmentally friendly.

Some glass is even oven safe although it pays to check before you put your glass in the oven.

8. Plastic Tupperware

Rubbermaid 14-Piece Brilliance Food Storage Containers with Lids for Lunch, Meal Prep, and Leftovers, Dishwasher Safe, Clear/Grey

If you’re on a budget, plastic food storage containers are a great alternative to glass containers. Look for BPA-free and microwavable options to get the most use out of your containers.

While not as environmentally friendly as glass, plastic containers can be reused multiple times before being recycled.

9. Cardboard Takeout Boxes

Microwavable Kraft Brown Take Out Boxes 112 oz (30 Pack) Disposable Food Containers - Recyclable Cardboard Lunch Box - Take Out Containers Disposable - to Go Boxes for Restaurants, Delivery, Catering

A great biodegradable alternative to Ziploc bags is cardboard takeout boxes. They are affordable and easy to throw in the trash or compost pile.

They aren’t the best if you’re storing foods with a lot of liquid such as soups or sauces, but they are perfect for sandwiches and other dry snacks.

10. Wax Paper

Reynolds Cut-Rite Wax Paper, 75 Square Feet

Wax paper is a great alternative to plastic wrap for those who want to avoid or reduce their plastic use. It’s made out of paper that is coated in a thin layer of wax.

This makes it water-resistant and perfect for wrapping up sandwiches or snacks. Wax paper is also compostable, making it a great eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap.

11. Parchment Paper

If You Care Parchment Baking Paper – 70 Sq Ft Roll - Unbleached, Chlorine Free, Greaseproof, Silicone Coated – Standard Size – Fits 13 Inch Pans

Parchment paper is made out of paper that is coated in a thin layer of silicone. This makes it heat-resistant and non-stick.

It is affordable and easy to find at local grocery stores. You can use it to line baking sheets, wrap food, and store food in the fridge or freezer.

12. Nut Bags

Pro Quality Nut Milk Bag - XL12"X12" Bags - Commercial Grade Reusable All Purpose Food Strainer - Food Grade BPA-Free - Ultra Strong Fine Nylon Mesh - Nutmilk, Juices, Cold Brew - Recipes & Videos… (1)

Nut bags are a great alternative to plastic bags for those who want to avoid or reduce their plastic use. They’re perfect for storing nuts, seeds, and other dry snacks.

Nut bags are usually made out of cloth or canvas, making them reusable and environmentally friendly.

You can also use nut bags for other purposes such as straining soup or soaking nuts and seeds. Multi-purpose kitchen tools are a great way to work towards going plastic-free.

13. Glass Jars

4 Pcs Regular Mouth 32-Ounces Mason Jar with Lids and Bands Clear

Glass jars are a great alternative to plastic containers for those who want to avoid or reduce their plastic use. They’re perfect for storing dry goods, such as nuts, seeds, and snacks.

Glass jars are also microwave and dishwasher safe. A good set of glass jars will last much longer than plastic containers and are extremely environmentally friendly.

They also come in a variety of sizes, so you can find the perfect jar for your needs.

They are much more durable than plastic Ziploc bags and are great for carrying liquid-heavy foods such as stews and soup.

14. Mixing Bowls With Lids

Mixing Bowls with Airtight Lids, 6 Piece Stainless Steel Metal Bowls by Umite Chef, Measurement Marks & Colorful Non-Slip Bottoms Size 7, 3.5, 2.5, 2.0,1.5, 1QT, Great for Mixing & Serving

Mixing bowls with lids are a great alternative to plastic containers for those who want to avoid or reduce their plastic use.

They’re perfect for storing dry goods, such as nuts, seeds, and snacks. They are long-lasting and multi-functional, so you can easily find a set that will work for your needs.

Plus, they are usually dishwasher safe.

Is Ziploc Biodegradable?

Picture of a plastic bag floating in the water

Unfortunately, Ziploc bags are not biodegradable. Depending on the materials they are made of, they can range from several decades to a thousand years to decompose.

There is also the argument that plastic is never fully decomposed and instead breaks down into tiny pieces known as microplastics.

Microplastics are so small they’re often mistaken for plankton and eaten by marine life.

As the fish digest the microplastics, toxins are passed up the food chain until eventually, humans consume them.

Ziploc bags are used by millions of people every day, so it’s important to be aware of the environmental impact they have.

While we may not be able to avoid using plastic altogether, we can make an effort to reduce our reliance on it by choosing sustainable alternatives.

Reusable snack bags are an easy and affordable way to avoid conventional plastic Ziploc bags.

Benefits of Reducing Plastic Use

Photo of two glass containers with lid filled with different fruits.


Reducing your reliance on plastic has a number of benefits, both for you and the environment.

It’s Healthier to Use Less Plastic

When plastic is heated, it can release toxins that can leach into food and drinks.

These toxins are known as obesogens and can cause a range of health problems, such as weight gain, reproductive issues, and cancer.

Obesogens are especially harmful to children and pregnant women. So, if you’re looking to reduce your exposure to toxins, reducing your plastic use is a good place to start.

Reusable alternatives to Ziploc bags, such as glass or stainless steel containers, don’t have this risk. They are more heat-resistant and won’t release toxins into your food.

It Reduces the Use of Fossil Fuels

Plastic such as Ziploc bags are made from fossil fuels, so reducing your reliance on plastic helps to reduce our dependence on oil and gas.

Mining oil and gas is a dirty business that pollutes the air and water. It also releases greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.

Developing sustainable alternatives to plastic is a key part of the fight against climate change.

They’re More Durable

Ziploc bags are designed for single use only. Even if you try to reuse them, they will degrade over time.

On the other hand, reusable containers can be used over and over again and will hold up over time.

Some people even inherit their parents’ or grandparents’ reusable containers, so if you invest in a good set of food storage containers, you may have them your whole life!

They’re More Environmentally Friendly

Plastic takes centuries to break down, and when it does, it releases toxins into the environment.

Reusable containers are a much more sustainable option since they can be used over and over again.

Biodegradable containers decompose quickly and have less of an impact on the environment.

They Save You Money

Reusable alternatives can be used multiple times, a frugal tip we swear by.

You can even purchase Tupperware and jars at the thrift store or garage sales for even more savings.

For example, if instead of purchasing sandwich bags at the store, you use a reusable sandwich bag, you would save $0.17 per bag. That may not seem like much, but it adds up over time!

Other Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

In addition to using reusable containers, there are other ways you can reduce your reliance on plastic:

Bring Your Own Bags To the Grocery Store

Photo of a woman holding two reusable bags filled with grocery items placing at the back of a car


Most grocery stores now offer reusable bags for sale, but you can also bring your own from home.

There are plenty of options you can choose from including cloth, mesh, and even reusable produce bags.

Many bags collapse into a small pouch, so they’re easy to keep in your purse or car.

Use Reusable Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles are one of the most common types of plastic pollution. You can save money and reduce your impact by investing in a reusable water bottle or filter pitcher.

You can choose between metal, glass, or even bamboo water bottles. There are also a number of different designs to choose from, so you can find one that fits your needs and style.

Avoid Excessive Packaging & Plastic Bags

One way companies reduce their costs is by using less packaging. You can help by avoiding products with excessive packaging or choosing brands that use sustainable packaging materials.

Many brands now offer recyclable or compostable packaging.

You can also reduce your reliance on plastic wrap by using reusable silicone lids or investing in beeswax wraps.

Another way to reduce your reliance on plastic wrapping is to buy in bulk. This way, you can avoid individually wrapped items and packaging.

You can often find bulk items at the store or online.

Avoid Microbeads

Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are often used in exfoliating products. These are usually found in body washes.

They’re so small they often end up being ingested by marine life. You can avoid them by reading labels and choosing products that are microbead-free.

Go To the Farmer’s Market

Photo of different vegetables displayed in farmer's market


One way to reduce your reliance on plastic is to buy fresh produce from the farmer’s market.

You can often find seasonal fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and easily take them home in a paper box or a container you have brought from home.

You can also sign up for a local CSA that will deliver fresh produce to you each week. This is a great way to support local farmers and reduce your carbon footprint.

Make Your Own Products

You can also reduce your reliance on plastic by making your own products. For example, you can make your own soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

This way, you know exactly what’s going into your products and can avoid harmful chemicals and unnecessary plastic.

Reusable Ziploc Bags

Did you know that you can simply reuse your Ziploc bags instead of throwing them away?

The best reusable Ziploc bags are freezer quality and will last several times, especially if you’re using them for dry goods.

If you’re using them for wetter items, then make sure to wash them and air dry them before reusing them.

You can get anywhere from 2 to 10 uses out of a single Ziploc bag, which means that they’re actually quite economical in the long run.

And, of course, you’re doing your part to reduce plastic waste.

Bring a Container To the Restaurant

Image showing hand picking on the foods from a glass container with drinking glasses and another person nearby


Another great way to reduce plastic waste is to bring your own container when you eat out. This way, you can avoid the Styrofoam or plastic containers that most restaurants use.

You can also ask for your leftovers to be packed up in your own container.

Many restaurants are now using sustainable packaging, but it’s always good to be prepared. You can keep a few reusable containers in your car or purse so you’re always prepared.

Recycle Your Plastic Correctly

One of the best ways to reduce your reliance on plastic is to recycle the plastic you do use. Unfortunately, many people don’t recycle their plastic correctly.

Make sure you’re recycling your plastics properly by checking with your local recycling center.

You can also avoid using certain types of plastic that can’t be recycled easily. For example, avoid using plastic straws or plastic wrap.

Purchase Natural Clothing

Photo of folded clothes made of cotton and a branch with cottons placed over the clothes


Did you know that most clothing is made from plastic? Polyester, nylon, and acrylic are all made from plastic.

These plastics can take centuries to break down. You can avoid them by purchasing natural fibers like cotton, wool, or linen.

You can also purchase secondhand clothing to reduce your reliance on new clothing made from plastic.

Secondhand clothing is often just as good as new and you’re giving clothes a second life.

Final Thoughts: Alternatives to Plastic Ziploc Bags

Reducing your reliance on plastic is a great way to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

There are many easy and affordable alternatives to Ziploc bags, such as reusable snack bags, glass or stainless steel containers, and biodegradable options.

So next time you’re at the store, be sure to ditch the plastic and opt for a sustainable alternative. Your wallet and the planet will thank you!


Images of reusable bags and food containers with text overlay that read 14 alternatives to Ziploc bags

About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.