Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags for a Zero-Waste Work Day
By greenlagirl on March 02, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
Do you pack your own healthy organic lunches and snacks for work or for your kids -- in disposable plastic baggies? I hope not, since I've posted about eco-friendly lunch boxes and totable utensils not too long ago.
Since then, BlogHers who don't need a whole lunch kit have asked me about reusable sandwich and snack bags. Because I mostly work from home, I rarely have the occasion to pack a lunch -- but I've researched the options out there, along with reviews from women bloggers who have tried these snack packers and sandwich toters. Here they are, in the order I'd consider trying them, based on eco-friendliness, functionality, and safety:
>> Plum Creek Mercantile Organic Snack Bags (left photo). Made of 100% organic cotton canvas, these snack bags look the safest and greenest to me. Of course, the bag does have the drawbacks of cotton -- They're not waterproof, and they can stain. On the upside, they can be thrown into the washing machine with the rest of your laundry and don't pose any plastic-related health hazards. Each bag costs $5.75 - $6.75 depending on size, with discounts for sets of 3 or 5 bags. Plum Creek also sells non-organic snack bags, so select carefully.
Amanda at Natural Mommie raves about these bags: "They have a really strong velcro closure that doesn't let any crumbs through. They're meant for dry food and snacks but if something happens to leak on them, like mayo from a sandwich, they're really easy to take care of. I've been washing them with my larger cloth grocery bags and they're holding up great."
>> Kids Konserve Food Kozy (middle photo). Made from recycled PE plastic, this sandwich wrap helps close the recycling loop -- and is free of BPA, lead, and phthalataes too. According to One Small Step, these wraps are non-toxic and non-leaching -- but I always caution readers to avoid putting heated foods in plastic or plastic-lined containers.
Leighann at Full Mommy has been using the Kozys to pack her daughter's school lunches: "It is the perfect size for holding a full-size lunch sandwich.... My daughter could easily get her sandwich out and could use it as a mat so that her sandwich wasn't on the lunch room table." Each Kozy costs $5.
>> LunchSkins reusable snack pouch (right photo). These velcro bags are made of a cotton (not organic) fabric coated with a polyurethane liner that makes the bags greaseproof and waterproof -- and that the company says won't leach into food -- though I'd still feel queasy using them for hot food. The bags are made in the U.S. and are free of lead, BPA, and phthalates. Each bag will run you $7.85 to $10.95, depending on size.
Suzanne Catchpole at babyology says LunchSkins are of excellent quality and easy to clean: "My boys are used to using them too, which really is a lesson to us parents that kids easily adopt environmentally-conscientious behaviour, even from a very young age."
>> Wrap-n-Mat sandwich wraps and pouches. These fold-up wraps and pouches are free of BPA, lead, and phthalates -- but are made with plastic (LDPE), and thus shouldn't be used for hot food or thrown in the dishwasher. Prices range from $6.50 for small ones made in China to $8.95 for big ones made in the U.S.
>> snackTAXI sandwich and snack sacks. snackTAXI prides itself in making its food pouches locally, in Mass. The machine-washable bags are made of cotton lined with a nylon with a polyurethane coating and are lead and phthalate free. Each bag costs $6.95 - 8.95, depending on size.
>> reuseit.com snack and sandwich bags. Made in the U.S. out of nylon, these velcro-fastened bags can hold both hot and cold items and can be thrown in the washing machine for cleaning. Each bag costs $6.95; less if you buy more than one.
If you want to take care of all your reusable lunch container needs with one purchase, consider the No More Plastic Baggies! lunch kit from One Small Step, which includes two sandwich bags, a snack bag, four food containers, a spork, and napkins -- all reusable, of course.
Have you tried any of these snack and sandwich bags -- or have others to recommend? Share your green lunch wisdom in the comments.
BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.
Photos via Plum Creek Mercantile, kidskonserve.com, LunchSkins
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