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Alternative To Plastic Sandwich Baggies???

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for an alternative to plastic sandwich baggies...... :

My husband takes his lunch to work each day, and I wrap a sandwich and sometimes 2 snacks in sandwich bags. I can't stand the though of how much waste that is! I do use tinfoil for the "messier" sandwiches, but that's wasteful as well. As much as possible I use small, re-usable plastic containers for things like trail mix, chips, cookies, etc. But a big sandwich won't fit into those! If I used a plastic container for each item, he'd have a lunchpail bigger than his briefcase. At this point I'm not as concerned about the potential health hazards of plastic as I am with the overall waste (and expense) of 15 sandwich bags each week.

Help me find a less wasteful solution!
post #2 of 19
I don't know if this is less wasteful at all, but I remember when I was little lots of kids brought their sandwiches to school wrapped in wax paper. You might just have to get a container.
post #3 of 19
I don't know how helpful this might be (or if you drink milk,or what) but I pack stuff in the milk bags...I can get one sandwich into one used/washed and dried milk bag...since dd weaned, we have been going through about 8L/week!!! roughly one bag/day..

it works for us because a)it uses something we already have, b)my husband generally does not bring home my containers in a timely fashion and c)I haven't bought sandwich bags since I can't remember. another thing I like the milk bags for is freezing liquids....works like a charm...after all....that's what they're made for.

if your husband is good about returning the containers though, I would definitely go that route.
post #4 of 19
Ummm milk bags? The only thing I can think of are the bags you freeze breast milk in and there is no way you can fit a sandwich in that.

How about some of these?

http://www.reusablebags.com/store/index.php?cPath=4_13

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/greenear...eussanbag.html

I would get the first ones for my dd except I don't think she will bring them home. I have to send her to school with plastic spoons for her yogurt as well. For some reason the kids thought my regular spoons were disposable as well.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I too have "issues" with disappearing containers. My husband accumulates them in his locker at work, or the truck, and they all show up on Friday night, gross and dirty from sitting for an entire week somewhere questionable. I like the reusable sandwich wraps though - if I had 5 of them we could go the whole week without running out!
post #6 of 19
I was going to suggest the sandwich wraps a local store here carries them and they are pretty cool.
ABout your DD leaving them-why not attach them some how to the inside of her lunch box/bag thing? By a string or something-enough room to get it out, but then she can't leave it!
Just a suggestion
post #7 of 19
I make my dh's lunch also and use too many plastic baggies. I like the reusable bags on the site aniT left.

As far as your dh not bringing containers & such back home with him, just have him throw everything into the lunch box when he's done. That's what my dh does, so when he gets home I just sort through it and throw out the trash, wash the containers, and put the ice bags back in the freezer.
post #8 of 19
Thanks for the tip for reusing milk bags! Here in ON, milk comes in bags, not hard plastic containers.
post #9 of 19
I hate the amount of waste produced by the packed lunch AND snack that i send DD to school with each day, too.

I have heard of those reusable sandwqich wrappers, but once read some posts here about the fact that they are vinyl-lined and how you might not want vinyl encasing your child's (or your own) food. I would use plastic containers, but there isn't really enough room in DD's lunch box for that and her drink and piece of fruit or yogurt I send, plus the thin ice pack.

I wish it was big enough to send her drink in a spillproof cup instead of sending a small bottled water each day, too.

Any more ideas?
post #10 of 19
I re use plastic bags - bread bags, veggie bags, the little plastic boxes that blueberries and strawberries come in etc. Anything that I buy in a package, I try and reuse that package as much as possible. Thus, creating less waste. For small snacks like trail mix and cheddar bunnies, I re use yogurt cups - if they don't make it home its not the end of the world. I also use yogurt cups for kids drinks (at home, not in lunches).

For water bottles, we bought plastic juice boxes - I don't remember their name - found them at Target in the tupperware section - That way we just keep reusing it over and over. LunaMom - does your dd bring the water bottle home? you could just reuse the same one until it wears out... It shouldn't be too much of an issue if you wash it in hot water and let it dry thoroughly.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaMom
I have heard of those reusable sandwqich wrappers, but once read some posts here about the fact that they are vinyl-lined and how you might not want vinyl encasing your child's (or your own) food.
Hadn't thought of that! Well, if I made some myself out of what kind of material would I want? Obviously I wouldn't use anything flimsy......
post #12 of 19
I use wax paper bags that I get at whole foods. Unbleached. Made by Natural Value. The box says:Non-Toxic when inceinerated, landfill safe, will not contaminate ground water. Check them out.

darkstar
post #13 of 19
We have a Whole Foods market here - I'll check that out, thanks!

Brookely Ash, when you say "plastic juice boxes," do you mean those rubbermaid things with the blue tops and the little straws? I have some of those, I had forgotten! Although I think after a lot of use, they had stopped working as well - it was like drinking through a straw that has a tiny hole in it, you know what that's like? Maybe I'll buy a few new ones. We do have a filter pitcher so it is silly for me to buy her bottled water.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaMom
Brookely Ash, when you say "plastic juice boxes," do you mean those rubbermaid things with the blue tops and the little straws?
That is exactly what I meant!



I am going to check out those wax paper bags, those sound awesome.
post #15 of 19
We reuse plastic bags here, ala "The Tightwad Gazette." Just rinse them with hot soapy water and hang upside down (on a cup, or a spatula) to dry. You can make a drying rack for bags out of a metal clothes hanger.
I also pick up Tupperware at thrifts for 10 to 20 cents per container, so I don't feel bad if it gets lost. If you want to use wax paper, how about reusing the bags that cereal comes in? I empty out the crumbs and flatten out the bags and use mine in the freezer, but you could put a big sandwich in them.
You can pick the holiday themed plastic baggies cheap after that particular holiday is over (Halloween print ones on sale after Halloween, etc.).
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yep, I re-use freezer bags, but not the plastic sandwich bags. I think I'm going to try making my own re-usable sandwich "wraps" with velcro. I have no idea if it will work, but I"ll let you know!!!!
post #17 of 19
I second the wax bags used by darkstar.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavis337
Yep, I re-use freezer bags, but not the plastic sandwich bags. I think I'm going to try making my own re-usable sandwich "wraps" with velcro. I have no idea if it will work, but I"ll let you know!!!!
You know I came across a site on how to make your own old fashioned oil cloth to wrap food in. I don't know if that is the type of thing you were thinking of but you night do a google search on it. My "insomnia" tonight seems to be subsiding so I think I will go to bed, otherwise I would search for it and give you the link :P


Brookely Ash - you are not suppose to reuse any plastic containers that are number 1. I don't know what yougurt cups are, but I know the water bottles are only suppose to be used once. Do a search for threads on plastic use.

Milk comming in a bag? I just can't wrap my mind around that one at the moment. :P
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaMom
I hate the amount of waste produced by the packed lunch AND snack that i send DD to school with each day, too.

I have heard of those reusable sandwqich wrappers, but once read some posts here about the fact that they are vinyl-lined and how you might not want vinyl encasing your child's (or your own) food. I would use plastic containers, but there isn't really enough room in DD's lunch box for that and her drink and piece of fruit or yogurt I send, plus the thin ice pack.

I wish it was big enough to send her drink in a spillproof cup instead of sending a small bottled water each day, too.

Any more ideas?
Freeze the drink. Then you won't need the ice pack, so will have more room. Maybe freeze the drink in the spillproof cup?
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