Top 9 Best Plastic Free Food Storage Containers in 2021

Plastic free food storage containers

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Prevent potentially harmful toxins getting into your food and reduce your plastic consumption at the same time. Plastic-free food containers are a win-win solution for your health and the environment. 

Looking to make a positive lifestyle change? Be sure to check out our top eco pick, the U Konserve’s Large Stainless Steel Container

Best Plastic Free Food Storage Containers

Fed up with all the plastic in your life? The kitchen is a good place to start. Food containers are notoriously plastic-centric, but there are better alternatives out there. Check out our favorite picks below. 

1. Gramercy Kitchen Company Glass Food Containers 

A plastic-free food container set with style, these assorted glass containers are not only highly practical, they also look great with their bamboo, eco-friendly lids. 

Made from sustainable materials, this food container set is made from shock-resistant borosilicate glass, with silicone seals and bamboo lids.

It comes in a convenient set of four, and the lids are grooved for simple, space-saving stacking. 

We like that they’re resistant to heat and cold, so the glass sections are suitable for use in the oven, freezer, dishwasher, and microwave. The lids are safe for use in the freezer, but you shouldn’t place them in the oven, dishwasher or microwave. 

Transparent and stackable, these containers fit nicely in your fridge and will definitely help to reduce your reliance on plastics in the kitchen. Just be careful using them to store liquids, though, as the lids don’t provide a perfectly tight seal. 

What we like:

  • Heat and cold-resistant – suitable for use in the dishwasher, microwave, freezer, and oven, these glass containers are hot and cold resistant. 
  • Grooved lids – thanks to their lid shaping, they are easily stackable for more space in your fridge or cabinet and less likely to slide around.
  • Plastic-free packaging – even the packaging is plastic-free, so you can buy in confidence.

What we don’t like:

  • Don’t seal closed very tightly Great for storing dry foods, solids and thick sauces, these containers are not the best choice for liquids.
  • Lids can’t be put in your dishwasher, oven, or microwave being made of bamboo, the lids are hand wash only. Also, as you would expect they are not suitable for use in your oven or microwave.

An excellent choice for storing opened or partially used foods or leftovers, we really like the look and feel of these durable containers. While they are less suitable for keeping food sealed air-tight for long periods, they are a good choice for taking a sandwich out with you, or storing ingredients for meal preparation. 

2. ECOlunchbox 3-in-1 Giant Stainless Steel Lunchbox

Replace your plastic lunch box with this highly durable stainless steel model for a healthier, non-toxic way to take your meals out and about with you. Ideal for picnics, kid’s lunches, or snacks on the go!

Ecolunchbox plastic free food storage container

This set comes with three separate containers, two 3.5-cup main containers, plus one nesting one-cup container make packing lunch easy. This helps keep your dry and damp food separate, and your entire meal squish-free.

The containers are easy to secure, too, thanks to their strong stainless steel clips. And the containers can also be washed in the dishwasher, for hassle-free cleaning. Durable, stylish, and highly convenient, this stainless steel lunchbox is a great way to edge closer to your zero-waste goals.

What we like:

  • 100% stainless steel – Highly durable materials protect your food from getting squashed. 
  • Secure steel clips – no silicone or rubber bands, simply clip the containers together and you’re good to go. No more messing with fiddly O-rings.
  • Dishwasher-safe – when you get home, this stainless-steel lunchbox can go in your dishwasher with the rest of your stuff. Ideal for busy weeknights and when you finally make it home after long day trips. 
  • Ships in recycled packaging – less waste for the environment and reuse of resources. 

What we don’t like:

  • No liquid seal – while this lunchbox is a great choice and extra-easy to clean given its lack of seal, you won’t want to be using it to transport liquids or thin sauces. 

A great eco-conscious way to take your meals out with you. This stainless steel lunchbox is highly durable and is sure to last for many years to come, saving your cash, as well as reducing plastic waste. 

3. Simple Ecology Reusable Muslin Bags

Ideal for trips to the farmer’s market, as well as for storing fresh produce and bulk goods at home, these reusable muslin bags are a great way to cut plastic out of your life. 

Simple Ecology Muslin Reusable Produce Shopping and Storage Bags, Organic Cotton, Drawstring, Washable, Tare Weight Tag; Set of 6 with 2 ea. L, M, S

These bags come in a convenient set of 6, so you’ll have plenty of bags to hand when running errands. The breathable design keeps your food fresher for longer and the drawstring top prevents any items from rolling out during transport. 

Strong, well made, and durable, everyone should own a set of these ecological and ethically-produced bags. Not only will they cut down your use of plastics, especially one-time plastics, but they also have a GOTS Organic certification so you can be sure they’re made from sustainable sources. 

What we like:

  • GOTS Organic certification – certified by the rigorous Global Organic Textile Standard, these reusable bags not only meet high ecologist standards, they are also socially responsible ensuring fair working conditions. 
  • Handy six set – consisting of two small, two medium, and two large bags, this six-pack is a great choice for transporting and storing all sizes and quantities of fruit, vegetables, and bulk goods.
  • Breathable –  these bags also help to reduce food waste, keeping your fruit and vegetables fresher longer. Unlike plastics, these natural bags allow ethylene to pass through, slowing decay. 
  • Drawstring top – keep your fruit and vegetables from rolling out with these handy drawstring tops. 

What we don’t like:

  • Shrinkage – like all cotton fabrics, these bags will shrink after washing. Handwash cold to reduce the amount.
  • No cord locks – you need to tie these bags closed which can make getting them open and closed several times over at the market a little time-consuming. 

A great eco-friendly product that is also excellent value for money. Thanks to their certification, you can buy from this brand with high confidence that you’re making a positive change to the environment and humanity. 

4. To-Go Ware Three-Tier Stainless Lunchbox

This generously sized three-tier stainless steel tiffin by To-Go Ware is an excellent choice for food on the go. 

To-Go Ware 3-Tier Stainless Lunch Box

Combining a high capacity with three sections for keeping dry and damp foods separately, as well as sweet and savory, this eco-friendly lunchbox is also great value for money. 

The lid doubles up as a convenient plate for a rushed work lunch or a leisurely picnic, while the integrated carry handle and secure clip fastenings means it’s easy to transport. 

What we like:

  • 100% stainless steel – made of 200 14/1 grade stainless steel, this tiffin is BPA and phthalate free. Its steel construction makes it highly durable for an exceptionally long lifespan. 
  • Three-tier model – whether you like a hearty lunch or want to pack a variety of different foods, this lunchbox is a perfect choice thanks to its three-tier design. You can also use the top tier alone for snacks. 
  • Lid doubles as a plate – if you’re picnicking in the park or out on a day trip, you’ll appreciate the handy lid that can be flipped over and used as a plate.
  • Clip fastenings – simple, yet highly effective. Clip the fastenings down and your tiffin holds tightly together. 
  • Carry handle – the integrated fold-down handle makes it easy to carry this lunchbox upright. 

What we don’t like:

  • Quality control –  some models can be very tight fitting and hard to get apart at first. 
  • Not liquid-tight – not suitable for liquids, although as these are fairly deep, provided you keep your tiffin upright, you can find workarounds for yogurts and thick sauces.  

Easy to clean, easy to carry, and great value for money, no wonder this eco-friendly lunchbox is a highly popular choice. A great way to cut out harmful toxic substances and reduce plastic use.

5. Stasher Reusable Storage Bag

If you’re a heavy user of zip-lock plastic bags, then it can be hard to make the switch to plastic-free alternatives. 

Stasher Platinum Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag, Aqua (Stand-Up) | Reduce Single-Use Plastic | Cook, Store, Sous Vide, or Freeze | Leakproof, Dishwasher-Safe, Eco-friendly, Non-Toxic | 56 Oz

Luckily, these reusable silicone bags are so practical that you’ll take to them in no time. They can be used just like plastic ones, with plenty of extra benefits, not to mention being a more eco-friendly choice thanks to their reusability and long lifespan. 

These reusable storage bags are free from PVC, BPA or latex, so they’re safe to use for long periods. They’re also suitable for freezing, boiling, oven use and microwaving, so no matter what you’re cooking, these bags can handle it. 

What we like:

  • 100% silicone – unlike traditional plastic food storage bags, these contain no latex, BPA, or PVC, keeping your food safe, as well as being a better choice for the environment thanks to their reusability. 
  • Leakproof – thanks to their Pinch-Loc seal, these bags are leakproof and can even be used for liquids. 
  • Dishwasher-safe – these handy reusable bags are dishwasher-safe, saving you effort and water. Simply stick them in on your normal wash and air dry afterward for best results.  
  • Freeze, oven, microwave or boil – silicone is renowned for its ability to withstand extreme temperatures. You can use these bags in your freezer, oven, microwave, or in boiling water on your hob for sous-vide cooking. 
  • Stand-up design – practical and good looking, opt for the stand-up design and you can see what you have on stand-by in your transparent stasher. It’s also a good choice for storing liquids in your fridge. 

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive – while the quality is there, these are thick, highly durable silicone bags, they are expensive. 
  • Narrow opening – bear in mind that the opening to these bags doesn’t stretch to the full width. You may want to buy a size up. 

Highly practical, if you need a quick, fuss-free way to store food without plastics then you’ll love Stasher bags. While they don’t come cheap, as they are thick and long lasting, you can use them for years, making them an excellent alternative to single-use plastics. 

6. Amazing Containers Collapsible Silicone Food Containers

Reduce the amount of single-use plastics and save space in your cupboards with this handy collapsible silicone food container set. It’s a great value for money buy that will save you from reaching for the plastic wrap. 

Collapsible Silicone Food Storage Container Set of 4 with Lids | Stackable - Space Saving | Microwaveable | Freezer, Dishwasher Safe| BPA Free|Collapsible Leftover or Meal Prep Lunch Box Containers

Made from 100% food-safe silicone, these containers are microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe, so you can use them for almost all your cooking and food storage purposes. 

Coming in a set of four, the secure snap locks keep the contents safely sealed, but we’re disappointed to see that the lids are made from plastic. 

What we like:

  • 100% silicone containers – you won’t have to worry about potential toxins leaching into your food as these containers are 100% silicone. 
  • Four-piece set – whether you need to store meal prep, leftovers, or individual food items, with this set you have a choice between four different capacity containers. 
  • Collapsible space-saving design – one of the main advantages of this set is that you can collapse the containers down from 2.9” to just 1.2”. Ideal for saving space in your kitchen cabinets.  
  • Secure snap locks – with their snap locks these containers close tightly keeping your food safely sealed. They also make a good choice for liquids. 
  • Microwave, freezer and dishwasher-safe – highly practical, use these containers to heat your lunch up your microwave, or freeze down leftovers for another time. They are also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.  

What we don’t like:

  • Plastic lids – unfortunately the lids are plastic. This is BPA-free plastic and has been manufactured to last, making it a better choice than single-use plastic wrap, however, you may not be comfortable using it with your food, especially when heating it up. 

A good, inexpensive option, but only if you are okay with plastic lids. Although these are not such a great eco-option, they will still last much longer than average all-plastic containers and can certainly help to reduce your reliance upon single-use plastics.

7. U Konserve Stainless Steel Large To Go Container

One of the best plastic-free containers around, this stainless steel version by U Konserve is highly durable, functional, and easy to clean. Exactly what you’d expect from a company that is a member of 1% for the Planet, as well as a certified B Corp. 

U Konserve Stainless Steel Large To Go Container

This 50oz container is a good size for use as a lunchbox or as a plastic-free alternative for storing leftover food after a big meal.

The transparent lid makes it easy to see the contents without opening it up, and the leakproof seal keeps everything securely contained, even liquids. 

What we like:

  • 100% plastic-free – this plastic-free container and lid are tested by CPSIA-accredited independent labs to be certified free from BPA, lead, and phthalates, what more proof could you ask for? The container is made from 304 – 18/08 stainless steel, while the lid is made from silicone. 
  • Handy size – at 50oz this container is a great size that’s sure to come in handy. Use it for leftovers, bulk produce storage, or even as a lunchbox. It’s a highly versatile piece of kit that is sure to become your go-to storage box. 
  • Transparent lid – it’s easy to see what’s what and transparent lids mean less coloring and less additives. 
  • Leakproof seal – suitable for use with liquids, your foods won’t leak.
  • Etched tare weight – ideal for bulk shopping, the etched tare weights make for easy weighing and paying. 
  • Dishwasher-safe – very easy to clean, simply place it in your dishwasher.

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive – to replace all your containers works out quite a lot. However, quality costs and as these containers last so much longer than plastic ones, they could even save you money in the long run. 

A highly versatile plastic-free food container that is certified free from phthalates, lead, and BPA. Not only will this model help you to reduce the amount of plastics you use, it is also a high quality, user-friendly article that is sure to last for years to come.

8. Bayco Glass Food Storage Containers

Looking to rescue the amount of plastic in your kitchen without spending a fortune?

Bayco Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids, [24 Piece] Glass Meal Prep Containers, Airtight Glass Bento Boxes, BPA Free & Leak Proof (12 lids & 12 Containers) - White

This value-for-money glass container set by Bayco features 12 individual assorted containers, making it an ideal starter set. 

Each container is made from ultra-durable borosilicate glass, so your lunch and are protected from getting squashed in your bag or smashing if they fall out of the fridge.

Each container has a leak proof seal which is perfect for liquid storage, but it’s a shame that the lids are still made from plastic. 

What we like:

  • Borosilicate glass containers – renowned for its durability and temperature-resistance, these containers are highly durable and free from plastic (without the lids). 
  • Leakproof – thanks to their silicone sealing strip these containers are leakproof, making them a good choice for soups, sauces and dressings. 
  • Oven, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher-safe – the actual containers (not the lids) can be used for oven baking, microwaving, as well as getting cleaned in your dishwasher. The containers and their lids are both safe for use in your freezer. 
  • Good value pack – this large 12-piece pack is a good value for money choice with a nice range of sizes.

What we don’t like:

  • Plastic lids – while the containers are made of glass, the lids are plastic. They are, however, BPA-free. 
  • Lids best hand washed – to prevent deterioration, it is recommended you wash the lids by hand.

While there’s no getting away from the fact that the lids are plastic, this entire set is, nonetheless, a durable choice that is more affordable than many others. Switching to this set could help you use less single-use plastics, making it a positive first step towards a less wasteful home.

9. Food Huggers Food Savers

While strictly speaking, these are not actual containers, this revolutionary, innovative product is plastic-free and can help to reduce food waste – so we just had to include it. 

Food Huggers Reusable Silicone Food Savers Set of 5 (Bright Berry) - Patented Product

Stretch a Hugger around your leftovers, for example half a tomato, a lemon, or an open can, and the Hugger will help to preserve it for longer in your fridge, while taking up next to no space. 

Food Huggers are highly versatile and have a multitude of uses around the kitchen. The five piece set is great value, and they will also save you money in the long run by helping to cut down food wastage.

What we like:

  • Plastic-free – Food Huggers contain zero plastic. Made from sustainable silicone, they won’t leach chemicals into your food.
  • Great visibility – as your food remains on show, not hidden away, you’re more likely to use it up, reducing your food waste and saving you money. 
  • Multi-use – suitable for use on a wide variety of food types and sizes, as well as different jars and cans, these are definitely worth having to hand. 
  • Five-piece set – overlapping sizes ensure you’ll get the most use out of this set, with a Hugger suitable for almost every item you’d usually use saran wrap on. 

What we don’t like:

  • Retain odors – you may want to keep one specific Hugger aside for product halves that have strong odors such as onions.

All in all, a great addition to any kitchen, these handy little silicone food covers make an excellent alternative to plastic wrap. 

Plastic-free Food Containers: A Buyer’s Guide

Check out our Buyer’s Guide to find out all you need to know about choosing the best plastic-free containers and why plastic-free ones are better for food use. 

What’s the problem with plastic food containers?

Plastic containers are not only harmful to the environment, they are also potentially damaging to your health. 

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), US landfills received 27 million tons of plastic in 2018 alone. In this interesting infographic by National Geographic on Plastic Waste, it is estimated that 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flow into the oceans every year. 

food packaged in plastic containers

Discarded plastics break down into microplastics that increasingly pollute our oceans and waterways. These small particles are responsible for the death of wildlife and they are also harmful to humans, having made their way into our food and water supplies.

According to Harvard University, we risk increasing our exposure to potentially dangerous side effects from heating up food in plastic containers. From reduced fertility to metabolic disorders, including obesity, exposing the food that you eat to plastic is increasingly viewed as a dangerous and irresponsible practice. Especially when there are numerous alternatives that are also better for the environment. 

Things to consider when shopping for plastic-free food storage containers

Here’s what to keep in mind when shopping for plastic-free food storage containers. 

Materials 

Always double check that your plastic-free food storage containers are 100% plastic-free. This might sound a little OTT, but it’s easy to get carried away with the marketing hype. 

So, be sure to check out the actual composition. A lot of “eco-friendly” containers actually feature plastic lids, as this is a cheaper option.

  • Silicone – a popular choice that is 100% plastic-free, silicone is also a great replacement for plastics as it is flexible, can withstand high and low temperatures as well as being durable.
  • Stainless steel – highly durable, stainless steel food containers are very safe. They are also easy to clean and odor resistant. 
  • Glass – glass is a great choice for microwaving, as well as oven baking and freezing. Borosilicate glass is more shock-resistant than standard glass and can take greater temperature fluctuations. 

Packaging 

A sign of a good eco-friendly product is in the packaging. After all, it’s almost pointless purchasing a plastic-free product to receive it wrapped in numerous plastic bags. 

Check that your food containers are packed responsibly, using recycled packing wherever possible. Reach out and check with the seller, or even the manufacturer, if they haven’t stated their packaging policy.   

Brand 

A good, reputable eco-friendly brand will have a mission to help to reduce plastic waste and our negative impact on the environment. 

Certifications speak louder than words, and you should also look out for brands who are members of organizations such as One Percent for the Planet and certified B Corps.

Practical considerations 

Before making a purchase, it’s important to consider what type of container is going to be really useful to your lifestyle. Otherwise, it will just end up sitting in your cupboards. 

  • For fruit and vegetables and shopping at the farmer’s market, go for organic cotton bags that will help your fruit stay fresh for longer. 
  • For leftovers, lunchboxes, and general storage consider stainless steel containers. Freezer, dishwasher, and oven safe, it’s a good allround choice. 
  • For highly visible storage, glass containers make a good choice for meal prep, leftovers, and reheating quickly in your microwave. It is also freezer, dishwasher and oven safe. 

Conclusion

All of the models we have featured are great options, but the best plastic-free food container for you depends on your particular needs. If we had to choose an overall favorite, it would be the U Konserve’s Large Stainless Steel Container

Why this one in particular? Highly durable, with 0% plastic, and a transparent silicone lid, this leakproof container is perfect for use both at home and out and about. 

It’s easy to clean, dishwasher, oven, and freezer safe, and is certified free from BPA, phthalates, and lead. 

On top of all this, U Konserve boasts additional eco credentials. They’re a member of the One percent for the Planet Club, and certified by B Corps, so you can be confident that this company is a leading choice for sustainability. 

Whatever plastic-free food container you choose, making the switch away from plastic is an easy step that has a big impact on the future of our planet. Be sure to tell your friends and family about your purchase, and encourage them to ditch plastic for good, too! 

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