Did you know that the average household bin in Auckland is about 45% food waste? Uneaten food is a major contributor to food waste so storing food right can help combat waste. Best of all, it means your food lasts longer so you get to eat it all and save money too. Let's explore which reusable food cover to use...a great way to take part in Plastic Free July!
There are so many great, low waste and sustainable options for food storage but each comes with its own pros and cons. We’ve put together a helpful list that helps you find the right food cover for the right occasion.
Glass can be infinitely recycled, it holds heat well making it perfect for last minute takeaway coffees. Glass is also dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and it’s easy to keep track of what’s inside. Some cons are that glass can be weighty which is not ideal for lugging to the bulk bin and back and, of course, glass can break. Great uses for jars:
Fill with water and store herbs and greens. Celery, spinach, kale, coriander, parsley, all will keep longer with a little water. Trim the bottoms and keep them in a jar of water.
Store left overs in jars in the fridge for grab and go lunches the next day
Storing dry food in glass jars in the pantry means you can see how much is left and be ready with a list when it’s time to hit the bulk store
#2 Silicone Stretch Lids
Easy to use and seals well over bowls, keeping food fresher for longer. Food grade silicone is microwave save, dishwasher safe and freezer safe and rolls up to be super compact. One downside is that silicone is hard to recycle, but we are working on some solutions with the Sustainable Business Network that may be coming to NZ soon. Great uses for Silicone Stretch Lids:
- Storing liquids foods or food with dressing as the lids are leakproof. Think soups, salads, pasta bowls.
- Covering half-cut fruits, like apples, onions, tomatoes, lemons, melons. Popping a lid over the cut side is room efficient and makes them last way longer.
- They can also be used over cans, jars and other small containers.
#3 Stainless Steel Containers
- Storing left overs
- Taking lunch to work
- Bringing with you for takeaways, think hot chips, baker snacks and festivals
#4 Beeswax Wraps
The best thing about these is that they are totally organic and compostable. Our Beeswax Wraps are made from organic cotton and beeswax, nothing else. The wax makes them a great multi-use item because they can fold to fit any shape. If looked after well, they can be reused for well over a year and either re-waxed or composted in the garden.Some downsides is that they are a little harder to clean and aren’t great for liquids or stronger smelling foods. Beeswax wraps are ideal for:
- Wrapping around fruit and vegetables
- Covering bowls or other containers
- Storing baked goods and snacks
- Large catering trays
Beeswax wraps are not for directly holding onions, garlic, meat, fish, liquids.
#5 Compostable Cling Wrap
If you need to go with single use, choose a low waste, compostable option. We love Compostic cling wrap, a kiwi company that makes cling wrap that breaks down within 24 weeks in your compost at home, or within 12 weeks in a commercial compost facility. Compostable cling wrap is ideal for:
- Cover large trays or bowls that silicone lids or wax wraps won't fit over
- Using in cooking situations that get messy, like covering bowls when letting dough rise - dough is hard to wash out of tea towels and wax wraps!
- A breathable cover for food. Use a fork to poke some holes in the cling wrap for a cover that lets air in and out.
Tackling food waste is one of our country's biggest sustainability goals for the next few decades. These eco food cover options help to minimise food waste at home and save on your grocery bill. Read our next tip HERE