Ask G

Ask G: What's a good replacement for cling wrap?

We've been so worried about plastic shopping bags, but what about the plastic we use to wrap our lunches?

I'm trying to step lightly on the planet, but as a Mum there are some things I am not imaginative enough to work out. What do you suggest as substitutes for freezer wrap to put meat or cakes etc in, and for lunch?

- Sharon, NSW

sandwich

Credit: iStockphoto

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Like their shopping bag counterparts, plastic products such as freezer bags and cling film are not environment-friendly.

While technically it's possible to recycle plastic bags, the reality is not simple.

Linda Edwards from the National Packaging Covenant explains: "No Australian plastic is biodegradable. Traditionally in Australia it's been very difficult to recycle because of the sorting and collection system needed. Also there is a lack of plants able to reprocess it."

Fortunately, there are alternative, environment-friendly options.

Substitutes such as 4MyEarth Wraps are a good choice for keeping sandwiches fresh. These reusable wraps are machine washable, and they not only wrap sandwiches but also act as a placemat to eat them off! The wraps come in sandwich and snack sizes.

A sandwich-sized hard plastic container would also do the trick.

When storing food in your fridge or freezer, consider investing in plastic containers rather than plastic bags - containers are endlessly reusable so you don't need to discard the plastic every time you take something out of the freezer.

Multiple use freezer bags can be found in your local supermarket, although these have to be thrown out eventually.

Look out for biodegradable freezer bags that have recently come onto the market. They're made of cornstarch, a renewable resource.

But if you can't give up the cling wrap, remember that you probably don't need to use very much - it only needs to cover the food, not mummy-wrap it!

Comments

BioBag make cling wrap from cornstarch. Luckily I bought a big roll, because I am finding it hard to get now. I have run out of their regular bags which I found really good for keeping veges fresh in the fridge and for compost scraps and rubbish for landfill. I think I am going to have to order from overseas.

You could keep the plastic bag the bread comes in, along with the tie to wrap sandwiches etc in. Was thinking you could also keep them to reuse at the supermarket for fruit and vegetables. Stronger than the plastic bags supplied and so can hopefully be reused more often.

Cling wrap is a godsend but it is not really kosher if you're green, so I use tin foil, which may actually be worse :s

That's a really good post because it does not cost anything to get into the habit of replacing our plastic products. I only hope it will become easier to find green wraps in supermarkets as we are still overrun with polluting traditional plastics.

Remember GREASEPROOF WRAP...it is still available and an excellent option. Plastic containers are indeed reusable up to a point . Once the containers get scratched and bashed about too much they start to release PCBs...so replace them...but you will get many years reusing out of them prior to that. Happy wrapping.

(Substitutes such as 4MyEarth Wraps are a good choice for keeping sandwiches fresh. These reusable wraps are machine washable, and they not only wrap sandwiches but also act as a placemat to eat them off! The wraps come in sandwich and snack sizes.)

These are fantastic, i've been using some through another place since April last year for my 7 year old.