A plastic free lunch box helps reduce the demand for plastic in our world, as well as reducing your exposure to the toxins found in many plastic lunch boxes, such as lead, BPA, phthalates and PVC.
For those trying to achieve a plastic free lunch box, it can be difficult to find lunch containers and lunch bags that do not contain any plastic parts, nor fabrics made from petroleum such as neoprene, polypropylene, nylon and PVC vinyl coated polyester.
However...Biome has sought out the best plastic free lunch boxes to help you be plastic free, every day. So read on as we share how to put together a plastic free lunch box.
How to Put Together a Plastic Free Lunch Box
To assemble a lunch box without any plastic, you will need to consider:
- Which type of container suits you best? Your choice depends on whether you prefer one bento style lunch box with multiple compartments, or a combination of small and large containers. In some cases, you may only need a wrap for your sandwich or food.
- Does it need to be leak-proof? To be leak-proof, the container or bottle needs to have a silicone seal and clips to hold in place, or a screw top closure. Some people use a large stainless steel lunch box and place small leak proof containers inside for dressing and dips. With containers that are not completely leak proof, you can still use them for dips that are thick and not watery. Note: most leak-proof containers have seals made from silicone. Silicone is a type of plastic, being a synthetic polymer, but the thin silicone seal is a minimal component and does not touch your food.
- What material? Instead of plastic, your options are metal or glass. As for metal, we recommend stainless steel of 304 or 316 grade as the safest for storing food. 201 stainless steel will rust more quickly. Other metal options include tin or aluminium. Most glass containers on the market have plastic lids, but Biome offers Onyx glass containers with a stainless steel lid and glass Ball Mason and Kilner jars. Perhaps our favourites are our very own range of Good to Go containers. Almost the whole range features stainless lids and containers, and they do a good job of containing leaks. There are also glass containers with a bamboo lid.
Onyx Leak-Proof Divided Container
These are great for those that prefer round stainless steel containers. The silicone creates an airtight seal so you can add all the messy foods you like, and you can take out the divider to make one big meal. This also makes the container easier to clean. Also pair with a small dipper seen below. Onyx airtight, leak proof round containers also come in other round varieties without the dividers.
Onyx Small Container / Dipper
If your lunch box does not have a seal, this small container allows you to carry runny liquids such as dips, yogurt, dressing or sauces. It is ideal for salads in particular, so that you can keep the dressing separate from the salad until you are ready to eat lunch - whereas if you add the dressing early, by lunch time your salad is often soggy. Buy the Onyx Small Dipper here >
Cheeki Leak Proof Lunch Boxes
A fully leak proof, stainless steel lunch box! The minimal silicone seal means it's great for foods with dressings, sauces, or juices (like watermelon). The airtight seal also means it can double up as a storage container for dry food. It's BPA-free, with no linings or paints, and comes in single large container, small container, and "Double Stack" design.
Planetbox Lunch Boxes
A popular brand for kids and adults, PlanetBox lunch boxes are designed to hold a lot of food without different dishes touching each other. Not suitable for wet foods, but the PlanetBox complete kits also come with leak proof dippers, which can hold runny liquids (the dippers do have lids made from silicone). The high quality latches on the lunch box are designed for children 3+ years to use.
Glass Containers with Metal Lids
While most glass containers have plastic lids, these two have reusable, recyclable metal lids instead. The Kilner jar has a built-in pot underneath the lid to house dips, dressings, or other liquids, making it perfect for salads on the go.
Although the Biome Good to Go glass containers have a silicone seal, this means they have an airtight hold for all the messy, wet food you want to transport. Buy our glass Good to Go containers here >
Vegan Wax Food Wraps
A great vegan alternative to plastic cling wrap, these cotton wraps are coated in candelilla and non-GMO soy wax, tree resin and jojoba oil. This makes them flexible, reusable, and completely natural. They're perfect to wrap snacks by themselves, or for food in your lunch box that needs a bit more protection. Buy our Vegan Wax Wraps here >
A 3-in-1 compact lunch box, with two large compartments that clip together, and one small container to fit inside the top layer. This means you can pack different foods without them mingling, and it fits into your bag without taking up extra room. There's no silicone, however, so none of the containers are leak proof. Buy our Sustain a Stacker here >
A simple bento box that separates the deliciousness of each dish and is easy to clean. Although not leak proof, this deep bento can hold a good amount of food to sustain you for the whole day. It's also the only stainless steel lunch box (apart from the LunchBots variety) that doesn't have clips to keep the lid on. Buy our Sustain-A-Bento here >
Some Accessories for your Plastic Free Lunch Box...
Bamboo cutlery or a spork made of 100% bamboo - not only is it reusable and made of a renewable resource, but it is also compostable, so the ultimate zero waste accessory. The long prongs of the fork make it more effective than a regular plastic spork. And let's face it, bamboo cutlery is very stylish, so you'll want to use it on the go for everything.
Green Essentials Stainless Spork
Klean Kanteen Bottle with Bamboo Lid
For a truly plastic free lunch box, your water bottle has to be plastic free too. Our favourite material for water bottles is glass as it is easy to clean, see inside, and leaches absolutely nothing into your drink. This being said, you may be after insulated bottle or something with some other functionality better supported by a different material.
No matter how you choose to build your plastic free lunch box, Biome has the tools to help you.
We also have gathered some excellent tips to help you pack a waste free lunch box here
Image thanks @onyxcontainers