12 Sustainable Swaps to Make If You Want a Plastic-Free Kitchen

From produce bags to storage jars, here are the eco-friendly glass, wax, and silicone products you need to keep plastic out of your kitchen for good.

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Composite of plastic-free kitchen bags and utensils

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma, Food52, Amazon

Imagine your kitchen right now. How many things in it don't contain plastic? These days, plastic is everywhere. We store our food in it, tote our lunch in it, and stir ingredients with it. And eventually, that plastic in our kitchens can end up in our oceans, our soils, and even in us. 

According to the U.N. Environment Program, the world now generates more than 400 million tons of plastic waste annually. It's a planetary crisis—and it's also a contributor to the climate crisis. More than 99 percent of plastic is made from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas.

While it's easy to get overwhelmed by all that plastic, the good news is that we're living in a golden age of eco-friendly alternatives. There are small steps we can take to reduce our use of plastic dramatically, starting in our kitchens. From produce bags to glass storage jars, here are the best product swaps to make if you want a plastic-free kitchen.

01 of 11

Instead of Plastic Food Storage Bags: Stasher Bags Stand-Up 3 Pack

Stasher Reusable Stand Up 3pk

Courtesy of Stasher

Ready to finally say goodbye to disposable bags? Swap them for Stasher's washable silicone pouches, which come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. This set, for instance, makes it easy to store everything from produce and crunch snacks to soups (use the tiniest bag to freeze a single serving—and drop it into hot water when you're ready to eat). They're dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe—and you can buy them in sets or one at a time.

Price at time of publish: from $70

02 of 11

Instead of Plastic Food Storage Bags: Compostic Home Compostable Resealable Food Storage Bags

Compostic Home Compostable Resealable Snack Bags

Courtesy of Amazon

If you're not ready to invest in reusable pouches, you can still rid your kitchen of plastic food storage bags with these compostable options from Compostic. They're available in sandwich and snack sizes and are even microwave and freezer safe. You can wash and reuse them, but unlike your plastic sandwich bags, you won't feel bad about tossing them after a single use. They're designed to break down in a home compost in 12 to 24 weeks. We found that to be pretty accurate; it took just under six months to break down in our compost pile.

Price at time of publish: $10.49

03 of 11

Instead of Plastic Food Storage Bags: Five Two Organic Cotton Reusable Produce Bags

Five Two Organic Cotton Reusable Produce Bags (Set of 8)

Courtesy of Food52

Made from organic cotton, these produce bags (which come in a set of eight) are your swap for those clingy plastic produce bags you find at your local grocery. They have many other uses, too; stash them in your car and you can reach for them when you go to the farmers' market or want to bring home fresh bread from your local bakery. You can also use them to store produce in your crisper drawer—or for snacks. They're washable and durable and sure to become one of your new favorite eco-friendly items. 

Price at time of publish: $14.99

04 of 11

Instead of Plastic Wrap: Food Huggers 5-Piece Silicone Food Savers

Food Huggers 5pc Reusable Silicone Food Savers

Courtesy of Amazon

These BPA-free produce huggers are fun and practical, so you can skip the plastic wrap. It's easy to reach for the silicone circles in various sizes to keep onions, tomatoes, avocados, lemons, and other produce fresh after you've cut into them. They're available in all kinds of colors that mimic fruits and vegetables (and some that don't). Did we mention they're dishwasher safe?

Price at time of publish: $16.99

05 of 11

Instead of Plastic Wrap: Compostic Home Compostable Cling Wrap

Compostic Cling Wrap

Courtesy of Thrive Market

We try not to use cling wrap, but sometimes, it's necessary to save that extra piece of pound cake or to cover the pie for your child's school celebration. We found an eco-friendly compromise: Enter Compostic's Home Compostable Cling Wrap. Much like their food storage bags, this wrap will break down in a home compost within 12 to 24 weeks. We tested it and found it to be very clingy, so it requires a bit of patience and practice when wrapping food—but it's an excellent alternative to the traditional plastic stuff.

Price at time of publish: $7.99

06 of 11

Instead of Plastic Wrap: Bee's Wrap Assorted 3-Pack Reusable Food Wraps

 Bee's Wrap - Assorted 3 Pack Reusable Food Wrap

Courtesy of Amazon

Made of organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin, these wax wraps are perfect for saving sandwiches and covering jars and other containers that have lost their lids (but they don't have an airtight seal). Wash the wraps in cold water, let them air dry, and reuse them for up to a year—then compost them when they've reached the end of their life cycle.  

Price at time of publish: $15.99

07 of 11

Instead of Plastic Food Storage Containers: Honey-Can-Do 4-Piece Bamboo Jar Storage Set

Honey-Can-Do Bamboo Jar Storage Set 4-pc.

Courtesy of Target

Upgrade your pantry and cabinet storage by switching to glass storage jars. This set of glass containers with bamboo tops lets you easily see how much of every ingredient you have left. Although they are made of glass, the containers are durable and light enough to bring with you to your bulk grocery market when you need more pasta. We like that they come in a set of various sizes, including one tall enough to store spaghetti. 

Price at time of publish: $23.99

08 of 11

Instead of Plastic Food Storage Containers: Gneiss Spice Magnetic Glass Jars, Set of 12

Gneiss Spice Magnetic Spice Jars

Courtesy of Amazon

Say goodbye to random spice containers and upgrade to Gneiss Spice. These glass jars are so versatile: You can buy them empty or filled with spices or purchase a single jar or a set of three or more. Since they are magnetic, you don't need to store them in a cupboard or on a spice rack. You can organize your spices on the side of your fridge or a metal backsplash—or buy the Gneiss wall plate to display them.

Price at time of publish: $64.99

09 of 11

Instead of Plastic Food Storage Containers: Pyrex Ultimate 10-Piece Glass Storage Set

Pyrex® Ultimate™ 10-Piece Glass Storage Set

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

When upgrading your plastic food storage containers, consider a glass set from Pyrex. These dishes are made of durable tempered glass and are dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. We love that this collection comes with plastic-free silicone lids, which also feel more secure and durable than standard plastic ones. They are heavier than the plastic options you grew up with, though, which is something to keep in mind if you want to use them to transport your work lunch.

Price at time of publish: $79.95

10 of 11

Instead of Plastic Utensils: Made In The Wooden Spoon

wooden spoon

Courtesy of Made In Cookware

If you’ve been relying on plastic cooking spoons, it's time to add at least one wooden spoon to your utensil holder. Durable wooden spoons are gentle on non-stick pans, but unlike plastic, they won't melt. We love the smooth edges and the broad concave spoon of this one from Made In, made of 100-percent beechwood. You'll find yourself reaching for it whenever you're mixing, stirring, or tossing ingredients. 

Price at time of publish: $19

11 of 11

Instead of Plastic Utensils: GIR Silicone Kitchen Tools

GIR: Get It Right Premium Silicone 5 Piece Utensil Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Made of pharmaceutical-grade silicone, these tools from Gir are dishwasher safe, gentle enough for any non-stick pan, and heat resistant up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike wooden spoons, they won't stain or collect odors. You can buy them in bundles or individually as you slowly replace your plastic kitchen tools.

Price at time of publish: $50.95

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Martha Stewart is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy.
  1. "Discovery and quantification of plastic particle pollution in human blood." Environment International.

  2. https://www.unep.org/interactives/beat-plastic-pollution/

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