• How to Put Together a Plastic Free Lunch Box

    January 16, 2018 • EAT, GUIDES, HOME

    How to put together a plastic free lunch box for kids and adults

    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.  Biome has sought out the best plastic free lunch box options to help you be plastic free, every day.

    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.  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.

    Onyx Leak-Proof Divided Container

    onyx airtight plastic free lunch box

    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

    onyx dipper plastic free lunch boxIf 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, but lunch time your salad is often soggy.

    Buy the Onyx Small Dipper here >

    Cheeki Leak Proof Lunch Boxes

    cheeki plastic free lunch boxA 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

    planetbox plastic free lunch box

    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.

    Browse our PlanetBox varieties here >

    LunchBots Lunch Boxes

    lunchbots plastic free lunch box

    Another great stainless steel lunch box – this one doesn’t have silicone seals so it’s not leak proof, but does mean it’s 100% plastic free. The LunchBots lunch boxes come in divided and undivided varieties, and the Bento variety is also larger than the normal range – in case you prefer more space for more delicious food.

    Browse our whole range of LunchBots boxes here >

    Glass Containers with Metal Lids

     

    plastic free lunch box kilnerplastic free lunch box onyx

     

    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 Onyx rectangle container has a silicone seal, this means it has an airtight hold for all the messy, wet food you want to transport.

    Buy our Kilner Food Jar here >

    Buy our Onyx Airtight Glass Container here >

    Vegan Wax Food Wraps

    vegan wrap plastic free lunch box

    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 >

    Sustain-A-Stacker

    stacker plastic free lunch box

    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 >

    Sustain-A-Bento

    bento plastic free lunch box

    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…

    Sustomi Waxed Lunch Bag

    Sustomi plastic free lunch bag

    Sustom’s new waxed lunch bags are one of the only synthetic-free lunch bags around. A sustainable and healthy alternative to plastic bags and containers. Sustomi’s reusable wax lunch bag keeps food protected and fresh, is easy to clean, and is handmade locally in Tasmania.

    Buy our waxed lunch bag by Sustomi here >

    Bamboo Spork

    spork plastic free lunch box

     

    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.

    onyx brick plastic free lunch box

    The ONLY 100% plastic free ice pack to keep food cool and fresh! Made with only stainless steel and distilled water, it means you can ditch synthetic, chemical-laden freeze bricks forever. It quickly freezes in two hours and keeps lunch cool for 4-6 hours, so it does everything a synthetic ice pack can. And its slim design means it can fit in most lunch boxes.

    Buy our Onyx Ice Pack here >

    Light My Fire Titanium Spork

    spork plastic free lunch box

    If bamboo ain’t your thing, we also have a titanium spork to take with you on the go. Lightweight and strong, it won’t bend in your bag. It’s hypoallergenic, for those with metal sensitivities. The spoon is a decent size for proper eating, and the fork has a serrated edge for cutting. It’s also a good alternative for those who don’t like wooden cutlery.

    Buy our Titanium Spork here >

    Klean Kanteen Bottle with Bamboo Lid

    bottle plastic free lunch box

    For a truly plastic free lunch box, your water bottle has to be plastic free too. This Klean Kanteen variety is only made with stainless steel, bamboo and a small seal of silicone. That’s it. It also has a handle so you can clip it to your bag or lunch pack, and the wide mouth makes it easy to fill with ice and fruit for a tasty drink.

    Buy our bamboo Klean Kanteen here >

    For another plastic free bottle, see our Cheeki Stainless Steel bottle here >

    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

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