Environmentally Friendly Disposable Lunch Items

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

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August 06, 2020

Biodegradable and Recyclable Products

For those attending school in person, lunch might not look quite the same. In order to spread fewer germs, some schools are asking for more disposable items that can be quickly tossed after eating. Even if we may have to (temporarily) go disposable, there are some items that are better for the Earth than others. Here are a few to add to your back-to-school shopping list.

Compostable Bento Boxes

Bento boxes have become super popular over the years because they negate the need for a million extra baggies or pieces of Tupperware. For this one, we took a hint from restaurant carryout, using the compostable, three compartment containers as the perfect item to recreate that Bento box feel. Just make sure you secure it with a little extra tape to make sure it doesn’t accidentally open in a backpack.

BUY IT: Amazon, $14

Beeswax Wrap

Beeswax is a great alternative to plastic wrap, and it is reusable (but if you have to dispose of it, it’s better for the earth than plastic wrap). Plus, it comes in cute patterns and colors, so you can make your lunch stylish, too.

BUY IT: Amazon, $18

Frozen Water Bottle as an Ice Pack

This is more of a hack, but traditional ice packs are too expensive to dispose of, so why not have your ice pack serve double duty? Freeze your water bottle or juice box the night before and stick it in the lunch. It should be defrosted by lunch time and ready to drink. You can do the same with a squeezable yogurt.

BUY IT: Amazon, $20

Polka Dot Lunch bags

Just because you have to go disposable doesn’t mean you have to pack plain brown paper bags. There are many cute patterned lunch bags, like this polka dot version, that are fully biodegradable.

BUY IT: Amazon, $15

Compostable Forks

Plastic silverware can be wasteful, and many products can’t hold up to the way toddlers shovel their food. These compostable forks are sturdy like plastic but biodegradable, so you can feel better about the waste.

BUY IT: Amazon, $18

Recycled Plastic Zipper Bags

Although it’s best to avoid plastic all together, there is just something so tempting about throwing snacks into a zipper bag and calling it a day. These zipper bags are at least made of recycled consumer plastic plus sugar cane, taking plastic out of landfills and repurposing it. The bags are unscented and BPA-free as well.

BUY IT: Amazon, $19


Skip the plastic baggie and try Lunchskins for your next PB&J or turkey sandwich. These sealable bags are made from pure wood pulp, which makes them completely recyclable. They also have a cute design. Plus, you can write on them, so you can print your child’s name or to leave a cute note.

BUY IT: Amazon, $5

Soufflé Cups

Derived from corn, these 100 percent biodegradable and 100 percent compostable cups are your solution to what you’d normally pack in Tupperware. Fill these with grapes, pasta salad, dips or even M&Ms.

BUY IT: Amazon, $14

Paper Straws

The switch to paper straws is having a moment and that means there are many fun patterns and styles to choose from. Plus, paper is better for the Earth as well.

BUY IT: Target, $5

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