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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ditch Plastic Wrap

July is (virgin) plastic free month (are you all getting a bit over the focus months?) and I thought now was an appropriate time to talk about our last 12 months without cling wrap and foil wrap for that matter.
About 12 months ago we ran out of cling wrap and duly placed it on the list (which never goes with us) and week after week and month after month went by and we just kept forgetting it. We didn't use that much of it anyway but it caused me to have a bit of a think back to my grandmother's time.
Somehow they got by without all this plastic wrap which is yet another expense in my frugal kitchen and a drain on the environment from start to finish.
So we decided that if our grandparents managed without surely we could too especially with some modern additions in our drawers.
Above is my third drawer, the classic dumping drawer for all things food wrapping and bagged. 
Mine used to contain foil and cling wrap but now it has; greaseproof paper and waxed paper, rubber bands recycled and saved, kitchen string, saved packets from flour and sugar for cake tin lining and wooden skewers and matches because where else do you put them?

These sandwiched sized keepers are the reason we used very little cling wrap in the beginning. The sandwich sits perfectly in there and the containers come in handy for all sorts of left over storage.

Here too is the accumulation of a lifetime and commonly and affectionately known as "The Tupperware Draw". Because the product is so hard wearing, it literally has had a lifetime of use and replaced plastic bags, freezer bags and cling wrap.

Our grandmother's commonly employed a plate over a bowl or vice versa. This stops food drying out and keeps dirt and vermin out.

Recycled food spread jars can be used for storage of food stuffs of course but what about jars without lids or ramekins or cups? These can be covered with a square of paper tied with string or secured with a rubber band. Vacola also have snap on lids that can be used again and again on opened preserves so you can store partial jars easily in the fridge. The beauty of these lids is that they also make empty out of season jars useful again.

You can use all sorts of cloth covers

Especially useful in my kitchen is my stash of tea towels ready to use and washed again time after time.
I don't expect people to all of a sudden go completely plastic free but it would be great if we could use this month as a focus to become aware and maybe reduce. 
I would like to think that maybe 10% of you who read this might one day run out of cling film and just decide to NOT put it on the list.
Of the remaining 90%.....
maybe 10% of you may put greaseproof paper ON your list and maybe you will reduce some of that cling wrap.
The benefits to the environment are obvious but you should also get excited about how much money you'll be saving each year too.


  1. I used to think my Mother was so old fashioned because she didn't use cling wrap and now I'm trying to do things her way.
    I like the lunch box idea.
    One of my sons ave me a tin for storing cake and that has set me off on a tin hunt.
    Our pantry is almost finished and storage will be my priority in there.

  2. Congrats on giving up the plastic.. I have to admit I use it :(( but there is room for improvement..:)) I do recycle for the garden... scraps etc.. Use of shopping bags and my own crocheted string bags..
    I love how your drawers are so well organised, well done :)) Have a great evening :))

  3. I don't like the thought of stuff leaching from glad wrap so I seldom use it. I do have it in my drawer though. Takes me about over a year to go through a roll. I use plates on bowls, plastic containers (BPA free ones), glass jars - but don't really use greaseproof paper. Must add it to my resources.

  4. When I hear our local primary schools had gone plastic free I thought - how stupid! But I can see the sense of it - no waste (landfill) and no litter in the school yard. All snacks must come in a plastic reusable container which is taken home - even muesli bars must be unwrapped before being taken to school. I use plastic wrap mainly for covering food in the microwave to stop splatter but I know you can get spatter guards for that so will keep on the look out. This may be my July challenge.

    Cheers - Joolz

  5. Tanya another great post, keep them coming, they're very interesting and informative.
    Yes, I do use cling wrap but not that often as I have tupperware and various other containers. So I will try this month to not use cling wrap and see how I go. I remember my mum kept her butter wrappers and other plastic bags etc. for all sorts of uses, so guess what I'll be doing now?

    Been a jolly cold weekend here and I'm loving it.
    Have a great week,

    CLaire :}

  6. We haven't used cling wrap for quite a few years now, but do still use some foil. I think that will be my challenge to stop using foil. I don't use much but there are some things I'm not sure what to replace it with. I don't have greaseproof paper so I will get some of that next shopping day and see if that can substitute for the foil. I like to cover roasts with foil while I rest them before carving, I don't think mum covered hers at all so maybe it's not really necessary specially if the gravy is hot. I wrap celery in foil too to keep it fresh.
    hmm got me thinking now.

    cheers Kate

  7. Tanya, it's great to see a post like this, as reading the comments I can already see people thinking about making a change. I do get frustrated when I see just about every article in the supermarket covered in plastic of some sort.

    I'm like you, I love lunch wrap and greaseproof paper, we wrap up all the goodies and sandwiches in them. I don't have plastic lunchboxes, I found some sweet metal ones and all the wrapped goodies go in those. I only have vintage 70's tupperware, which I use now and again, but prefer to put leftovers in ceramic bowls covered with a plate.

    I do use foil now and again and I found i can use it more than once by covering over the pet food, then when it's had it, it goes in the recycling.

    Great post.

  8. Great post Tanya!!!

    We have cling wrap in our '3rd draw'... I must say that we hardly ever use it though, maybe once a month - but that's still too often. I think it's out of habit that it sits in my draw, I grew up with my Mum using it ALL OF THE TIME, it was such a staple product for her...

    Thanks for reminding me that change is good and that maybe it's time for me to change that little habit of purchasing cling wrap out of habit, even if it is only once a year that I do it...

    Thanks - Jodie :)

  9. Yup I am in. I will try to make conscious effort to use that than cling wrap. It is better than cooking paper. With rubber bands close by I should have no excuses.

    My issue is the boys lossing our tupperware (hear groan). We use it a lot here and a lot over the years has gone missing which makes me WINCE when I buy any pre packaged stuff or use a recleaned (LOTS OF TIMES) zip lock bag...

  10. Awesome post! I've just found your blog, and loved this post. I am about 96% plastic free, and have a big Tupperware stash- but don't regret a bit of it! Every little bit helps! Baking paper has save me too, foil wasn't cutting it. Thanks for the tips on other ways, I may forgot to replace my empty cling wrap roll too!

  11. I have got a roll of cling film but I can't remember the last time I used it. I put plates over bowls, which has the added advantage of being able to stack something else on top of it in the fridge. I reuse bread bags for sandwiches.


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