Doing the right thing has never been prettier.

By Stacey Ballis
Updated May 28, 2020
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The past two months are visible proof that our actions as humans directly affect our environment. Stay-at-home orders globally have resulted in air quality improvement, and the canals of Venice are clearer than anyone can remember them being.

From a cooking at home perspective, we are taking on waste-free practices, and really facing down our longtime dependence on plastics. While we can reuse plastic containers a few times, they ultimately end up heading to recycling or worse, the landfill. And that’s not even taking into consideration the environmental impact that comes with making the stuff.

Therefore, what better time to make the change in your kitchen from too much plastic storage to hardly any (or none at all!)? With that excellent goal in mind, here are 10 of my favorite no-plastic food storage options. These one-time investments are often as stylish as they are practical, and you can feel good about eliminating some of the biggest plastic villains from your kitchen practice!

Silicone Stasher Bags

Credit: Courtesy The Container Store

Courtesy The Container Store

Coming in a variety of colors and sizes, these dishwasher-safe zip-closed bags are great for long-term or short-term food storage, or even for use in your sous vide cooking! If you have a family that takes lunches to work and school during non-pandemic times, think about getting each family member her or his own color for ease!

Buy it: Stasher Clear Silicone Reusable Storage Bags ($9.99-19.99), containerstore.com

Beeswax Wrappers

Credit: Courtesy Sur La Table

Courtesy Sur La Table

These cloths imbued with natural beeswax are a great wrap to replace plastic for sandwiches; halves of fruits; vegetables like lemons, avocados, and onions; or as a reusable cover for bowls and plates. You can’t put them in the dishwasher, but you can wash by hand in cool water.

Buy it: Bee’s Wrap Assorted Wraps ($18 for a set of three), surlatable.com

Mesh Produce Bags

Credit: Courtesy Sur La Table

Courtesy Sur La Table

Whether you are shopping in a grocery store or at a farmer’s market, these breathable mesh produce bags can go right into your fridge. Washable and convenient, and unlike the plastic bags you get at the store, they keep proper air flow around your produce for longer storage. Now that so many places have started to ban or charge for plastic bags and we are all getting used to bringing our own, this is the next logical step.

Buy it: Flip & Tumble Mesh Produce Bags ($13 for a set of 5), surlatable.com

Glass Storage Containers with Wooden Lids

Credit: Courtesy Williams Sonoma

Courtesy Williams Sonoma

If you really want to go plastic-free in your pantry, it can be difficult to find canisters that don’t use plastic in their lids. These are the exception, with gorgeous olivewood lids on sleek glass canisters, as pretty to look at as they are useful.

Buy it: Olivewood & Glass Canister (starting at $29.95), williams-sonoma.com

Glass Storage Containers with Stainless Steel Lids

Credit: Courtesy Williams Sonoma

Courtesy Williams Sonoma

Need to store baking supplies on your counter for easy use? These larger glass canisters have stainless lids for a look that is sleek and plastic-free.

Buy it: Glass Canisters (starting at $39.95), williams-sonoma.com

Ball Jars

Credit: Courtesy Walmart

Courtesy Walmart

These jars have been around forever for a reason: They are really good at keeping food in prime condition! In every size from half a cup to half a gallon, they are useful for so much more than just canning and preserving. Use them for leftovers in the fridge, long term storage of pantry goods, or as containers for food transport. Inexpensive, and with replaceable lids, they are a go-to in my house.

Buy it: Ball Wide Mouth Canning Jars 4/Pkg-Pint ($5.39), walmart.com

Freshpaper Produce Wrappers

Credit: Courtesy Sur La Table

Courtesy Sur La Table

These plastic-free sheets are imbedded with natural botanicals to keep your produce fresh! Just pop them in your refrigerator bin with your produce and they’ll do the rest. They are reusable, and once they have stopped working well, they are recyclable or compostable.

Buy it: Freshpaper Produce Saver Sheets ($10 for a set of 8), surlatable.com

Stoneware Food Storage

Credit: Courtesy Wayfair

Courtesy Wayfair

These sleek containers are wonderful for leftovers and are as pretty as they are useful. They come in a variety of sizes and a lovely green color, making them ideal to go from refrigerator to table (and back again). Dishwasher safe.

Buy it: Whitten Stoneware Food Storage Container (from $14.99), wayfair.com

Ello Glass Storage Set

Credit: Courtesy Target

Courtesy Target

These glass bowls and lids with protective silicone sleeves to prevent breakage come in a variety of sizes and fun bright colors. The sleeves make them useful and safe for transport, but they also are terrific for fridge storage. Dishwasher safe.

Buy it: Ello 10-Piece Meal Prep Food Storage Container Set ($39.99), target.com

Stainless Steel 3-in-1 ECOlunchbox Bento Box

Credit: Courtesy The Container Store

Courtesy The Container Store

Metal stackable lunchboxes, or tiffins, have been a staple in many cultures for decades. These useful containers are great not only for safe food transport but are also wonderful for use in your fridge or pantry. The lids clamp on for secure seal, making them especially useful for items that can leak or go stale.

Buy it: ECOlunchbox Stainless Steel Rectangular 3-in-1 Bento Box ($35.99), containerstore.com