The Sustainable Plastic Wrap Swap That's Already In Your Kitchen

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In today's world, finding sustainable solutions for living has never been more important. And, as reported by Grundig, food waste has been deemed the second most important topic to address by the United Nations. One easy place to start tackling this problem is by changing the way we run our own kitchens, since one-third of global food production ends up in the trash over stomachs. And nearly half of that amount is household kitchen waste.

The U.N. has released tips on how to combat food waste, like shopping smarter, donating, and composting (just remember, you can't compost meat) but sometimes you find yourself with a lot of leftover food regardless. Many people turn to plastic to preserve food, whether it be in Tupperware (which can start to smell after a while, which eventually gets replaced and/or thrown in the trash) or with plastic wrap. Of course, it's no big surprise that plastic is bad for the environment at every stage of its life cycle, as explained by Greenly. Luckily, there's a sustainable swap for plastic wrap that's likely already hiding in your kitchen drawers.

Plates, pans, and lids to save the day

While plastic wrap is cheap and popular, the negative impact of wrapping your half-eaten sandwich in transparent cellophane largely outweighs the benefit and convenience. According to one in-depth report from National Geographic, plastic wrap can clog machines and the price of recycling it is more expensive than using fresh materials. Even worse, when plastic wrap ends up in a landfill or gets burned, toxic chemicals are released into the world.

There are alternatives, however, like the popular beeswax treated cotton wraps or even compostable cling wrap. Yet these options can be pricey, and with the packaging, ultimately create more waste. A much easier and eco-friendly solution is to simply use your plates, lids, or even pans to cover dough that may be resting in a bowl, according to King Arthur Baking or any other leftovers, like noodles or a stir-fried rice dish. Then when you're ready to revisit your leftover meals for a quick snack, all you have to do is remove the plate or lid and heat it up — no plastic required.