Most of us don’t realize how much unnecessary packaging food comes in these days. When you walk into a grocery store, you’ll find the shelves are stocked with plastic, cardboard and metal, sometimes more than they are with actual produce.

Plastic in particular (as we are all probably sick to death of hearing), is a major source of pollution. However, most of us may not realize the magnitude of the seemingly harmless substance’s effects.

An estimated 6.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since it’s popularization in the 1950s. Of this number, only around 9 percent of it is has been properly disposed of and recycled. An alarming 40 percent of plastic on earth takes the form of single-use packaging, which is used for the short-term, then often tossed in the garbage or on the ground. (Think about those bags you collect your loose produce in at the grocery store.)

Since food is a large source of single-use plastic, here are a few tips to cut down on disposable food packaging.

1. Bee’s wrap

Bees wrap is made from organic cotton, which is then coated in a mix of bee’s wax, jojoba oil and tree resin. This creates material that can be used to cover and wrap around food to save it for later—a greener alternative to plastic wrap.

The wrap just needs to be wiped down with soap and warm water and is good to use again! After you are done with the wrap for good, it can be cut into strips and composted.

You can purchase Bee’s Wrap on Amazon, or on The brand I have is called Abeego.  

2. Reusable sandwich bags 

This one is similar to the bees wrap in that it is a more sustainable alternative to disposable plastic sandwich bags. The bags are more durable, so they can be rinsed out and used again.

They come in a variety of sizes and there are a few brands leading the way. The ones I use are called Full Circle. The company strives to create products that have a long lifespan, and uses more environmentally-friendly processes to create them. 

3. Go to Bulk Barn

Bulk Barn is probably one of my favorite stores. It’s so convenient, and if you are making recipes with small amounts of an item you can just buy the amount of ingredients you need. There is no need to buy a huge plastic bag full of tarragon for a recipe that needs half a teaspoon.

The best part about it is you can bring your own containers to the store to refill. You don’t have to use plastic bags which helps cut down on disposable food packaging.

#SpoonTip: Bulk Barn is a retailer in Canada. If you live elsewhere, give your local grocer a call and ask if you can collect bulk items in your own containers. 

4. Bring your own water bottle/coffee tumbler

As many of us know by now, the takeaway cups we get our drinks in at most coffee shops are not recyclable in many places. The inside of cups are coated in a plastic resin to help avoid leakage and control for temperature, and this material requires special resources to recycle—a process only a few cities currently have in place.

I drink a lot of water, so I almost never leave the house without a reusable water bottle. However, I find it a lot harder to bring my own coffee tumbler with me, as coffee is something that I often don’t plan ahead on purchasing.

It is something that can make a huge difference on the amount of plastic we use, especially if you are a daily coffee buyer. Places like Starbucks sell their own reusable hot and cold cups and actually give customers a 10 cent discount every time they bring one in. 

As you go about your day to day or next time you’re at the grocery store I encourage you to make note of all the plastic that is really used to make our food convenient for us and I think you’ll be shocked. Let's use some of these tips to make a difference and cut down on disposable food packaging.