Best Reusable Produce Bags and Beeswax Wrap
Single-use plastics like zip-top bags and plastic wrap are everyday items in many kitchens, but there’s a growing consensus that they’re not great for the environment. Luckily, there are more and more reusable alternatives out there. We think the first step to reducing your own waste is to find ways to use the jars and bags you already have. But if you want to fill in the gaps, or you need a few essentials to make buying and storing food easier, we tested 31 different reusable items—from beeswax wraps to silicone bags—to see which ones are worth the investment.
I’m a writer on the Wirecutter kitchen team who has covered everything from reusable straws to hand mixers. I spent hours reading reviews of reusable kitchen products on sites including Bon Appétit, The Kitchn, The Strategist, and Apartment Therapy, and on the blogs Going Zero Waste and My Plastic Free Life. Then I sifted through dozens of seemingly indistinguishable products to find the best options. To learn more about what makes a good reusable product, I interviewed two leaders of the zero-waste movement who have their own stores: Katerina Bogatireva, the founder of the package-free store Precycle, and Lauren Singer, blogger at Trash Is for Tossers and founder of the store Package Free. To learn about the best use cases for items like beeswax wraps and reusable produce bags, I talked to cheesemonger Carol Johnson, owner of Monger’s Palate in Brooklyn, New York, and Corey Rateau, a senior category manager at Good Eggs, a grocery-delivery service based in San Francisco. I also spoke with writer Erin Boyle, author of the blog Reading My Tea Leaves and the book Simple Matters, who writes about easy and sustainable living practices.
There are good reasons to want to reduce your use of disposable plastics. We know that plastic is terrible for the environment, and single-use plastics are particularly bad: Not only do throwaway items like produce bags and packaging crowd landfills and litter our cities and waterways, but producing them also incurs major environmental costs. This guide focuses in on some options for buying, prepping, and storing food if you want to reduce your own plastic use in the kitchen. These are just a few possible solutions, though, and we know it’s impossible to do away with all single-use plastic. We’ve covered some of the broader ways you can break a single-use-plastics habit, for The New York Times (Wirecutter’s parent company), and you can find many other ideas online.
Let’s be clear: You don’t have to buy more things in order to avoid single-use plastics. Usually, you can use what you already have. Katerina Bogatireva, owner of the package-free store Precycle in Brooklyn, New York, insists that you shouldn’t have to pay for minimalism. “Everyone has things at home they can reuse, whether that’s an old pickle jar or even the same Ziploc—use it until you can no longer use it,” she told me over coffee at a bar next to her store where she often purchases sandwiches-to-go on plates that she later returns. “I don’t think that the solution is going home, tossing everything that you have that’s disposable, and replacing it with fancy jars or metal containers,” she said. Erin Boyle, author of the blog Reading My Tea Leaves, repurposes drawstring bags that sometimes come with clothing, bedding, or jewelry purchases to transport produce and bulk goods from the store. She embraces a simple approach to storing food, placing items like an apple cut-side down on a plate or covering a bowl of pudding with another bowl. You could also simply purchase many produce items, from cucumbers to apples to beets, unbagged.
But if you’re just getting started and want more-convenient solutions, or you don’t have much that can be reused, then investing in a few reusable essentials may soften the transition from using disposable items. Our picks will come in handy for grocery shopping, prepping meals, and storing leftovers.
These multipurpose, durable bags seal securely and can hold everything from snacks to prepped ingredients to leftovers, and they can go from fridge to freezer.
Why we like them: Although you can wash and reuse disposable zip-top plastic bags until they break down, you’ll likely be able to use a set of silicone bags like the Stasher Reusable Silicone Bag Multi-Pack for longer. These bags are more durable and easier to clean than other reusable bags we tried, and unlike disposable plastic bags, these can be put in the dishwasher. We also love that they come in a wide range of sizes—pocket-size, stand-up 56-ounce capacity, and half-gallon. And you have a choice of gorgeous colors—’80s-inspired pastels, earth tones, and sea-glass green. The Stasher bags stack neatly in a drawer or bin for quick access, and we’ve found it especially convenient that you don’t have to search for a matching lid as you would with a container.
We like the Stasher bags because they’re so versatile. Made from silicone, they are freezer-safe, heatproof up to 400° F, and microwave- and oven-safe, so you can use them to store leftovers, reheat foods, or steam vegetables in the microwave. You can even cook sous vide in them: We made sous vide carrots with a Stasher bag and with a vacuum-sealed bag as a control. Though it was difficult to get most of the air out of the Stasher, the carrots tasted fine and were cooked through, just slightly firmer than the carrots cooked in the plastic bag. By comparison, the re(zip) Leakproof Reusable Storage bags we tried are made from PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) and can’t be heated, though they are freezer-safe.
The Stashers are made from a semi-rigid material that’s thick enough that the bags won’t collapse, but they still have a slim profile. They’re easier to stack in the fridge or freezer than flaccid plastic bags, and they take up less space than larger, rigid containers. Corey Rateau, of grocery-delivery service Good Eggs, told us he stores prepped ingredients in Stasher bags, and that he moves them from the fridge to the freezer when necessary. “More traditional plastic containers would be bulkier...or potentially crack or shatter in the freezer,” he said. Certain versions of the Stasher bags also stand up, which is convenient for storing liquidy foods like tomato sauce, soup, or beans.
The Stasher bags were easier to clean than others we tested, and they’re dishwasher-safe. Even though Rateau advised against storing acidic foods like tomato sauce (which can stain) in these bags, we did just that in our tests. Our dishwasher successfully got rid of stains left by tomato sauce we’d stored in the bags over a weekend. Stains remained on the re(zip) bags we tried, even after a trip through the dishwasher followed by a baking soda scrub. Compared with the (re)zip bags, the thicker Stasher bags are also easier to hold and hand-wash because they aren’t as floppy, and their wider seals were less likely to gum up with food.
The Stasher bags stayed sealed as we shook them around. We wouldn’t put a bag filled with liquid in a backpack, but we would transport snacks or less-saucy leftovers that way. Bogatireva even uses the Stasher bags to bring home restaurant leftovers, since Stashers are lighter in weight and pack down smaller than a container. And if you’re laying the bags flat or lining them up vertically in the fridge, you don’t have to worry about leaks; the seals popped open only when we applied pressure to the bags.
The Stasher bags have a lot of uses beyond food, too: You could use them for everything from packing toiletries in a carry-on to storing craft supplies. We also appreciate that Stasher has thought of the whole lifecycle of its bags: If your bag is damaged or you want to retire it, the company has a repurposing program to reuse the silicone.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: At the time of writing, the Stasher bags cost $50 for a pack of four, and we know that’s expensive. There are cheaper alternatives, like washing and reusing Ziploc freezer bags or using food-storage containers instead, but those have downsides, too: Ziplocs can’t go in the dishwasher, and they will wear out; containers take up more space. We’ll continue to test the Stashers to make sure they’re a worthy investment.
The Stasher bags are made from silicone, which can attract dust and lint, and can retain smells and stains, especially from oily or acidic foods. Some Amazon reviewers complain that the bags also have a silicone smell, which we didn’t notice. But we did detect a slight silicone-like aftertaste to the broccoli that we steamed in a Stasher bag. When we cooked carrots sous vide at 183° F for an hour, however, they tasted fine. We recommend washing the bags before use to zap any lingering tastes.
We weren’t able to get all of the air out of the Stasher bags in our sous vide test. Despite trying to both roll out the air and to use the water-displacement method, as the company recommends, we still had to weigh the bag down with a metal utensil to prevent it from floating.
The bags came clean in the dishwasher in our tests, and they were easier to clean than the re(zip) bags. If you have a dishwasher, the Stashers are easier to clean than traditional plastic bags. But if you’re hand-washing the bags, it’s more difficult to get into every cranny, compared with a more-flexible plastic bag. Stasher advises against turning the bags inside out to clean them since this can put stress on their seams; (re)Zip doesn’t say anything about this. It can also be challenging to reach into smaller Stasher bags and may require a bottle brush.
Although these bags have received numerous positive ratings and reviews on Amazon, there are a fair number of complaints about their developing holes or tearing at the seams, mostly after foods have been cooked sous vide in them (and one after a buyer tried to turn the bag inside out to wash it). We’ll continue to use the Stasher bags to see how they hold up.
This set of cotton bags includes mesh and solid options for produce and bulk goods, and each bag has a cord lock and tare weights on its label.
Why we like them: For grocery shopping, the EcoRoots Premium Reusable Produce Bags come in the best variety of sizes and materials, and they have some extra features that make them more convenient to use than other bags we looked at. Unlike most of the fabric bags we tested, the EcoRoots bags have a cord lock on their drawstrings, so you can cinch the bags shut. They may be easier to use at checkout, too, since they were the only bags we tested that came with tare weights in three units printed in a large font on their tags. (The tare weight is the weight of the bag itself. A cashier can subtract it at checkout when ringing up anything priced by weight.) We like that the set comes with both solid cloth and mesh bags, and the cotton mesh has a bit more stretch to it than synthetic materials do, allowing you to fit more in. The bags are machine-washable for easy cleaning, and they didn’t shrink too much in our tests.
The EcoRoots bags are made from unbleached cotton and come in three sizes, with six cotton mesh bags and three solid cotton bags in a pack. The largest size will fit a head of celery, a bunch of kale, a medium-size head of napa cabbage, or (just barely) an extremely large head of cauliflower. The mesh is fine enough to contain foods like grapes, radishes, or snap peas, and it gives the bags a little more stretch so you can pack more inside them. The plain-woven bags can hold finer grains, smaller beans, or nuts.
In our tests, we didn’t notice much of a difference between cloth bags and a resealable plastic storage bag when it came to keeping foods like carrots, cilantro, and lettuce fresh for four days. But cloth bags won’t keep moisture inside like plastic will, so foods may dry out more over time. The only bag that kept foods noticeably fresher was the towel-like Vejibag, which you’re supposed to dampen before using. But the Vejibag is bulky and expensive, and we suspect you can just wrap foods in a damp towel to achieve the same effect. Whatever storage method you choose, using your crisper drawer can help keep foods fresher, since it holds in more humidity than the rest of the fridge (in many fridges you can even fine-tune the humidity levels). If you’re still worried about produce going bad, Corey Rateau of Good Eggs gave us a few more tips: He advised drying greens thoroughly, to prevent them from getting slimy and moldy (a salad spinner helps). On the other hand, moisture will extend the life span of sturdier herbs like thyme or rosemary and green onions: Wrap these in a damp towel before storing. He also recommended trimming the greens from root vegetables to keep them from wilting, and he suggested storing fruits and vegetables in different drawers since fruits give off ethylene gas, which can hasten ripening.
Compared with other cloth bags we tested, these bags are the only ones that included three units for tare weights (pounds, ounces, and grams), listed in a large font on their tags. It’s a small detail, but this will help a cashier quickly ring you up if you use these bags for bulk or produce items. Also a plus: EcoRoots bags come in recyclable cardboard packaging, unlike some bags that are wrapped in plastic (the company says it ships bags only in plastic-free recyclable or upcyclable materials).
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The EcoRoots bags are made from organic, unbleached cotton. Sustainability in textile production is complicated, but we think it’s worth noting that cotton production uses a lot of land and water. The New York Times (Wirecutter’s parent company) cites a study that says that compared with using a lightweight plastic bag one time, you would have to reuse a cotton bag 131 times “before it had a smaller global warming impact.” But even some reuse would keep a number of plastic bags out of the landfill. Another alternative to cotton is hemp; we didn’t find many hemp bags in our research (likely because of restrictions on growing the crop due to its similarity to marijuana), but we will look out for hemp or other options for future updates to this guide.
There aren’t many reviews for EcoRoot bags, but we didn’t notice any quality issues in our tests or during six weeks of using these while we shopped for groceries. We’ll continue to use and wash these bags to long-term test them. Amazon reviewers note that other cloth produce bags aren’t water-resistant and that they obscure what’s inside the bag. These critiques will also hold true for the EcoRoots bags.
The tare weights for all of the bags we tested were slightly off, but the worst-case scenario is you’ll pay a few more cents for your granola. They also all shrank a little after washing and drying, which we expected since they’re cotton, but they were still usable.
The nylon mesh drawstring bags in this set are well made and sturdy enough to transport produce or other items. They also look better than most produce bags.
May be out of stock
Why we like them: The bags in the Junes Carry-All 3-Pack look nicer and feel sturdier than other mesh bags we’ve tried. They’re made from durable nylon with a thick, capped drawstring that won’t fray (though they don’t have a cord lock). We like that the bags come in an assortment of colors and three different sizes. The Junes are machine-washable and are sewn better than most produce bags we looked at, but we’ll continue to long-term test them for durability.
Although the Junes bags’ mesh is coarser than that of other synthetic mesh bags we tried, it’s much finer than that of the EcoRoots bags. So Junes bags can contain coarser bulk goods like dried beans or nuts, and items like loose green beans won’t poke out of the bag. The Junes bags will also work as ditty bags for smaller items you need to throw into luggage or a commuter tote.
The Carry-All set comes with a small, medium, and large bag (9.5 by 8.5 inches, 10 by 12.5 inches, and 11 by 16.5 inches, respectively), each in a different color. You can also buy the drawstring bags in a combo pack that comes with a smartly designed mesh tote with a pocket.
Since the time of writing, Junes has released a set of bags made from a biodegradable fabric. For its other bags, the company has a bag recycling program.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Junes bags are pricier than any other reusable bags we tried, but we think they’ll hold up better over time—we’ll continue testing them to be sure. The holes in the mesh are about the size of those on a window screen, so the bags won’t be practical for storing finer bulk foods like flour or sugar (for that, you may prefer the solid EcoRoots cotton bags). And the Junes are missing a couple features that we like on the EcoRoots bags we recommend. For one, they don’t come with a cord lock on the drawstring, so they may not stay cinched securely. But our produce didn’t tumble out during shopping, and you can easily knot the cord for extra security. The bags also aren’t labeled with tare weights, so you’ll either have to weigh them on your own to tell the cashier, or eat the cost of the extra weight of the bag when buying produce or bulk goods.
Although not airtight, these pliable beeswax wraps cling to themselves to make it easy to cover foods for storage or transport. They should last about a year with proper use.
Why we like them: Most of the beeswax wraps we tried were effective for food storage, but the Bee’s Wrap beeswax wraps came in more color and size options than any other we tried, and these wraps held up better through repeated washings. Unlike glass containers or even thick silicone bags, these wraps won’t take up much space, whether you’re storing foods in the fridge or transporting them in a bag, since they conform to foods or vessels. They take up less space when not in use, too. They do require gentle hand-washing, but they should last for a year and can be composted when they’re worn out.
Beeswax wraps are a convenient tool for short-term food storage. Corey Rateau of grocery-delivery service Good Eggs likes the wraps for preserving produce odds and ends. “I feel like they do a good enough job of limiting the browning of something like an avocado and retaining the moisture if you have half a bell pepper, where if you left it in your fridge otherwise it would dry out.” Katerina Bogatireva of the package-free store Precycle will whip out the wraps at coffee shops to transport a pastry or sandwich, and she has previously used them to cover homemade fruit bars (to avoid buying individually packaged granola bars).
In our tests, we found that beeswax wraps worked just as well as plastic wrap for short-term food storage (about four days), and they were only slightly less effective for storing foods for a week. In our tests, we bundled halved avocados, tomatoes, and onions in the various beeswax wraps as well as in plastic wrap and checked them after four days. The results were the same across the board: The tomatoes were still juicy, firm, and vibrant, and the onions hadn’t dried out, but the avocados turned brown even in the plastic. We repeated this test with apples, onions, and avocados over the course of a week, and found that foods dried out only slightly more in the beeswax wraps than they did in plastic.
The wraps are more permeable to air, so some foods may oxidize or dry out more quickly. But their permeability makes beeswax wraps great for storing hard cheeses. Cheese monger Carol Johnson said she wraps all of her hard cheeses in beeswax wraps before storing them in glass containers, and she recommends transferring all cheese to containers, paper, or beeswax wraps to preserve its integrity and flavor. “[Plastic] basically suffocates the cheese, which is full of living bacteria and mold,” she said. Johnson doesn’t recommend using the wraps for storing high-moisture cheeses like feta, burrata, or mozzarella, which need to be wrapped tightly or stored in a container with whey or brine. She also told us to avoid using them for blue cheese: Because the wraps aren’t airtight, blue cheese molds can escape and cross-contaminate other cheeses.
All beeswax wraps will degrade over time, but the Bee’s Wrap beeswax wraps (along with the Abeego wraps) held up better than others in our tests. After over six weeks of use and many washes (using cool water and soap, as recommended), the Bee’s Wrap beeswax wraps were still sticky enough to work, and their coating wasn’t pilling off. By comparison, the textures of other wraps changed more during testing. The Etee wraps and bags we tried started to feel slimy after just three washes, as if the wax was melting off; the Meli Wraps also felt harder and tackier to the touch with every wash.
Bee’s Wrap estimates that its wraps will last a year with proper care, and Wirecutter staff members have found this estimate to be accurate for various beeswax wraps they’ve owned. The experts we interviewed agreed: Johnson reported that her Trader Joe’s–brand wraps have lasted her at least six months. And writer Erin Boyle said that, though she no longer uses wraps, hers had previously lasted for years. Once the coating on the Bee’s Wrap beeswax wraps wears off, it can be cut into strips and composted.
You can get multiple sizes of Bee’s Wrap to cover mixing bowls, save half an apple, or swaddle a PB&J. You can cut them to different sizes, too, a Bee’s Wrap representative told us, but this may cause some fraying. The wraps come in several cute patterns, including honeycomb, sea creatures, flowers, or bears and bees. They don’t smell overpoweringly of beeswax, but they have a slightly sweet scent.
Instead of buying these wraps, you could make your own, use unwaxed cloth for wrapping, or store food in containers. But we like the convenience of the Bee’s Wrap beeswax wraps.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: It can be annoying to keep beeswax wraps clean: You’ll need to wash them in cold water with gentle soap (not in the dishwasher or with any abrasives) to make sure the wax doesn’t come off. And again, these wraps will wear out over time, though with proper care they should last for many more uses than a sheet of plastic wrap or tinfoil.
These wraps aren’t a perfect substitute for plastic wrap. They aren’t as airtight—for that, you could opt for a resealable silicone bag like the Stashers. You also shouldn’t use the wraps to store raw meat, which can contaminate them with harmful bacteria. And we have had some issues with getting the wraps to stick to bowls, especially when they were cold. Using an oversize wrap that’s large enough to fold over the edge and stick to itself can help. You might not be able to phase out plastic wrap for all cooking tasks, but we think beeswax wraps can sub in for most.
These classic food-storage containers stack neatly.
These plastic food containers are a lighter, leakproof option for meal prep.
A simple container with a lid is a steadfast option for storing food without using plastic bags or wraps, and the Pyrex 18-Piece Simply Store Food Storage Set is our top pick from our guide to food storage containers. These tempered glass containers are durable, stack neatly, and are microwave-, oven-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe. They aren’t leakproof, though. If you want a more durable, lightweight, and leakproof set to transport soupier foods, consider another one of our picks: the plastic, locking Snapware 18-Piece Total Solution Plastic Food Storage Set.
Be ready for anything with this tote.
We tested three reusable grocery bags for our guide to great picnic gear, and the Standard Baggu tote came out on top. This lightweight bag is ideal for toting groceries, and it folds down to the size of an index card, so it’s easy to keep one or a few on hand for unexpected shopping trips. The Baggu is made from ripstop nylon, is water-resistant, and can hold up to 50 pounds. It also comes in lots of fun prints and colors.
This set of four mixing bowls comes with lids that can stand in for foil or plastic wrap.
The lid on this casserole dish allows you to use the dish to store leftovers or freeze a lasagna.
Lidded casserole dishes and bowls can replace plastic wrap or foil. (Plus, lids will do a better job of containing sloshes or spills). We recommend the Pyrex Smart Essentials 8-Piece Mixing Bowl Set in our guide to the best mixing bowls, and the OXO Good Grips 3-Qt Glass Baking Dish with Lid in our guide to the best 13-by-9-inch casserole dish. The bowls are great for storing salads, chilling doughs, or holding marinating meats. The OXO baking dish (which also comes in a square, 2-quart size) will let you store and even freeze dishes in the same vessel you cooked them in. We tried some reusable silicone lids for this guide, but we found that their shapes didn’t always match up to bowls or casseroles and that they lacked enough suction to create a seal and prevent spills. A dedicated lid that matches a container will be more useful.
We sifted through dozens of reusable kitchen items in our research, from bags to wraps to utensils to reusable paper towels (the latter turned out to be a little ridiculous; you have to throw them away after about a week, whereas a kitchen towel can be washed and reused for years). We narrowed our scope to focus on the replacements we think have the most potential for daily and long-term use: bulk and produce bags, food-storage bags, food wraps, reusable lids, and silicone Food Huggers that fit directly over fruits and vegetables.
A lot of reusable kitchen products look alike and also appear to be poorly made. They often have few user reviews, to boot. To determine which ones were actually worth considering, we searched through the best-selling and best-reviewed items on Amazon, and we looked at the offerings from smaller online retailers like Life Without Plastic, Package Free, and Food52. We pored over editorial reviews, as well as customer reviews and photos, cross-checking the latter with Fakespot to try to suss out fake reviews. We also visited Whole Foods, the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, and the New York City–based zero-waste stores Precycle and Package Free to look at the reusable products they offered.
We talked to Katerina Bogatireva, the founder of package-free store Precycle, and Lauren Singer, the owner of Package Free. Both Bogatireva and Singer have been living minimal-waste lifestyles for many years, and we considered their expert tips and recommendations when making our list of what to test.
Because these items are more expensive than their disposable cousins, we also considered value. We compared prices, varieties, and sizes for each product subset. And since the focus of this guide is on more sustainable gear, we also paid attention to the materials involved in making and packaging each item.
To test the produce bags, we stored leafy greens, herbs, and carrots in them for four days, then checked for freshness. We also put the same types of produce in a zip-top plastic bag as a control and compared the results. We then measured and weighed each produce bag to check its listed tare weights, and washed and dried them all several times to check for shrinkage. We also looked over the stitching and fabric to check for quality.
We covered various foods and vessels with beeswax wraps—including tomatoes, onions, avocados, apples, and bowls ranging from a 4-ounce ramekin to a 2.5-quart mixing bowl. We wrapped the same foods in plastic wrap and zip-top plastic bags, and checked on the foods every day for a week, then compared the results. We cleaned the wraps five times with a sponge, cold water, and natural dish soap, allowing them to dry completely between each wash, to see how they held up.
We tried out the Food Huggers on foods including onions, bananas, apples, avocados, tomatoes, and cucumbers, checking them for freshness after four days. We also tried the larger Food Huggers, as well as the reusable lids we tested, on bowls and containers in corresponding sizes, and checked for leaks. And again, we washed the lids to see how easy they were to handle and clean.
To test resealable bags, we filled them with tomato sauce and left them in the refrigerator over a weekend, then washed them in the dishwasher to see how much they stained. We also tried washing them by hand. We tested the bags for leaks by filling them with water, shaking them, and trying to pop them open by putting pressure on them with our hands. For the silicone bags, we steamed and cooked vegetables sous vide to see whether the bags imparted any flavor and whether they stayed watertight.
After making our picks, we used each one for over six weeks at home to see how they held up.
The cream-colored, plush French terry Vejibag Fresh Vegetable Storage Bags look and feel luxurious, and they are the only produce bags we tried that actually kept leafy greens, herbs, and carrots fresh for multiple days. But you can achieve the same results by wrapping clean produce in a damp towel, for a fraction of the cost. And the Vejibag Fresh bags don’t come with tare weights or any type of closure.
We tried a few bags from the online store Life Without Plastic: the Large Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bag, the Medium Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bag, and the Greens Bag. These are well made but pricey, and they don’t come with any type of closure.
Most of the cotton mesh bags we tried from Amazon were quite similar, and the Big A Solutions Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bags were no exception. But unlike our pick, this set comes only in a mesh option, so it won’t work for finer foods like grains or sugar.
The Colony Co. Reusable Produce Bags also come only in a mesh option, and they have a smaller tag that’s harder to read and includes fewer units of measurement (just pounds and grams).
The Gogooda Reusable Produce Bags don’t have a fine enough weave to contain cornmeal or other powdery, grainy foods. The tags are also smaller than those of our picks, which makes them harder to read. We do like that these bags are transparent and have a pull-tab closure.
The polyester purifyou Premium Reusable Mesh Produce Bags are nearly identical to the Gogooda bags, and they have the same issues.
We appreciate that the Simple Ecology Reusable Organic Cotton Muslin Produce Bags come in a manila envelope, to reduce plastic packaging, but these bags don’t have any closures.
We tried out several different options from Eco-Bags: the Medium Organic Cloth Bulk and Produce Bag, the Large Organic Mesh Drawstring Bag, the Medium Gauze Produce Bag, and the Medium Organic Net Drawstring Bag. These bags are more expensive than our picks, and they shrank the most out of all the bags we tested.
We didn’t test cloth bags against biodegradable bags, which, though not reusable, are available at some stores as an alternative to plastic. Although some of these bags, like BioBags, do break down in compost, others that are labeled “biodegradable” may not be compostable and won’t break down easily in the oxygen-free environment of a landfill. Bags that do break down in the compost may also do so in your fridge. Michael Robinov, co-founder of the grocery-delivery service Farm to People, which packages foods in BioBags, told us, “The bags do hold up pretty well, but if you keep it in your fridge with something that has some moisture it will start to tear and fall apart after three weeks or so.”
We like that the bags in the (re)zip 4-piece Essential Leakproof Reusable Storage Bag Kit and the (re)zip 5-piece Stand-Up Leakproof Reusable Storage Bag Starter Kit are lightweight, transparent, and come in multiple sizes. They didn’t come clean in our tests, however, even after we scrubbed them with baking soda. They also aren’t heat-safe, and they are made from a thinner material than the Stasher bags.
We liked the Abeego The Original Beeswax Food Wrap sheets; they worked just as well as our pick and cost the same per wrap. The Abeego wraps just offered fewer size options at the time of writing, but you could also cut them to size.
The Meli Wraps started to feel stiffer and tackier to the touch after three washes, and they are pricier per wrap than our picks.
In our tests, the Etee Organic Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps and Organic Reusable Beeswax Sandwich Bags were the only wraps to completely break down and feel slimy after just three washes.
The stiff, plastic U-Konserve Food Kozy Wraps aren’t as versatile as beeswax wraps since they aren’t flexible enough to cover anything besides flat sandwiches.
The brightly colored, nesting Food Huggers Silicone Food Savers are cute and come in round shapes of various diameters. But it can be hard to fit foods into them, since not all foods are perfectly round. These are identical to the Farberware Food Huggers Reusable Silicone Food Savers, but the non-Farberware Food Huggers come in cardboard instead of plastic packaging and have one extra size option.
Out of all the lids we tried, we preferred the thicker, sturdier, clear Lékué Suction Lid and Multifunction Suction Lid. These have stronger suction than the GIR lids, are easier to clean and handle since they’re a little thicker, and allow you to see what’s inside. But we aren’t recommending any reusable lids because their shapes don’t always work with differently sized bowls or baking dishes, and they don’t create a strong enough seal to prevent spills.
The colorful, funky-shaped GIR Suction Lids will sit on top of dishes and bowls, but they don’t create a seal. They’re also pretty floppy, which makes it harder to hold onto them during cleaning.
The GIR Stretch Lids are undergoing a redesign. We will test them for a future update.
We found the Lékué Silicone Stretch Top Set hard to use—it’s tricky to pull these shower-cap-shaped, thin silicone lids over bowls of different sizes. They’re pretty good at containing spills because they extend over the lip of a bowl or container. But when these lids fit more loosely, liquids can slosh over the lip of a bowl and pool in the stretched top.
Katerina Bogatireva, founder of Precycle, in-person interview, July 9, 2019
Lauren Singer, founder of Package Free, phone interview, July 17, 2019
Erin Boyle, author of the Reading My Tea Leaves blog, phone interview, October 17, 2019
Carol Johnson, owner of Monger’s Palate, phone interview, October 17, 2019
Corey Rateau, senior category manager at Good Eggs, phone interview, October 21, 2019
Michael Robinov, co-founder of Farm to People, email interview
14 Ways to Break Your Plastic Habit, Bon Appétit, March 25, 2019
Anna Perling is a former staff writer covering kitchen gear at Wirecutter. During her time at Wirecutter, she reported on various topics including sports bras, board games, and light bulbs. Previously she wrote food and lifestyle pieces for Saveur and Kinfolk magazines. Anna is a mentor at Girls Write Now and a member of the Online News Association.
by Jordan Thomas
REI’s annual member-only sale has begun. These are the best deals we’ve found so far.
by Wirecutter Staff
Prime Day 2023 isn’t officially here yet, but some Prime Day deals already are. These are the best early Prime Day sales we’ve found so far.
by Wirecutter Staff
Here are the top deals we’ve found on Prime Day 2023.
by Annam Swanson and Wirecutter Staff
We share 2019’s top guides, products, reader comments, deals, and more.Why we like them: Flaws but not dealbreakers: Why we like them: Flaws but not dealbreakers: Why we like them: Flaws but not dealbreakers: Why we like them: Flaws but not dealbreakers: