Environmentally Friendly Cling Film Alternatives

cling film alternatives - beeswax wrap

Have you been searching for a way to cut down on the waste you create at home? One way is to use cling film alternatives. Doing so reduces plastic waste and helps avoid unnecessary food waste. 

There are some great substitutes for plastic wrap on the market. They’ll have you saying goodbye to cling film – and consuming less plastic – in no time!

The History of Plastic Cling Film

For the past 50 years, we’ve been turning increasingly to cling film to cover our leftover food. First discovered by accident in 1933, by the 1950s it had become a common household product

There are many different versions on the market, and some changes have been made over the years to make it safer. But it’s become a staple in kitchens around the world. 

You may call cling film Saran Wrap, PVDC, or polyvinylidene chloride (no, just me?).

Whatever you call it, this plastic is designed for single use. It keeps food safe and it’s convenient but in the long run, it adds up to a real problem for the environment.

Why We Need Cling Film Alternatives

Every year, we get through a shocking amount of single use disposable plastic. The global plastic packaging industry (which includes plastic food wrap) is valued at almost $200 billion. And it’s forecast to continue growing at an alarming rate.

The average family goes through 24 rolls of cling film per year, adding up to hundreds of meters of plastic waste.

Choosing cling film alternatives will lead to less rubbish in landfill. Plus it will mean more money in your pocket and fewer pollutants in the environment.


Grab our PDF guide with 104 ways to reduce your plastic at home.

You’ll find tons of tips for refusing, reducing, swapping, recycling, replacing and SO much more!

Convenient Alternatives to Cling Film

Here’s some of our tried and tested cling film alternatives that will help you reduce packaging waste

beeswax wrap

Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax wraps such as BeeBee Wraps are a great reusable cling film alternative.

They’re made from cotton coated in beeswax, making them sustainable and biodegradable. They’re available in a wide variety of fun colours and patterns to suit your preferences. 

Beeswax wraps are easy to wipe down and clean. With good care, they’ll last you a year, proving they’re a great addition to a zero waste household. 

A set of three reusable wraps costs £14. A roll of cling film costs around £1.25, so if you use 12 rolls a year, you’re definitely saving money by choosing wax wraps!

There’s also vegan options made using tree resin and jojoba oil instead of beeswax. 

Reusable Sandwich Bags

Like beeswax wraps, reusable sandwich and snack bags are made from cotton. Some have a waterproof lining to help keep your food fresh without making a mess. 

Waterproofing also works to reduce the amount of cleaning needed. Often, rinsing with a little soap and water and then allowing them to air dry is all that’s needed.

Reusable sandwich bags can feature zip closures, buttons, snaps, velcro and unsecured flaps. You can also find them in unlined, breathable cotton. The choice is yours! 

Silicone multi-purpose bags are also becoming a popular alternative. They can be reused over and over again and are suitable for use in the dishwasher and microwave.

Choose the style and type that suits your needs (and your food choices) the best. 

When it comes to silicone vs plastic, silicone bags have incredible longevity. Plus you can wash and reuse them until they’re completely worn out. At less than £10 a bag, they can be an excellent investment for your zero-waste kitchen.

Glass Containers

Before we turned to plastic, glass containers were found in most kitchens. They’re versatile and available in a wide variety of sizes. Freezing in glass jars is also perfect for storing leftover food. 

Glass containers can help keep your food fresh and organised in your refrigerator. A complete set is usually designed to store compactly, keeping your cupboards neat and accessible too. 

While you’ll have more dishes to do, they’re generally dishwasher safe. Some can be used to reheat food in the oven or microwave as well.

glass containers

Tea Towels

Classic kitchen items, tea towels are more than just useful for mopping up mess. 

They can be draped over plated foods to help keep them fresher for longer. You can also wrap tea towels around prepared foods such as sandwiches. Wash them with dishcloths and other kitchen laundry between uses. 

Tea towels are an excellent option for short term storage. Especially if what you’re storing doesn’t have an odour. 

They work equally well on food kept in the refrigerator as they do on food that’s on the counter. You may find they’re useful for absorbing excess moisture in refrigerated food too. Try them wrapped around fresh herbs to reduce mould and food waste.

tea towel wrap


If you’re looking for a way to change how you save your food without adding to your collection of kitchenware, take a closer look at what you already own. 

Plates and bowls are great for keeping food fresh. A bowl full of leftovers can be saved by inverting a plate and placing it on top. Bowls can also be placed upside down on top of plates to keep food fresh. 

Experiment with the items you already own to see how much needless waste you can cut out of your life.

Silicone Covers

Versatile and space saving, silicone covers are ideal for preserving food and reducing waste. 

They’re an affordable option available in various sizes. Made out of food grade silicone, they’re safe to use with food for both adults and children.

To use, stretch them around food containers of any size to create a good seal. They’ll keep your leftovers tasting fresh and delicious. They’re also dishwasher and freezer safe. 

Small Steps for Serious Change

Saying goodbye to excess plastic in your life is possible. Choosing cling film alternatives is an excellent place to start. 

Even if cling film still has a place in your life, you can still cut down. The cling film alternatives mentioned here will help you save resources and money. 

If everyone used less cling film, we could all help make a positive environmental change. So stop clinging onto cling film. That’s a wrap.

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