Silicone is not a perfect plastic replacement.
Learning and Growing
I, admittedly, used to buy those bulk buy Ziploc bags from Costco once a month. I would pack my snacks, my kid’s snacks and lunches, meal prep, leftovers, etc., in those little, plastic bags. I didn’t really think twice about it. My parents were big on single use plastic bags, and I grew up eating off of styrofoam plates and using plastic utensils daily because my parent’s were “busy” and didn’t want to have to do dishes. (Don’t worry, I already talk about this in therapy.)
I didn’t know any different, but we live in an age where we are able to question, research, and learn to do better.
As an adult, I never buy styrofoam, and we use metal utensils and actual plates and bowls for meals, but I never thought about looking for an alternative to those handy, plastic bags.
My first stop on my single-use plastic replacement journey was obviously glass. Glass containers are now my favorite reusable container for food, but they are also heavy, fragile, and can be difficult to travel with. We like to do road trips, hike, etc., and I have very specific food needs, so we pack everything, and glass tends to be a liability on the road and in the woods.
So, I then found silicone bags.
Pros and Cons of Silicone
Now, I want to put out a disclaimer that I do not believe that silicone is a perfect replacement for single-use plastics. For starters, it is not biodegradable, and it contains synthetic and chemical additives that come from fossil fuels.
Positives of silicone are that it is more durable than single-use plastic bags, which encourages prolonged use, and silicone is thought to be more inert than plastic, which means that it will not leach out chemicals in the same way that plastic does. Silicone is also more recyclable than plastic, but it is difficult to find a place that will recycle it, plus we need to be mindful that recycling requires a great deal of water and power making it not as “green” as we like to think. So, the ultimate goal is to first look for biodegrade-ability and then to use your products for as long as possible.
I chose Stasher bags because I found that their company is aware that silicone is not a perfect product, they use plastic-free packaging, and they promote waste-free living.
I ordered a bundle starter kit which comes with 1 Stand-Up Stasher, 1 Half Gallon Stasher, 2 Snack Stashers, 2 Sandwich Stashers, and 1 Pocket Stasher. (I chose the clear set because I’m boring, I like to see my food, and I also worry about dyes.)
Now, after living with my Stashers for over a year and traveling with them multiple times, I will tell you that my hands-down favorite bag is the Stand-Up Stasher. It can hold quite a lot, and because it can stand on its own, it is perfect for filling and traveling with. It is also easier to clean than the other bags. We usually throw our bags in the dishwasher, and the other bags, without the flat bottom, do not seem to rinse out as well.
I also like the Pocket Stashers to toss in my son’s backpack filled with snacks like roasted chickpeas, trail mix, or pumpkin seeds.
Overall, Stasher bags are extremely convenient and have shown no signs of wear in the last year.
What are the reusable ways you store food?