7 Plastic-Free Ways To Pack Your Meal-Prepped Lunches

Enough with the plastic baggies and cling wrap! Pack your lunch in these sturdy, eco-friendly containers that last a lifetime.

April 3, 2017
lunch packed in reusable stainless steel containers
Claudia Totir/Getty

Meal-prepping your lunches for the week ahead is a smart way to save money and keep yourself from eating pizza or Chinese takeout every day at work. The only potential downside to the cheap, nutritious meals you’re packing for yourself? Plastic.

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Not only do those disposable plastic baggies we’ve all become so addicted to take a decade or two to break down in a landfill, but they also contain BPA and other unsavory toxins. Hard plastic Tupperware lunch boxes may seem like a better reusable alternative, but you’ve still got BPA, phthalates, and other chemicals leaching into your food. Plus, they’ll begin to deteriorate after a few months’ worth of trips through the dishwasher and aren’t safe to use in the office microwave.

Related: 10 Best Foods To Prep On Sunday So Your Meals Are A Breeze All Week

So what’s a proactive meal-prepper to do? We’ve got you covered! Here are seven good-for-you, sustainable, and sturdy lunch containers that will last for years to come.

reusable lunch box
1/8 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
To-Go Ware 2-Tier Stainless Lunch Box

This handy contraption is a food storage container and lunch box all in one. You can pack the hearty salad you prepped on Sunday in the top tier and fill the bottom with fruit or crackers for a mid-morning snack. If you happen to only need one container some days, just leave the bottom half at home.

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anchor hocking glass container
2/8 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
Anchor Hocking Round Glass Storage Containers

These basic glass containers are exactly what you need most of the time. They’re microwave, freezer, dishwasher, and even oven safe, and come with leak-proof BPA-free lids. Use them for leftover or meal-prepped stir-fry, soup, pasta, and anything else you’re cooking up. Keep them in the fridge for later in the week or pop them in the freezer for eating in a few weeks time.

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bee's wrap
3/8 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
Bee’s Wrap

Bee’s Wrap is your eco alternative to wasteful plastic wrap. Made from organic cotton muslin, beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin, you can reuse these airtight, waterproof wraps again and again. Use them to wrap up a sandwich or a brownie treat for dessert, or cover a large salad bowl in the fridge that you’ll be eating from all week.

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u konserve stainless lunch container
4/8 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
U-Konserve Divided Lunch Containers

These food-grade stainless steel containers are topped with dishwasher safe lids made of BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free plastic lids. We love the adjustable dividers. These containers are perfect for packing individual portions of fruit, yogurt, chopped raw veggies, and other snacks you won’t have to heat up at work.

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onyx glass container
5/8 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
Onyx Glass Container With Stainless Steel Lid

Airtight and nontoxic, these Onyx glass containers have silicone push-top buttons on the lids that seal freshness into your food—so the rice and salmon lunches you prepped on Sunday will taste just as good on Thursday. (New to meal prepping? Here are 5 things this writer learned when she meal prepped every Sunday for a month.)

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6/8 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
LunchSkins Fabric Snack Bags

Goodbye, plastic baggies! These toxin-free reusable velcro fabric pouches are just the thing for packing those little extras like croutons or nuts for your salad, a handful of pretzels, and even less juicy fruits like grapes. The larger sandwich-sized bags are perfect for your PB&J (but don’t pack it too far in advance or the breathable fabric could leave your bread dry). They’re great for picnics, too!

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u konserve glass container with silicone sleeve
7/8 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
U Konserve Glass Container With Silicone Sleeve

Worried about possible breakage with standard glass food containers? These will definitely go the distance thanks to a grippy silicone sleeve that makes it easy to hold and protects against shattering. Plus, the locking lid makes accidental leaks a thing of the past.

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ball mason jars
8/8 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
Mason Jars

Plain old mason jars are perfect for packing dressings, snacks, and even layered salads and soups. Plus, you know they’re heat-proof so you’ve got nothing to worry about on that front. (Try these 5 mason jar meals that are almost too pretty to eat.)

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