10 alternatives to clingfilm (plus a couple of bonus ideas)!

We have been living without clingfilm for a couple of months now and it’s great! To start off with I experimented with shower caps (see here), flannels over bowls (see here) and froze pizza dough bases in tea towels (see here), but now we don’t do any of those things – this is what we do:

  1. Reusable boxes with lids
    – great for transporting sandwiches and snacks.  Also great for storing cheese, cooked meats, cooked fish, salad… Freezer proof ones are great for freezing anything from soup, to meat, fish, breadcrumbs, fruit, veg, icecream…
  2. Glass jars with lids
    – great for storing fruit and veg that half been half used – e.g. lemons with chunks out of them, half an onion, half an apple… Also great for storing yoghurt (mine is homemade – see method here, but the contents of an opened pot of yoghurt could be transferred to a glass jar)
  3. Plate over the top of a bowl – great for covering food that you will be using soon. Can also be turned over to be a bowl over a plate (same as before really but the other way up – useful for proving bread dough..)
  4. If something is big and unwieldy (e.g. a leg of lamb or a pizza) don’t freeze it like that.  Either chop it up into smaller pieces to freeze (i.e. fit it into small freezer boxes
    ) or buy / make it as close to when it is needed as possible so that it doesn’t need to go in the freezer  or storing for very long.
  5. Saucepans – chickens fit well in casserole dishes
    while marinading (make sure it is a non-reactive one) and I have actually taken a large saucepan to the butchers to transport an unwrapped chicken home before. 
  6. Flan tins or dishes
    and saucepan lids make good plate covers – this may be useful to cover a plateful of food, or when proving rolled out pizza dough in the fridge, or when covering pizza in the fridge, before you are ready to cook it.
  7. Glass dishes with lids – I usually use these to store things like egg mayo, houmous, dips, salsa… (could also use glass jars, if you don’t have any glass dishes with lids)
  8. Stoneware dishes with stoneware lids
    – prepare lasagna, or pies earlier on in the day, store them in the fridge with a lid on and cook them later (making sure the dish has a little while to adjust to room temperature before cooking and that you don’t preheat the oven)
  9. Ramekins
    / small dishes, small plate over the top of a glass/ mug/ jug etc
  10. Cake tins/ biscuit tins – good for storing cakes, bread, biscuits, crackers, croutons…
A couple of bonus ideas – sometimes clingfilm is used in beauty treatments e.g. to wrap up hands covered in moisturiser or to wrap up hair covered in a conditioning treatment (things I once did in a past life – although I could try doing this with oils..).  The cling film on the hands can be substituted with cotton gloves and the clingfilm on the hair can be substituted with a shower cap! 
Whatever you think you might need clingfilm (or plastic food bags) for, why not try having a rummage through your cupboards instead and work out an alternative – it won’t take long, will save you money and will be much better for the environment!
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11 thoughts on “10 alternatives to clingfilm (plus a couple of bonus ideas)!

  • Hmm. Now this has made me think! We often cook more than is needed and then put some in the freezer. This avoids any desire for 'ready meals' or whatever, because there is always something. In order to do this, though, you need to have something to freeze things in, such as plastic food bags or something with clingfilm on top. Last time I bought a branded clingfilm which declared itself 100% biodegradable. I will use it, but I might have to think a bit more carefully about freezer storage. I may buy some plastic tubs. I reckon if they're going to be re-used over and over that's less of an environmental impact than cling film or plastic food bags. Thank you for making me think about this – there are always these little steps to be taken in the road towards a lessened 'footprint', don't you find?

  • Glad it was helpful Sandy. I use a lot of takeaway style plastic tubs with lids which I found being sold in my local Chinese store or cash and carry type places. They do break every so often but can be reused over and over again. I have been looking into alternative freezer boxes and am considering getting some stainless steel ones when my year of eco challenges is over!

  • I've been slowly buying glass storage with lids (plastic lids unfortunately), and so I'm hoping the cling film I have will be the last one I buy. I'm onto foil now – just read your post on it. My first thought was about cooking fish too!

  • At least the plastic lids are reusable, which is way better than clingfilm. Plus glass storage containers are great because they are non-reactive (so don't leach nasty chemicals into your food) and because you can see what's in them, so are less likely to forget about the contents, which means less food waste.

  • I always thought cling film shouldn't be used for freezing as it is potentially carcinogenic. I hate the stuff but my partner loves it so I'm looking for alternatives.

  • Plastic freezer boxes aren't ideal but they are reusable which is better than throwaway bags. I think plastic is more of a problem with hot foods and less so with cold foods, but I'm not an expert so don't quote me on that!

  • Everytime you pull off a length of cling film to quickly over a pot for the fridge, or wrap your lunch… stop a second, and think about the whale, whose stomach your used cling film will end up in!

  • Anonymous, aluminum foil is recyclable but of course we are again using a lot of resources to remake it into what ever it is made into.However cling film just goes to land fill and the break down (if it ever occurs is very slow and toxic).Toxic to the ground and water tables and to the birds and animals that frequent landfills.

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