These zero waste alternatives to clingfilm can also be used to replace aluminium foil and parchment paper. There are options below if you wish to continue to use these items (made from recycled and compostable materials). But did you know that there are some other zero waste options too? For cooking on the hob, see greener alternatives to non-stick pans (never heat up food near birds, the post has useful tips).
Clingfilm is very toxic to make, and can’t even be recycled. As well as health concerns over its use to cover food, it continues to pollute at landfill. Aluminium foil is wasteful (there are a few concerns over dementia, but it’s more likely to be from long-term use in our water supply). And parchment paper is often covered in a Quilon coating (toxic when incinerated) to make it greaseproof. Also see zero waste ‘food huggers’ (these are made from silicone).
Silicone is not biodegradable (it’s a blend of sand and fossil fuels). But for now, it’s the next thing to plastic. It is designed to last years, and does not contaminate your food. And because it’s so durable, it’s less likely to break down into microplastics, unlike plastic wrap or clingfilm.
- Agreena Reusable Wrap is a popular Aussie invention that includes 4 silicone wraps to eliminate need for clingfilm, tin foil or baking paper. Use it to seal, wrap and bake. Made from quality platinum silicone, this can be washed again and again, and lasts for years.
- WellBake is used by professional chefs. Carrying a 10-year guarantee, it’s suitable for cooking or freezing, takes up little storage space, and eliminates the need to use parchment paper, oil or butter when baking. Many items have reinforced side supports and base, to prevent bowing. Wide handles enable a safe steady grip.
- IKEA sells budget silicone baking cups in stores (not online). Designed to make release easily, the baking moulds can be placed on top of each other, to make a two-layer cake. Wash before first use.
Better Disposable Alternatives
If You Care offers a nice line of recycled and compostable disposable alternatives. All sold in cardboard boxes, the greaseproof items use a silicone lining to work, rather than quilon. All items are also unbleached (so they are brown, not white). Chefs prefer silicone parchment paper.
- Parchment Baking Sheets are sold as 24 pre-cut sheets, again coated with silicone. Also sold on a roll.
- Baking Cups are also in jumbo size
- Roasting Bags are perfect for roasting vegetables. Just place the greaseproof bag seam-side up on your roasting tin, put food in with marinades at the centre, and roll up to seal, before baking. The company says you can compost these – but bin animal foods (composting them attracts rodents).
- Recycled Aluminium Foil uses 95% less energy and is also sold in an extra heavy version.