I know that by choosing storage containers that are effective, safe, and eco-friendly, I will be reducing my carbon footprint while also minimizing my exposure to toxic chemicals that tend to come with traditional plastic containers.
Top picks for non-toxic food containers
So, what are the safest food storage containers? In this post, we will be answering these questions and more! Plus, I will share my top tips on how to shop for the safest storage containers for food plus factors to consider to help reduce food waste.
Klean Kanteen offers eco-friendly kitchen products like tumblers, water bottles, and straws. They are a VERY impressive company!
Their all-inclusive Klean Food Box collection is perfect for a range of on-the-go dining needs: from snacks and school lunches to work meals and more.
Crafted with robust BPA-free stainless steel, these boxes boast a top-quality silicone lid, ensuring a plastic-free experience that's easy for users to clean.
All box sizes are equipped with leak-resistant lids and adaptable corners for hassle-free venting, while the Lunch and Meal boxes have the added feature of snap-and-lock tabs.
Whether someone is traveling, camping, picnicking, or simply navigating daily routines, these boxes are an excellent choice. The set includes three sizes: a 7 oz snack box, a 20 oz lunch box, and a 34 oz meal box. Key features include:
- Secure snap-and-lock tab
- Leak-proof silicone lid
- Venting is made easy with flexible corners
- Made from premium 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and silicone
- The interior benefits from an electro-polished finish
- Guaranteed not to retain or impart flavors
- Designed for longevity: shatter-proof and rust-resistant
- Prioritizing health with BPA-free materials
- Convenient dishwasher cleaning
- Backed by their "Strong as Steel" satisfaction guarantee.
Klean Kanteen has been a Certified B Corp and Climate Neutral Certified brand since 2019. They maintain this certification by measuring their carbon footprint annually, reducing wherever they can, and offsetting the rest by purchasing verified carbon offsets. They are also a member of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of their earnings to over 140 different environmental organizations, making the world more sustainable.
Approximately 95% of their products are made from certified 90% post-consumer recycled stainless steel. Using post-consumer recycled steel cuts their emissions in half and accounts for a 60-80% reduction in negative impacts to ecosystems (such as freshwater and marine eutrophication or land use disruption). As a bonus, their products are BPA-free!
Another thing I love about their brand is their approach to repair vs. replace. Rather than buying a whole new product, you can request a replacement part from their website should you lose a cap, lid, or other part on their website. As I have said, repairing what you already have is always more sustainable than buying new!
Caraway offers a Food Storage Set that one would eagerly anticipate using for storing leftovers. The set consists of 14 meticulously designed pieces representing a sleek, clean, and appealing method for food storage.
These containers are made from glass coated with non-toxic ceramic, enhanced with Air Release Technology to ensure the food remains fresh while preventing odors. For added convenience, the set comes with complimentary organizers, making it easier for users to keep their cabinets neat and organized.
From an environmental standpoint, Caraway states that their cookware releases less CO2 into the environment than traditional non-stick cookware during manufacturing.
Their products are made without toxic materials like PFAS, PTFE, PFOA, lead, cadmium, and other toxic materials that might leach into your food.
Many of these (like Polytetrafluoroethylene) are known as “forever chemicals” and do not break down after disposal - meaning they are here forever. Instead, their ceramic non-stick coating is made of inorganic natural ingredients, which are all FDA-approved.
They also promise that the packaging for all of their products will be free of any single-use plastics and will instead be shipped in packaging made from recycled cardboard and low-impact dyes.
Last, Caraway works with BSCI and SMETA-certified manufacturing partners so the employees that made their products are “safe, paid fairly, given benefits, and work regulated hours.” Since their products are manufactured in China, where labor standards are less strict, having trustworthy certifications behind them makes a big difference here.
S'well is on a mission to replace single-use plastic water bottles! They started with a 17-ounce water bottle made from stainless steel and have since expanded to offer reusable stainless steel mugs, tumbles, plastic-free storage containers, and more.
First, they've got this fantastic " STONE " line with super chic names like Azurite, Onyx, Moonstone, and Pink Topaz. Can you imagine? They're so fancy, they named them twice!
And then there's "ELEMENTS". Think Azurite Marble, Calacatta Gold, Geode Rose, Rose Agate, and Blue Granite. Sounds swanky.
They even have a "WOOD" range with this gorgeous Teakwood finish. Beyond just looking good, they've got these insulated containers, canisters, and accessories that are seriously a game-changer.
Picture this: You've made too much pasta, and you're looking for something flashy to store it in. Enter S'well's Food Canister Set. These babies are perfect for all your pantry and fridge needs—think nuts, yogurt, last night's curry, or even some crunchy chips.
What's even better? When you're not using them, they nest together, giving you back some of that precious cabinet space. Plus, they come in three sizes (10oz, 16oz, and 24oz), so there's one for every craving.
But let's get down to the nitty-gritty. These containers aren't just about the looks. They're made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and have a leak-free silicone lid.
You can toss them in the fridge, the freezer, and, yes, even the top rack of your dishwasher. They're BPA/BPS-free and are just fantastic for the environment because they're reusable.
So, not only are you making your kitchen look good, but you're also doing a solid for Mother Earth. Pretty cool, huh?
One thing I like about Swell is that they partner with Water.Org to provide families in need with access to safe, clean water. According to Swell, 1% of their net sales go towards the program.
4. U Konserve
At its core, U Konserve is all about designing for sustainability. They believe in creating products that last, ensuring we can all lead healthier lives while reducing reliance on single-use items. Picture it: no more disposable bags or containers, just long-lasting, eco-friendly alternatives you can reuse repeatedly.
Are you thinking about packed lunches for school or work? A picnic or a fun outdoor adventure? U Konserve has you covered with its range of leak-proof containers, making it a breeze to pack healthy meals and snacks, all while minimizing waste.
But that's not all; these products also shine in the home kitchen. Whether storing those extra servings from dinner, prepping your meals for the week, or simply organizing your pantry, their nesting and stackable solutions have your back.
What's remarkable is their etched tare weights on containers, a feature that's super handy for bulk shopping or when grabbing some takeout from the salad bar.
Their range? Oh boy, it's expansive! From various container shapes like squares, rounds, and rectangles to the all-stainless steel variety and even silicone containers.
They've got the "BounceBox" (sounds fun, right?). The BounceBox, crafted from 100% platinum silicone, is a kitchen game-changer. Safe for microwaves, ovens, dishwashers, and freezers, its dual-seal lid offers vented reheating and a spill-proof seal.
It's perfect for cooking, storing, or snacking on the move. The Nesting Duo, with two stackable sizes, optimizes storage space. From casseroles and soups to desserts and oatmeal, the BounceBox's versatility knows no bounds.
The Recycled Collection has totes, bamboo cutlery, and ice packs for those lunchtime needs. Remember the handy accessories like straws with brushes, dividers, and lids.
If you like having everything coordinated or looking for a deal, their bundles and sets might be the ticket. They've curated specific sets for those always on the move with their "On-the-Go Bundles," and for the home chefs and organizers, there are the "Kitchen Bundles" and "Nesting Sets."
With this goal in mind, they created the first zero-waste lunch kit in 2008. Today, they offer a wide range of products, including straw-cleaning brushes, food containers, ice packs, bamboo utensil kits, silicone straws, etc…
You also don't have to worry about chemicals when you shop from U Konserve. Their products are non-toxic and tested by CPSIA-accredited independent labs to ensure they are free of BPA, phthalates, and lead. Their packaging is also recyclable and made from recycled content.
Best of all, U Konserve is a certified B Corp and a member of 1% for The Planet!!!
Eco Lunch Boxes offers the "Seal Cup Sixsome Set," a collection of stainless steel containers with silicone lids, perfect for eco-conscious consumers.
This 6-piece set provides a total capacity of 116 oz (14.5 cups). These containers are a plastic-free and non-toxic alternative, crafted from type 304 stainless steel and complemented by colorful silicone lids that sport unique ocean designs. A significant plus, they're free from harmful chemicals often found in plastics, such as BPA, BPS, and phthalates.
If you're bulk shopping or frequent delis and food bars that weigh your selections, the tare weights at the bottom will be handy. These containers suit the oven and dishwasher but steer clear of microwaves.
Though they originate from China, they are responsibly produced, offering a lighter, non-breakable alternative to glass containers.
This Certified B Corp has amazing plastic-free lunch boxes that are great for people, the planet, AND your pocketbook! They have been around since 2009 when they started as a small company in California. They offer bentos, tiffins, and lunchbox sets that are plastic-free and non-toxic, and since their launch, they have sold over 900,000 Eco lunch boxes!
Their products are built to last, using traditional, nontoxic materials like stainless steel containers, cotton, and plastic-free silicone. Eco Lunch Box also promotes product longevity and reuse, so they usually offer replacement parts and lids if you lose a part of their product.
In 2019, Eco Lunch Box switched to carbon-neutral shipping and started using paper wrapping to ship out their products. Even the tape they use for shopping is recyclable! I love that they have gone above and beyond and thought about the details.
Glasslock is another great company to have on your radar. Their products (microwave-safe glass storage containers, mixing bowls, and cookware) are BPA-free and recyclable. They are very similar to non-toxic glass Tupperware sets.
My favorite thing about Glasslock is that their products are built to last. They are scratch-proof, odor-resistant, dishwasher safe, and safe to put in the freezer and the microwave.
Glasslock containers stand out for their superior sealing capabilities. Their tight-fitting lids ensure no odors or contents escape, eliminating the common problem of strong food smells, like raw onions or garlic, permeating other items in the fridge.
While the containers are robust and of a higher quality than brands like Pyrex and Anchor Hocking, they are somewhat heavy, which might be challenging for those with weaker hands or arms.
Of all the glass containers we've evaluated for meal prep, Glasslock stands supreme in terms of leakproof design. The containers are versatile, available in various shapes, and stack well in refrigerators.
Additionally, they're safe for use in ovens, microwaves, freezers, and dishwashers. However, a word of caution: while efficient at preventing leaks, the locking mechanism on the lids can exert pressure on the container's rim. This pressure might increase the risk of the glass chipping over time.
7. Veggie Saver
Veggie Saver’s produce bags are SO COOL! They have an award-winning, patented design, which consists of lining their packaging with layers of unbleached cotton.
Hey! Have you heard about the Veggie Saver? It's this cool gadget I came across recently, and honestly, it's kind of a game-changer for keeping produce fresh. Let me break it down for you:
- Outer Layer: Think of this as the guardian of the veggies. It's sturdy and does a fab job of ensuring the water in the middle doesn't just disappear into thin air. Keeps everything nice and moist!
- Central Layer: This is the heart of the operation. It's like the sponge you didn't know your fruits and veggies needed. It soaks up any extra moisture, so things don't get all soggy, but gives it right back when they're feeling parched.
- Inner Layer: Okay, imagine giving your fruits and veggies room to breathe. This layer covers them, ensuring they're not too wet or dry. It's the Goldilocks of layers!
Using it is a breeze:
- Give the Veggie Saver a quick machine wash.
- Dampen it just a tad.
- Pop your produce in and stash it in your fridge's crisper drawer. Easy-peasy!
And you know what's the cherry on top? It's super eco-friendly! No more of those single-use plastic bags. Plus, you'll notice you're tossing out less wilted produce, which means fewer grocery runs and more money in your pocket. Oh, and did I mention it's all-natural and compostable? Seriously, it’s a win-win for you and the planet!
The company that makes its bags is certified by SEDEX for Ethical Trading practices, and SEDEX also reviews its Supply Chain (their bags are hand-made by an all-female team in India).
8. Ambrosia Bag
Ambrosia Bags are food storage bags manufactured in the USA from 100% raw, unbleached flax linen. Their packaging is eco-friendly and compostable since it's made with algae-based inks.
So, what makes their bags so special? Like Veggie Savers, their bags are moisture-absorbing, air-permeable, and made with antifungal linen. These materials help to create a customized microclimate that can either preserve moisture or reduce it, extending the shelf life of your produce.
When writing this article, Ambrosia bags have saved 1,370,000 lbs of produce from the landfill!
Ambrosia Bags is a 1% For The Planet member and has also partnered with Ecodrive to ensure their responsible and sustainable shipping process. They do this by planting trees to offset the emissions that would have come from shipping.
Have you heard about thier super cool Stainless Steel Airtight Watertight Food Storage Container? It's 16 cm, about 6 ¼ inches, and seriously a lunchtime game-changer. Imagine taking a big ol' salad with dressing to work without any spillage. Or even stews, soups, and sauces. Plus, this is a must-have if you're a meal prepper or just like to keep things in the freezer.
A couple of things to love about it:
- Quality: It's made from some seriously good food-grade stainless steel. So, you're getting top-notch quality.
- The Lid: There's this silicone seal on the lid, and it's sturdy! Plus, it's not glued on or anything. It's just snugly fit. And the three steel latches? Super easy to open, whether young, old, or somewhere in between.
- Heating It: Feel free to toss the base in a toaster oven or heat it on the stove. Just a word of caution: It'll get hot, so handle it carefully. And keep the lid off the oven and stove.
- Markings: Need to jot down what's inside or a storage date? A non-permanent marker does the trick, and it washes off effortlessly.
- Cleaning: Base? Dishwasher. Lid? Warm soapy water by hand.
Lost your lid or messed it up? No worries, you can buy just the lid separately.
There's also this Rectangular Food Storage Container. Think of it as the Swiss Army knife of food containers. It's perfect for lunch takeouts and the right size to toss in your bag or backpack. Made from the same great stainless steel and has that handy silicone seal.
Plus, if you're big on organizing or hate when foods touch (I get it), you can snag an optional divider. And guess what? It's dishwasher and oven-safe (remember to remove the silicone ring before heating).
These beauties are crafted in India and have a clear conscience - free from all those not-so-good-for-you materials, and they're recyclable.
Life Without Plastic started in 2006, initially looking for healthier, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic baby bottles. Fast forward to today, and they've got a whole range of stuff – from stainless steel and glass to eco-friendly materials like bamboo and hemp.
Their commitment isn't just about being eco-friendly. They're also about being you-friendly, meaning no harmful stuff like BPA, phthalates, PVC, or lead in their products.
With a Green America Certification, they look at specific environmental criteria when sourcing their products, considering the materials, the supplier, the laborers, and country of manufacture/origin, and any other factors that went into making their products.
Their products aren’t just safer for the planet. They are safer for us too, since they are free from bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and lead.
You know how much I love beeswax wraps! They keep your food fresher longer, just like plastic wraps, but without the trash.
etee has some great ones since they are reusable, USDA and GOTS-certified organic, and biodegradable after use. These wraps are BPA-free and made from sustainable ingredients like cotton, beeswax, non-GMO soy wax, coniferous tree resins, clove and cinnamon essential oils, and jojoba oil.
They are perfect for covering bowls, wrapping sandwiches, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables, or even enveloping snacks for on-the-go. You can buy them in different sizes too, making them a really versatile kitchen essential.
When warmed by the hands, they become malleable and can be shaped around food items or containers, then cool to hold their form, ensuring food stays fresh. Over time and with proper care and washing, beeswax wraps can last up to a year, making them a practical and environmentally-conscious choice for the kitchen.
Are you looking for food-grade silicone bags? Stasher has you covered! Their bags come in various sizes, are durable, and are meant to last long term. They are dishwasher, microwave, and oven-safe and free of unwanted things like lead, latex, BPA, BPS, or other phthalates.
Their packaging is 70% post-consumer recycled material. After use, their bags can be recycled through a partnership with TerraCycle, and according to their website, one stasher bag keeps about 260 single-use plastic bags out of the ocean every year.
If you go back all the way to when they first started, they have now saved 5.5 billion single-use plastic bags from entering the ocean.
Last but not least, Stasher has donated a portion of sales (over 1.3 million dollars to date) to high-impact nonprofits working to protect our oceans.
Due to their airtight seal and durable, food-grade silicone construction, they are excellent for many storage needs. Here's what Stasher bags are suitable for storing:
- Food Storage: They can hold anything from fresh fruits and vegetables to meats, cheeses, and marinated foods.
- Cooking: Stasher bags are safe for use in the microwave, oven, boiling water, and sous-vide, making them ideal for cooking or reheating foods directly in the bag.
- Snacks on the Go: They're perfect for packing snacks like nuts, trail mix, or cut-up veggies for trips or daily outings.
- Freezing: These bags are freezer-safe to store frozen fruits, vegetables, meats, soups, and broths without freezer burn.
- Travel and Toiletries: Beyond food, Stasher bags can safely store toiletries like lotions, creams, and liquid products when traveling, ensuring no spills in your luggage.
- Organizing Small Items: They're handy for keeping small toys, craft supplies, or tech accessories like earbuds and chargers together.
- Marinating: Their leakproof seal makes them great for marinating foods without the mess.
- Lunches: Sandwiches, wraps, and other lunch items can be conveniently packed in Stasher bags.
The reusable nature of Stasher bags, combined with their ability to handle various temperatures, makes them a practical choice for multiple storage purposes, not just in the kitchen but throughout the home. They come in so many sizes. Want to freeze meat without plastic? Try Stasher.
Why switch to non-toxic food containers?
To start, some scary chemicals are found in plastic food storage containers. Bisphenols (like BPA and BPS) are found in rigid plastic containers, while phthalates are found in softer plastic food storage options like plastic bags (just one more reason to pick an alternative to Ziploc bags!).
These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, disrupting normal hormonal functions without our bodies. These chemicals can leach into our food, so I recommend using BPS, BPF, and BPA-free food storage containers.
So, what's the safest plastic to use for storing our food?
There are many different types of plastic, and sometimes it can't be avoided. Like I said earlier, BPS, BPF, and BPA-free food storage containers are safer food containers for produce if you have to go the plastic route.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) are two types of plastics commonly used for food storage.
Both HDPE and LDPE are known for being relatively chemically inert. This means they do not react easily with the foods they store, ensuring the safety of the food contents. They don't release any harmful chemicals, mainly when used appropriately.
HDPE, in particular, is known for its strength and durability. It's resistant to many different solvents and thus won't degrade easily. LDPE, while softer and more flexible, also offers good resistance to wear and tear.
LDPE is very flexible, which can benefit packaging that needs to be easily sealed, twisted, or bent without breaking.
HDPE and LDPE provide an excellent barrier to moisture, ensuring that food remains fresh and free from external humidity, which can degrade its quality.
Producing containers from HDPE and LDPE tends to be cost-effective, making them popular choices for manufacturers and consumers.
Both types of polyethylene are lightweight, making them easy to transport and reducing shipping costs.
Both HDPE and LDPE can be recycled, though the efficiency and availability of recycling programs can vary based on the region.
These plastics can handle cold temperatures well, making them suitable for freezer storage. However, it's worth noting that they shouldn't be used in high-temperature environments like microwaves or ovens.
Another option to consider is silicone! Silicone is technically a type of plastic since it's a synthetic polymer (it's also not biodegradable), but it's much more durable and heat resistant than traditional plastic food storage containers. Silicone products also won't leach chemicals into our food.
Glass is a superior choice for food storage compared to plastic due to its inherent properties and health considerations. Firstly, glass is inert, meaning it won't interact with the food stored inside, preserving the original flavors and nutritional content.
In contrast, certain plastics can leach chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, especially during heat exposure, like microwaves. These chemicals are known endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with our hormone systems, leading to potential health risks. Furthermore, unlike plastic, glass is impermeable, ensuring no gases or contaminants seep into the food.
Environmentally speaking, glass is fully recyclable and breaks down naturally, reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainability, while plastic can linger in the environment for centuries, contributing to pollution.
Stainless steel is a popular choice for food storage due to its durability and non-reactive nature. Being non-reactive means that stainless steel doesn't chemically interact with the food stored within, preserving the food's original taste and nutritional value.
This property is particularly beneficial when storing acidic or alkaline foods, as there's no risk of the metal imparting unwanted flavors or leaching harmful substances.
Additionally, stainless steel's smooth and non-porous surface makes it easy to clean, resistant to bacteria and rust, and less prone to staining. This material is also strong, doesn't chip like glass or ceramics, and is resistant to dents compared to aluminum, making it long-lasting.
From an environmental standpoint, stainless steel is recyclable, further adding to its appeal as a sustainable choice for food storage.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Safe Storage Containers
You might now wonder how to shop for safe, non-toxic food storage containers. These are some questions I recommend asking yourself next time you shop for storage containers or bags to hold your organic snacks!
- Materials: Is the product made from durable and eco-friendly materials like glass, stainless steel, organic cotton, beeswax wraps, silicone, and BPA-free plastic? Materials that are natural and more durable than cheap, flimsy plastic will last longer and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Seal Quality: Does the product have an air-tight seal to prevent spoilage and contamination? When food is wasted, all the emissions generated to produce that food are also created for nothing!
- Size & Stackability: Will the container fit in your space, and can it be stored easily? Picking a container or storage solution that suits kitchen space will prevent the product from sitting on your shelf and never getting used.
- Microwave/Dishwasher Safe: What is the product's usability, and will it fit my current lifestyle?
- Eco-friendliness: What is the environmental impact of the product? How was it manufactured and transported? You can look for sustainable certifications to help check this box.
Why not try a DIY storage container?
Reusing what you already have around the home - especially items that might have otherwise gone to waste - is a great sustainable solution!
For example, I sometimes reuse organic cotton and make a DIY fabric sandwich bag when I am zero waste camping to store/transport food. You can also reuse mason jars; these are especially handy when transporting/shopping for food in bulk.
A final word on the safest food storage containers
So, what are the safest food storage containers to hold your sustainable snacks?
You want to look for durable containers that are BPA/BPS free, nontoxic, and made from eco-friendly materials. Reusing products you already have (like reusing old Tupperware) is also a great way to go because you are avoiding the emissions of creating something new.
Would you try any of the brands I mentioned today? Leave a comment down below; after all, sharing is caring! 🙂