Plastic food is food that comes in
- Cans of soda and other drinks
- Tetra Paks.
- Disposable paper cups that are plastic lined
- Glass bottles and jars with plastic lined metal lids
- Tin cans of food – they are nearly all plastic lined
- Plastic coated paper and foil – a tricky one often hard to spot.
- The plastic bag in the cardboard box squeeze and listen for the rustle.
- Teabags (Packaging aside), the bag itself contains plastic
I have sourced plastic free alternatives for most food stuffs and while it might sound hard (it was!), and be rather more time consuming (it is!), there are very good reasons not to eat plastic packed foods. Read this about chemicals leaching from plastic into food.
Of course there are some foodstuffs for which there is no alternative such as crips. So what to do then? Some I have chosen to give up; cornflakes, crisps, crackers and cucumbers spring alliteratively to mind. Others I cannot do without.
Here are the plastic packed foods I still eat….
Cupboard Staples – essentials
Polythene Versus Film
Many products like dried beans, lentils and pulses can be found, dried, and packaged in lovely looking, printed, laminated plastic film. Or to put it more simply several layers of plastic each with different properties stuck together.
Because they consist of different plastics bonded together it is difficult to know what they are and how to treat them and separating the films is tricky and so very expensive. Films therefore often don’t get recycled but burnt or landfilled.
Simple polythene bags are easy to recycle. You can read more about that here.
Early on in the boycott I decided to buy many dried staples in bulk, on-line in polythene bags.
Beans & Pulses
I bought a whole lot of dried beans and pulses in bulk, on-line. Years later and I am still eating them. There are a few limited options for buy loose. Heres where you can buy loose, cardboard and polytheism wrapped dried beans and pulses.
An essential in our house. Quick and easy but sadly not plastic free. Again rather than buy small amounts in fancy film bags I buy the big bags made from polythene, from Tescoes. Sadly, I cannot buy whole wheat or organic pasta like this so I have to make do white white pasta twirls.
Iranian herbs – no alternatives unless we go to Iran
Vegetable oil – even the tins are plastic lined
Glass Jars with Plastic or plastic lined lids
- Tomato ketchup
- Mango Chutney
- Sweetcorn relish
- mayonnaise – I just can’t make this stuff!
- Pickled Gherkins
- Pickled Beetroot
- Coconut milk
- Baked beans
- Tomato puree
Cant resist – occasional treats
- Cream cheese
- Smoked Salmon (plastic free options here)
- Nori seaweed
- Cream and Creme freche
Bottles with plastic lined lids, caps and corks
Cans of tonic
Check out plastic free booze here.
Now I know what you are thinking – if my diet consists of mainly baked beans, tuna pasta and vodka, I have hardly gone plastic free. This however is not the case. Sadly the student days are long since gone. And, since I have learnt about how chemicals may leach from the wrapping into the contents, I am not so keen to eat plastic packed food. I eat the above in very limited amounts (except for alcohol obviously), and often when we are entertaining/ have children round.
More Plastic Free Food & Drink Posts
- By Category
- The three levels of plastic free food
- Bags & Packaging – how to get your loose foods homes.
- Loose food shops selling loose, food that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt.
You can see all my plastic free alternatives here