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Earth Friendly Alternative To Plastic Sandwich Bags

A friend of mine saw an article about a reusable sandwich wraps recently and hurriedly ripped out the page to show me. She knew I’d be excited!

You see, I really feel guilty about using plastic bags for my son’s lunch. I try to use glass and plastic containers, paper bags and a variety of other materials, but alas, too often resort to little plastic bags for space saving reasons. With water bottle sandwich, snacks and fruit…I end up stuffing that lunch box to the brim.

And, I mean really, who wants their kid dragging a heavy, oversize lunch box to school. Save the Earth – Break a back…or at least contribute to the epidemic of back problems young children are suffering from carrying heavy backpacks.

My Wrap-N-Mat, re-usable sandwich wrap came in the mail a few days ago and I quickly put it to use. Awesome! I really like the idea!

These gaily printed wraps are a cotton/polyester blend on one side and non-chlorinated PEVA vinyl on the other side – easy to wipe clean! PEVA vinyl, which I had to look up, of course, is BPA free. Good.

I actually wrote a piece, Acting Green by Acting Retro, awhile back about wrapping sandwiches in dish cloths, but this alternative is even better! It’s smaller and has a Velcro closure. The plastic back makes them easy to clean and better for sticky sandwiches like PBJ.

I found these sandwich wraps really easy to use and much more earth friendly than plastic sandwich bags. I like the way they create a placemat of sorts and easily fit two sandwiches…for heavy eaters. I’m going to try it for wrapping up small snacks like crackers and cookies too!

Related Posts:

Acting Green by Acting Retro – Food Storage the Old Fashioned Way.

Back to School – Keeping Lunch Green

Eco-Friendly Lunch Bag


  1. I use ziploc freezer bags but wash them out and reuse them until they fall apart. It’s one way to reduce the environmental impact of those things…but still, they do eventually end up in the trash. So I’m intrigued by these sandwich wraps! The plastic part wipes clean easily, but what about the cloth? With a three-year-old around, it’s a law of physics that her peanut butter will inevitably find its way onto the cloth. Can the whole wrap be tossed into the washing machine and then hung to dry?

  2. I love the sound of these. Not going to try them yet because my daughter doesn’t like sandwiches. All her lunches are at least in reusable containers, though. She’s learned to take good care of them.

  3. mamaterrig says:

    I have used these for the last 3 years. I would just through them in the washing machine. They held up well for 3 years. Little holes emerged in the plastic liner but they were still usable. I imagine if you hand washed they would last much longer. I have opted for hard plastic constainers this time around but would otherwise I would buy again.

  4. Heads up, once they reach middle school, they ditch the lunch boxes altogether. I can usually get a thermos of soup toted in a backpack or a Ziploc of chow, but that’s about it; otherwise, ‘uncool.’ sigh. Trying new approaches at Shaping Youth to see what sticks (e.g. recycling ‘cosmetic cases’ w/all those compartments for food separation, camping/sailing gear…SO hard to get something to pass muster with the peer pressure/teen scene!

  5. I should add that at our local Coyote Point Museum and Environmental Summer Camp all lunches MUST be trashless…and they used bandannas as a ‘wrap-n-roll’ way to use for hiking when finished…Very cool concept to make food ‘disappear.’ Shaping Youth piloted a trashless lunch program with Earthseeds.net here:

    (that’s me in the back row! 😉

  6. Thanks for the heads-up about this! I’ve been using aluminum foil for our sandwiches, figuring that even though it’s not terribly biodegradable at least it’s not made from petroleum. I’ve tried the bandanna but I hate that it’s one more thing to wash in the laundry. This sounds like a great alternative :-)

  7. The wrap-n-mat people are horrible though… and threaten anyone that has anything of a similar design (even if it’s far superior to theirs). I think their wraps are highly over priced, especially for something you can’t even put hot food on? Poor example of a patent stopping any growth in the reusable lunch covering department…

  8. Hate to say it, but these things fall apart after a few months. It’s a good idea, but not really functional for kids who are hard on their belongings and squish their pbj’s into the creases. And if you can’t wash it effectively, do you really want to be wrapping your food in it after a while? Gross…go for the bandana.

  9. Great “Healthy Kitchenware” website link featured here! It seems most of us take safe food storge and transport for granted — until the information wakes us up and makes us think.

    Thanks for this information.

  10. Dulcedelecher says:

    The manufacturer advertises that these last up to 6 months. I doubt the plastic laminate on them biodegrades any better than snack baggies, so I’ve made my own out of 2 layers of cotton and a hidden layer of PUL between them to retain moisture/stop leaks. PUL is also a plastic laminate, but takes many years to wear out and can be tossed in the washer and dryer. Some people make theirs out of denim, to avoid dealing with plastic altogether, and their food stays moist for a long time.

  11. M. Wright says:

    This is a great website for reusable sandwich bags – they are very cute and versatile!


  12. We started using “ReSnackIt” (www.ReSnackIt.com) reusable sandwich and snack bags… and it is a great product… my kids have stopped using plastic baggies all together and the kids want to carry them! They are great because they encourage “earth-friendliness” with a bag that is cool, where kids and adults want to carry it. Who says you can’t have fun and flair while still being earth conscience?

  13. I think your idea for ‘going retro’ is much better than this doohickey. The reason I say this is because if you wrap the sandwich in a cloth instead of this gimmick you are avoiding purchasing something else that has to be produced which causes pollution as well as your not accidentally exposing your children to harmful CFC’s. Theres more to being sustainable than just worrying what trash goes into the dump. You need to also consider where each product comes from. Its not truly eco friendly unless your not polluting the environment when its made…

    Also if you dont know about CFC’s (Chloro florescent carbons)you should look them up. They come in most plastic containers and are EXTREMELY bad for you and your child’s health.


  1. […] to help ‘green your school’ and one turnkey spot to keep lunchtime green, with products like Wrap-n-Mat, that we’ve already recommended on EcoChild’s […]

  2. […] And the Center for Health, Environmental and Justice points to a study on EVA, and other PVC alternatives (PDF), that states that “…EVA does not require phthalate additives to achieve flexibility…” Phthalates, as you’ll recall are the other culprits in PVC that leads to its toxicity. EVA has also been touted as an alternative to PVC for use in children’s toys including teething rings and PEVA has also found its way into sandwich wraps. […]

  3. […] You can start by storing leftovers in reusable containers with lids, or check out those handy new reusable food wrappers.  Or, take a shortcut and leave the leftovers in whatever bowel they’re already in, just put […]

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