Skip To Content

    31 Little Ways To Use Less Disposable Plastic In Your Kitchen

    Because it's time to reclaim your kitchen cabinet. You know, the one filled to the brim with plastic grocery bags.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Shop at the bulk bins to cut out the plastic packaging entirely if you're at the grocery store. Be sure to bring your glass containers so you don't have to use the nearby plastic bags!

    instagram.com / Via @taremarket

    Glass jars will definitely come in handy if you're trying to transition into a zero-waste lifestyle or just reduce your single-use plastic waste. This 12-pack from Amazon for $15.80 is a good place to start and can store all your favorite foods.

    2. Or, frequent local farmer's markets and stock up on an abundance of fresh foods so you can rely on pre-packaged meals less. You'll find that the fruits and veggies here won't even have those plastic stickers on them. Make sure you bring your own reusable totes so you don't have to ask for a plastic bag.

    NBC

    3. Carry a set of mesh reusable produce bags with you so you can forgo those annoying plastic green produce bags that are always so hard to open, which we're taking as a sign that the universe really wants you to stop using so much dang plastic.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Been using these for a few years now and very happy with the product. People in the grocery store often ask where I got them from! Plastic is forever, people. Every little bit we don't use adds up. These mesh bags will give you many, many years of plastic-free veg/fruit shopping. I also use them for taking my grandkids swimming! The mesh bags are perfect size for a wet bathing suit." —Amazon Customer

    Get a set of nine from Amazon for $13.97.

    4. Stock up on reusable grocery bags (or raid your closet if you're already the tote bag queen!) and stop adding to the mountain of plastic bags that are currently crowding the cabinet under the sink.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "The original I bought is over 15 years old and is finally starting to wear thin. I'm very anti-plastic bag so these are perfect. The best part is it folds back into its own bag, nice and tidy. Just drop one or two in your purse and you're set. Also great if you are shopping in a city that charges or taxes for not bringing your own bag." —KY Woman

    Get a set of four from Amazon for $23.96.

    Check out BuzzFeed Reviews' deep dive into the best reusable grocery bags.

    5. Stop buying frozen meals! We get it, some days you're really busy and popping something in the microwave is the easiest option. Unfortunately, most of these meals are packaged in plastic-lined trays — and they're not even necessarily that good for you.

    20th Century Fox Television

    Lucky for you, we've found some delicious freezer-friendly recipes (including frozen breakfast burritos for mornings when you hit snooze too many times) you can make ahead of time and then nuke in the microwave when you're feeling especially lazy.

    6. Invest in glass food storage containers, which will last you a lot longer than those plastic to-go containers you've been using. They're really great for meal prepping, and you can freeze them so you don't have to turn to those store-bought frozen microwaveable meals we were talking about. See, it all comes full circle!

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I was looking to use less plastic and more glass in my meal storage which is why I ended up buying this set. The glass is thick and really durable, the lids fit snugly, and everything is dishwasher-safe. I feel better knowing I don't have chemicals leaching into my food. Well-made product." —HoorayForCoffee

    Get a set of five from Amazon for $23.99.

    7. Try reusable silicone bags for storing leftovers or packing lunches. These ones are dishwasher-safe and BPA-free so you can forget about chemicals leaching into your food. Use them in the microwave to prevent food from splattering, toss them in boiling water to steam veggies, or store them in the freezer, too.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Love these! I have four of them now to take with me for lunches. I try to minimize my plastic bag use to help the environment and these work so well. They are easily cleaned. They hold snacks or sandwiches. I love that they come in different colors!" —Teal butterfly

    Get them from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in seven colors and five styles).

    8. Cover leftovers with beeswax wraps, a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It's made of organic cotton, beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin, and the packaging is made of 100% recycled paper and biodegradable cellulose, which comes from plants. The heat from your hands softens the wrap so you can smooth it over containers or food. Then, the wax cools and hardens, forming a protective seal. And! They're washable; just make sure you use cool water so as to not melt the wax and let them air dry.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Can't recommend these beeswax wraps enough. The antimicrobial aspect of the beeswax keeps fruits and vegetables super fresh for much longer than plastic bags. They keep bread soft and fresh for much longer than Ziplocks. They are so much better for the environment, and they can be reused for months. We have been using our set for almost two years and they are still as good as new. No waste! Just make sure to wash them with cool water, as warm/hot water will melt the wax." —Publisher

    Get them from Amazon for $18+ (available in four colors).

    9. Use a veggie dicer and spiralizer instead of buying plastic-wrapped pre-chopped veggies. Yes, it's made of plastic, but you'll only have to buy it once, and it'll prevent even more plastic packaging from ending up in landfills.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Omg omg omg. This thing is amazing. I hate chopping veggies. Hate. Hate. Hate. Saw this on a lightning deal so figured what the hey, I'll get it. People, people.... I just filled up 4 plates (10 in Dixie plates, to be exact) with veggies in less than 10 minutes. Seriously. I chopped an onion earlier to sauté in 15 seconds. Yes, really. If chopping veggies keeps you buying the same frozen ones over and over like me, this is for you. It's a kitchen miracle. You can chop onions, potatoes (not sweet potatoes, though, that's in the instructions), peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, cucumber, etc. Probably a whole lot more, too. Apparently tomatoes don't do well according to the instructions (too soft, maybe?). You can also do eggs. Best. Invention. Ever. I've used a lot of kitchen gadgets. My kitchen could be a commercial for Pampered Chef. But I don't think even PC could top this thing. Seriously, get this. Definitely worth the money." —Angela W.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in two styles).

    10. Toss your regular bin bags in favor of compostable trash bags. They're made of plant starches and are free of polyethylene, a common ingredient in plastic trash bags. Store them somewhere cool or they can degrade and break. You should also avoid dumping lots of liquids in the trash as that can break them down faster too.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I wanted to be environmentally friendly but was concerned about how these bags would hold up. We are on our second box and have absolutely no problems with breakage or tearing. I will never use plastic bags again." —Linda G. Hanford

    Get a pack of 50 from Amazon for $16.95+ (also available in 100-bag pack).

    11. Make fizzy drinks at home with a water carbonator. This way you can make a smaller ecological footprint without giving up your seltzer waters and soda. The machine is made with plastic, but it can save countless numbers of plastic bottles from ending up in the trash.

    instagram.com / Via @drinkmate_usa

    Promising review: "I love sparkling water but not the cost or the plastic bottles. I bought one of these and have used it now for almost a year. I absolutely LOVE it. It is quick and easy. You can get as much 'sparkle' as you like. I cannot calculate how many plastic bottles have not gone into my recycling as a result. I exchange the CO2 cartridges at a local hardware store, also really easy. I bought this DrinkMate rather than the more well-known brand so that I could sparkle other liquids. I think the principle is essentially the same and they use the same bottles. It is rather lightweight plastic so it may seem flimsy when you open it. Do not be dismayed. It works just fine. The weight of the cylinder keeps it steady when you are using it. It also takes up hardly any counter space. I am so pleased that I bought one for my daughter who keeps cases of sparkling water in her fridge. Save $$$ & the environment." —SusieQmom

    Get it from Amazon for $86.95+ (available in three colors).

    12. Bring silicone straws with you so you can ditch plastic straws in your daily iced coffee. Many places are phasing out plastic straws in favor of more eco-friendly options, but we all know paper straws are absolute garbage and break down after just a few minutes. Fortunately, silicone straws have your back.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I drink lots of smoothies and seem to like straws best for liquids. I was looking for a straw that I could slightly bite without ruining it. These are perfect. The size is that of average straw and the colors are way fun. I also liked the metal straws for alcohol drinks; great to use them for mixing and still drink from. My kids loved the colors. I really am glad it came with the little mesh bag to store them in a drawer together and little cleaning wands that made cleaning a breeze." —Kristin

    Get them from Amazon for $7.99.

    13. Sip your beverages through avocado straws, because yes people, there are avocado straws. Some geniuses somewhere decided to turn avocado pits into straws and this is the result. They'll last you between eight and 10 uses depending on what you're drinking and can be washed with water and a brush cleaner.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Goodbye forever, plastic straws! These Avoplast straws work great — not like paper straws at all. They have great suction, last for days, and the mouth-feel is just like plastic. Going to bury one and see if it really only takes 30 days to decompose." —A. Summers

    Get a box of 50 straws from Amazon for $4.99.

    14. Serve your drinks with environmentally-friendly collapsible metal straws. These bad boys come with a silicone tip so you don't accidentally damage your lips or teeth. You'll also get a cleaning brush and a practical carrying case.

    Macy's

    Get a set of two from BuzzFeed's Goodful collection at Macy's for $18.99.

    15. Enjoy your morning brew in a Contigo travel mug and turn down plastic or paper cups. And thanks to its vacuum insulation, it'll stay hot or cold much longer anyway.

    instagram.com / Via @gocontigo

    Promising review: "It's perfect. I was hesitant to purchase it because I just wanted something simple and I was turned off by the idea of having to press a button while drinking, but it IS simple. It's easy, and it is spill-proof. When I'm in my car and going over bumps, the coffee does not spill, and this was important to me. It is easy to clean, just soak the cover in hot, soapy water, as the instructions say. I would purchase this again in a heart beat. I use it every day and am helping save the environment by using this instead of paper cups when I buy a coffee out. It keeps my coffee hot/warm for a couple of hours." —Freedomride

    Get it from Amazon for $11.88+ (available in 19 colors, three sizes, and in sets of one, two, and four).

    16. Steep your Earl Grey or English breakfast in a dishwasher-safe iced tea tumbler and say no thanks to overpriced tea (and its plastic cup) at a cafe. And don't worry, there's a stainless steel filter inside to separate the water and your tea leaves.

    Macy's

    Promising review: "So glad I ordered two. They are the perfect on the go cup for making tea. I’m sure you could do an iced coffee as well. I love them!" —Jess

    Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful collection at Macy's for $28.99 (also available in gray).

    17. Replace your plastic-wrapped single-use paper filters with a reusable hemp coffee filter so you can still enjoy your requisite three cups of coffee to get you through the day without slowly killing the environment.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I've used the product four months now, and it's the best coffee decision I've made. My Chemex was a wedding gift, and came with 100 paper cone filters. It took me a few months, but I burned through them pretty quickly. I was originally skeptical about this product, and anticipated a couple weeks of use, but I'm well satisfied. This product is cheaper, better for the environment, and makes better tasting coffee than your standard paper filters." —Avery Martin

    Get it from Amazon for $8.95.

    18. Stay hydrated during the day with a Nalgene water bottle. This way you can cut down your plastic waste while saving money. Your body will thank you by...keeping you alive.

    instagram.com / Via @nalgene

    Promising review: "I've been using this bottle for months now, and I can say that it has saved me a lot from wasting plastic bottles. Every day for school I would pick up a plastic water bottle and basically only drink that 16.9 ounces of water for the whole school day. Since I got this bottle, I can now just refill it every morning at school at a water fountain. It holds two times what a normal plastic water bottle holds and just saves me so much hassle. It's also great knowing that I'm reducing my plastic waste! If you are looking for a plain and cheap bottle, this is the best one you are going to find." —Robert Marashi

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in 29 colors, styles).

    19. Ditch the wasteful and expensive fruit juices ($15 for celery sweat? No, thank you!) and make them at home with a juicer.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I juice almost every day and this machine is wonderful!! Easy to use and clean up!! The wide mouth top helps with the process of getting done ✅ quickly." —Donna Dobbs

    Get it from Amazon for $47.88+ (available in two colors).

    This won BuzzFeed Review's budget pick for the best juicers.

    20. Eat lunch using a set of travel utensils rather than using a plastic set that you'll throw away immediately after using. This one comes with a fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, two metal straws, a straw cleaner, and a handy carrying case.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Hate how much waste I can produce on a daily basis. Going to college normally means hitting a drive-thru on your way to school OR grabbing something from an on-campus vendor, and then stopping somewhere to eat on your way home, especially if you have work after class. Between plastic straws (no thanks), plastic forks, spoons, and knives, and the amount of chopsticks I, a Panda Express lover, go through every day, that's a lot of trash. I ordered this and I feel a lot better about my impact now. The ONLY complaint I have is that the chopsticks are a bit harder to use than I'm used to, but I think with practice, that will stop being an issue. I love this and have plans to buy more sets for my friends and siblings to use." —Robyn Johnson

    Get them from Amazon for $11.99+ (available in five styles).

    21. Let coconut oil (in a glass jar!) impress you with its endless uses in the kitchen. It has a pretty neutral flavor and is a great substitute for butter, which often comes wrapped in plastic, and other bottled oils. Coconut oil is also a great makeup remover and body/hair moisturizer.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Absolutely LOVE Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil. I have used it for years and will not buy anything else. It is pure and excellent for so many different uses. I use it as a moisturizer, for bug bites, insect repellent, hair conditioner, makeup remover, leather moisturizer, cooking, in smoothies, you name it. My son is a teenager and has some acne. He started using it at night as a moisturizer because the acne medication was drying out his skin. It has worked wonders for his skin! He said it is so soothing and the acne is gone! He was able to stop using the medication and just uses the coconut oil. Most people wouldn’t think of putting an oil on your face but Dr. Bronner’s unrefined is just that, unrefined and full of nutrients. It may have some course pieces from time to time but that is because it is pure, no additives. My most recently purchased jar is so smooth and melts into the skin like butter! Absolutely incredible and soothing! Love this stuff!" —DP

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    22. Clean with natural products like baking soda and vinegar so you can avoid bottled sprays and cleansers. These DIY cleaners work just as well as store-bought versions, will save you money, and may even convince you to permanently drop all other disinfectants.

    Walt Disney Productions

    23. Opt for rubber gloves instead of plastic ones if you're cleaning and want to avoid getting your hands dirty. They're latex-free and come with an odor-resistant inner flock lining to absorb moisture. And, they have grippy bits on the palm and fingers so you won't drop any dishes.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Very comfortable and durable. Use mainly for washing dishes and great grip on glasses and porcelain. I haven't dropped a dish yet. Good insulation as I use hot temperature water. Also easy to rinse dirt and grime. I plan to reorder." —vkje

    Get them from Amazon for $6.76+ (available in sizes XS–XXL).

    24. Swap your sponges, which are often made from plastic, for natural cleaning cloths. They're made from wood fibers and are machine-washable so they can tackle kitchen messes longer than your plastic sponges or paper towels ever could.

    instagram.com / Via @durafreshcloth

    Promising review: "I've had these for six months. I throw them in the washing machine with towels every week, and then in the dryer on 'sanitize'. The come out a bit shriveled, but just as absorbent and convenient as before. Breadcrumbs, dirt, and small food particles rinse very easily out of them. I've used them exclusively instead of sponges for my counters for a few months, and they've easily paid for themselves in that time." —CPC

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $7.74.

    25. Scrub away leftover food and baked-on bits with a durable dish brush. Over time the bristles may flatten, meaning you'll need to replace the brush head — fortunately, they're compostable!

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I decided to try to be as zero waste as possible, starting with my kitchen. I absolutely love this brush! Unlike normal dish sponges, this brush has a handle so my hands don't really get wet or smell like my old sponge. The head of the brush works well, and even reaches into my reusable bottles! Over time, however, the bristles will becomes less stiff and you might have to replace the head in a few months. But from what I read, the head can also be composted so you don't throw it into the landfill! My friends love using this when they come over, so I'll keep it for a long time and replace the head maybe twice a year." —Andrew

    Get it from Amazon for $13.32.

    26. Fill your dishwasher with detergent powder that comes in a recyclable box instead of a plastic tub. It's unscented, which is great for those who are sensitive to strong odors.

    Walmart

    Promising review: "Happy with this purchase and will now be using this product for life! No residue on my dishes or dishwasher and it leaves my dishes seemingly cleaner than the popular/toxic name brands. Very happy and highly recommend." —Alyssa

    Get a two pack from Amazon for $20.78.

    27. Consider whether you can replace your kitchen items with non-plastic versions when they break. Those stained plastic food storage containers you've been using for years and that are getting kinda stinky? Yeah, you should definitely replace those with durable glass versions.

    Nickelodeon Animation Studio

    28. Switch to sturdy bamboo drawer dividers to keep your utensils organized. While you don't need to buy one right away if your plastic version still works, this swap is an easy one if you want to start phasing out plastic from your kitchen.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "These organizers have brought order to a chaotic kitchen gadget drawer. They are very sturdy, hold in place strongly (they will not budge at all, unless you specifically collapse the spring mechanism), and are actually really nice looking. They look like they were designed specifically for my drawer. I was going to purchase a less expensive plastic version of these, and I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m surprised that these organizers aren’t more expensive considering how nice they are." —CarDude

    Get a set of two dividers from Amazon for $22.99.

    29. Exchange your plastic cooking utensils for a stainless steel set that'll look chicer than their plastic counterparts. This is another quick fix to consider once your plastic utensils are ready to be tossed.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "All of my plastic kitchen tools were getting stained, burnt, and starting to flake or chip around the edges. I went looking for a more sanitary and long-lasting option — and found these so inexpensively! They are well made, weighty, and perfect!" —Andie

    Get a set of five from Amazon for $12.99.

    30. Grow your own herbs — which often come in wasteful plastic containers at the store — with an indoor herb garden kit. Now you can flex your green thumb *and* help the environment.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I have been dreaming of growing my own herbs when I found this indoor kit. I get tired of buying herbs at the store only to use part of them and then throw the rest away. It's expensive. So in my apartment I'm growing my own and using only what I need. Plus they're fresh. Not all of the ones I would find at the store were organic, so I REALLY like how I can grow my own organic herbs, and spend less. And EVERYTHING in this kit is organic, which is cool and different — it is the only one I found like that. Until the day I can move into a house and can grow herbs outside in the backyard, I now have herbs growing on my windowsill in my very small apartment kitchen." —Jill

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

    31. Heck, you can even sprout your own veggies using leftover kitchen scraps. Here's an in-depth explainer on which veggies you can regrow ranked by difficulty.

    Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    On behalf of Mother Earth, we'd like to thank you for being so eco-conscious. 🌎🏆

    Frantic Films

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!

    BuzzFeed

    Shopping Newsletter
     

    Find great products and the best-money saving deals around, delivered right to your inbox.
    Newsletter signup form