Step aside, Ziplocs — we don’t need your single-use nonsense in our kitchens. There are endless reusable Ziploc bag alternatives on the market these days that are durable, perfect for freezing, and much better for the environment than single-use baggies.
Reusable zipper bags are becoming more and more accessible — not only can you find them at home stores and zero-waste lifestyle shops, but you can also find them for sale in big-box stores like Target, Walmart, and the Container Store. These bags are typically made of either silicone, reusable plastic, or even fabric, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each kind.
Of course, reusable zipper bags are great for taking snacks on the go, freezing leftovers, and even cooking — but are also useful outside the kitchen. For instance, many of them are TSA-approved for storing toiletries in your carry-on during air travel.
So, we’ve rounded up a few of the standout reusable silicone Ziploc bag alternatives out there, starting with the Kleenex of them all: Stasher bags.
Certified B corp Stasher makes its reusable Stasher bags out of 100 percent silicone in all different colors, sizes, and patterns. The bags are safe to use in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher, oven, boiling water, and even in a sous vide machine. Stasher guarantees that the bags will last a lifetime, but should your bags ever rip, you can mail them back to the company to be recycled.
Stasher bags can freeze anything from leftovers to fresh bread, they can be tossed in the microwave to quickly defrost frozen food (just make sure to vent the opening), and they look much cuter than a Tupperware when taking snacks on the go (plus, they take up far less space once they’re empty). You can order from Stasher’s website or find them in stores such as Target and Whole Foods, with prices ranging from $7.99 to $29.99.
Zero Waste Outlet’s leak-proof silicone bags
If you’re looking for something 100-percent leakproof, several reusable bag designs feature a hard plastic slider that slides across the opening to ensure that leaks never happen. One such design is sold by online shop, Zero Waste Outlet. The bags can also stand up on their own and contain measurement lines on the side to help you keep portions even.
These bags are made of silicone, and they are safe to use in the dishwasher, microwave, freezer, and oven. Zero Waste Outlet is a family-owned and operated company that ships everything in minimal, zero-waste packaging, and a three-pack of the bags (two medium and one small) goes for $24.99, but is on sale for $19.99 as of publication.
W&P Design’s trendy line of eco-friendly food and drink storage solutions, Porter, welcomed reusable zipper bags to the collection in January 2021. Porter Bags are each made from one single piece of silicone with no adhesives, which helps the bag maintain sturdiness. They come in a variety of colors, are available both in standing and flat varieties, and were designed to include curved corners which prevent dirt buildup. Prices range from $10 to $20.
Chicobag’s Snack Time rePETe bags
If you’re looking for a reusable sandwich bag that’s a bit different from the above options, check out Chicobag’s Snack Time rePETe bags. These bags have a fabric outer, which is made from recycled plastic bottles, and a water resistant, food-safe plastic liner. While some of the above bags on this list are dishwasher-safe, Chicobag’s Snack Time rePETe bags are actually machine washable. A three-pack goes for $15.99 on Chicobag’s website or EarthHero.
Lunchskins’ snack and sandwich bags
Lunchskins’ makes two kinds of reusable bags: zippered (which can be used for freezing food) and hook-and-loop (aka Velcro). The bags are top-rack dishwasher-safe, quick-drying, and they come in a variety of fun colors, patterns, and sizes. These adorable reusable bags range in price from $5.99 to $10.99, and Lunchskins donates proceeds from every order to the Oceanic Preservation Society.
While we prefer reusable alternatives to single-use products, Lunchskins’ single-use kraft paper sandwich bags are worth a shoutout here. The bags are wax-free, recyclable, and compostable. Some varieties are unbleached, while others are dyed with cute patterns and feature a sealable edge.
These bags are a solid alternative to single-use plastic sandwich bags for any situations where reusables cannot be used; for example, if your child’s school doesn’t permit reusables, or if you manage a restaurant that doesn’t have the infrastructure to offer reusable takeout containers. The disposable bags range from $4.99 to $6.49 for 50-packs.
Juniperseed Mercantile’s Snack + Sandwich Cotton Bags
If you only need your sandwich bags for taking dry foods on the go, such as pretzels, nuts, or a sandwich, Juniperseed Mercantile’s Snack + Sandwich Cotton Bags may be a solid option. The eco-friendly company’s sandwich bags are made from GOTS certified organic, unbleached cotton, and they feature a foldover closure.
Juniperseed Mercantile’s bags can be machine washed, and if they eventually wear out or rip, they can be composted at their end of life. The bags go for $12 and $16, depending on size, and the larger size is also available on EarthHero.
Can you reuse Ziplocs?
If you are staring at the box of 100 pristine Ziploc bags in your kitchen cabinet, thinking, “Why should I spend money on new reusable bags when these are perfectly fine!?” we totally feel you. The good news is, Ziploc bags can be reused dozens of times before ripping — just keep them away from heat, and give them a gentle wash with cool water between uses.