Goodbye disposable food storage bags

by Mars

We have been trying very hard to reduce single use plastic. Given how manufacturers and supermarkets have become intertwined with plastics, it is virtually impossible to buy something that is not using plastic somewhere, but we are continuing to do what we can to limit our use of plastic, and have decided to stop using cling film and plastic storage bags.

Last year, we started using PEVA resealable food storage bags, and they have been very good. The issue we had with these specific bags is that they were narrow, the closing mechanism was fiddly and didn’t always work, and they were also not dishwasher proof.

So we were extremely excited to receive a selection of reusable, non-toxic, silicone storage bags from Stasher. These bags are awesome because they are dishwasher safe, microwave ready and freezer friendly. Incredibly, you can even use them on the stove and in the oven, and for the culinary whizzes they are also sous vide ready. Very cool.

Stasher bags are made from platinum silicone. I did some research and platinum silicone is hypo-allergenic, highly ultra violet and chemically insensitive, and an ideal, safe replacement for single use plastics. Because these bags are made from platinum silicone, they are free of BPA, BPS, latex and phthalates (all nasty things for our planet).

We got two sandwich size bags (450ml), one snack size (293.5ml) and a highly versatile stand-up mid bag (1650ml). Not only are these bags great at reducing the use of cling film, they’re also a perfect way to stop using single use sandwich and freezer bags.

What impressed us is how well the bags are made. They appear to be made to last and I can see these bags being with us for a few years. They are thick and durable, and the closing mechanism works fantastically well. I’m really looking forward to picking our blueberries in a few weeks’ time and storing them in these bags.

Washing up the bags is easy enough – if you’ve just stored onions or lemons in them, they’re a breeze to wash with a sponge and washing up liquid. When you’ve stored something oilier in them, like cheese, they require a bit more attention, but they do scrub up well. Pay attention to the corners because you can get dirt build up there.

We used them in the dishwasher too, but you have to stretch them out over the plate racks, and if they are quite dirty, the dishwasher doesn’t always clean them very well in the corners, so we’ve resorted to cleaning them with soap and sponge.

We never cooked in the bags (in the oven, microwave or sous vide) so we can’t comment on how they performed. We also have no intention of cooking in them as that isn’t a requirement for us, and we’ll be using them exclusively for food storage.

The only drawback to these bags is that they are on the pricey side. A 4-pack sells for around £45 on Amazon, but the lifespan and reusability of these bags should make them budget-friendly over time. And every time you reuse a bag, that’s one less plastic bag that’s going to potentially end up in the ocean.

One thing that intrigued us was whether these bags can be recycled. Since the bags are silicone, they can’t be added to your plastic recycling. Silicone goes through a different recycling process, and our council does not offer a means to recycle these. On the upside, because the bags seem to be extremely durable, with normal use, I suspect that we may have a few years’ life in the them before having to figure out the best way of discarding them.

We highly recommend trying these bags if you’re looking for a long-term, environmentally-friendly solution for your food storage. As always, we’ll post updates on how well these bags wear and perform.

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