The Best Eco-Friendly Single-Use Plastic Alternatives

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Eliminating single-use plastics is one of the best ways we can combat climate change and save the environment on an individual level. It not only reduces harmful waste and pollution but also decreases the demand for plastic production, which negatively affects our planet. Luckily, there are tons of eco-friendly, reusable alternatives to single-use plastics.

From silicone straws and nylon grocery bags to beeswax wrap and insulated water bottles, there are sustainable swaps for nearly every single-use plastic item you utilize regularly. With some small investments and a bit of effort, you can easily make the switches to positively impact our Earth. Here's where you should start.

Five Two Silicone Straw, $25(instead of plastic straws)

Ditch disposable plastic straws in favor of Five Two's colorful, platinum-grade silicone variety. They're BPA- and BPS-free, bendable, unbreakable, and temperature-safe, so they don't get too hot or cold to the touch. They also don't pick up odors or tastes, which means you can use them over and over again. With mini carrying cases for portability and squeegees for easy cleaning, these straws are the eco-friendly beverage companion you've always wanted.

Standard Baggu (set of 3), $36(instead of plastic grocery bags)

Help make plastic grocery bags a relic of the past with these reusable, machine-washable Baggu totes. The recycled ripstop nylon bags fold neatly into small pouches so you can bring them with you wherever you go, whether that's the grocery store or the farmer's market. This cheeky set features patterns reminiscent of classic takeout bags, but the brand also offers tons of other hues and prints to choose from.

Bee's Wrap, Assorted Pack of 3, $18 (​instead of plastic wrap)

The most functional replacement for plastic wrap is Bee's Wrap. The reusable, biodegradable packaging is made of certified organic cotton that's coated with sustainably-sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin so that, combined with heat from your hands, it sticks just as well as good ol' plastic. Crafted in Vermont, the material is both naturally antibacterial and easy to clean with cool water and dish soap.

Hydroflask Standard Mouth Water Bottle, $32.95 (​instead of plastic water bottles)

With all the impressive, insulated water bottles on the market, there is no reason to be using plastic water bottles. Perhaps the best substitute is the Hydroflask standard mouth bottle, which employs double-wall vacuum insulation to maintain temperature for hours. The interior is made of pro-grade stainless steel to guarantee pure taste and no flavor transfer, while the proprietary powder coat exterior is grippy, sweat-free, and durable.

Stasher Reusable Silicone Bag Starter Kit, $86.99 (​instead of plastic bags)

Unlike single-use plastic bags like Ziploc, Stasher reusable silicone bags are both microwave and dishwasher safe in addition to being incredibly sustainable. The brilliant storage bags are non-toxic and include a Pinch-Loc seal, so all your food will come out as fresh as when you put it in.

Stojo 16-oz Cup, $20 (​instead of plastic coffee cups)

While bringing your own reusable coffee cup to the cafe can seem like a drag, Stojo's collapsible silicone design and airtight, leak-proof seal ensure it's an enjoyable experience. The convenient cup comes with a temperature-resistant sleeve to keep your hands safe and a straw to prevent splashing while on-the-go. Plus, it fits all standard cupholders.

Porter Utensil Set, $18 (​instead of plastic utensils)

Whether you're grabbing a casual lunch or camping in the wilderness, this compact set of stainless steel silverware will help you avoid using plastic utensils. The handy fork, knife, and spoon come in a sleek silicone carrying case to keep everything clean and in one place during transit.

Five Two Reusable Produce Bags (set of 8), $29 (​instead of plastic produce bags)

Once you have these Five Two organic cotton reusable produce bags, you'll never grab a plastic one again. The eight-piece set includes three sizes and two weaves, a net weave to cradle large fruits and vegetables, and a close-weave cloth for smaller items. The double-pull drawstrings cinch everything up so that nothing falls out.


Morgan Goldberg is a writer based in Los Angeles. She likes pasta, hiking, and crossword puzzles.

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