Rethink your Lunch Box

Did you know that the average person with a disposable lunch creates 1.95 kg of waste every day?

A daily disposable lunch for a school-aged child creates over 30 kgs of waste a year, on average.

Add up single-use plastic wrappers and cutlery, juice boxes (which are complicated to recycle since they are made of an inseparable combination of cardboard, plastic and aluminium foil) and straws (which are typically too small to be recycled), and it becomes obvious that most of our lunchbox waste goes…. straight to landfill. There, they turn into harmful methane gases and leak toxins into the soil and the oceans…until they reach our food chain and cause even greater harm to our body and planet.

Plastic containers are manufactured with chemicals - hormone disrupting chemicals like BPA* and Phtalates* which have a disastrous effect on body functionality. By using synthetic, vinyl-insulated lunch boxes, the food gets contaminated when in contact with the plastic container, introducing plastic into our bodies. There is an obvious health benefit to switch to reusable, durable packed lunches…and it does not only apply to the food that is packed in them!

How to replace plastic lunch containers? Simply choose a non-toxic food container like one of these, that will support you in ditching single items packaging for a reduced or even zero waste approach to lunch:

  • Stainless steel is a much healthier alternative; lightweight and unbreakable, it has no linings, contains no toxins, no BPA nor phthalates. Stainless steel will never interact with your food or leave any smell or taste. And it can be washed with hot soapy water and detergent - or washed in the dishwasher.

  • Glass is another healthier option, despite being breakable. Unlike normal glass, tempered glass boxes, when broken, fracture into small, relatively harmless pieces instead of shards and splinters with sharp edges. Tempered glass is also stronger, therefore lasts longer and can go from the freezer to the microwave to the dishwasher several times a day.Whether it’s a salad jar on the go or a granola yoghourt for a healthy break, it remains practical and safe.
  • Organic cotton sandwich wraps - stop wasting metres of foil or cling-film every year! Cotton wraps make sandwiches an enjoyable “waste-free lunch”. Cotton wraps look a bit like a square fabric envelope. Just pop your sandwich in and close the flap. Take it back home and wash it as a cotton napkin. Et voila!

  • Wooden-based lunchware - made out of birch, cedar or bamboo…All are natural and non-toxic. Bamboo, more specifically, is a rapidly renewable resource with a strong molecular structure and is suitable for almost any type of food. It’s microwave safe, freezer safe and oven safe which helps to save time and efforts when preparing and storing food, hence reducing food waste.

  • If you really have to use disposable food containers, favour the eco-friendly ones made out of sustainable materials like corn starch, rice husk, bamboo fibre, palm leaf, sugarcane and wheat straw. Because these natural-sourced materials have the smallest environmental footprint possible - they are natural, compostable and 100% biodegradable!

There are MANY healthier alternatives to single-use plastic out there. A great start is to figure out what is your current lunch box made of, and if it is plastic, to start researching what else is available next time you take a trip to the store, and consider whether you really need each one of your cookies or cheese cubes separately wrapped. Get in touch with us dropityouth@goumbook.com for more recommendations on where to find non-toxic lunch boxes in your city or area!

BACK TO BLOG ARCHIVESGO