Eco-friendly alternatives to cling film and foil

Looking for an eco-friendly stylish and re-useable alternative to cling film or cling wrap? Bowl Overs and Lekue Stretch Tops & Suction Lids could be the answer.

Summer bowl overs
Summer bowl overs

Is cling film dangerous to health?

According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (the advice I referred to from the UK Food Standards Agency when I originally wrote this post seems to have disappeared) cling film is safe to use when used properly and when the manufacturer’s instructions are followed. If not used properly there is a risk of chemical migration from the cling film to the food it comes into contact with.

Hmm, why would you risk it, when there is no need to use cling film or plastic wrap at all? There are so many cases of things thought to be safe in the past, turning out not to be that I think it's better to be safe than sorry. Do you want to put your and your family's health at risk? The amount of chemicals we expose ourselves to on a daily basis is staggering and scientists are only just beginning to understand the effects of this chemical cocktail. In many studies only a single chemical is looked at, instead of a combination of chemicals. This chemical combination effect can affect babies in the womb. (Read: Exposure to mixture (“cocktails”) of chemical substances: Are the health and environmental risks adequately evaluated?)

As not every cling film is suitable for all uses The Food Safety Authority of Ireland* Agency gives this advice regarding the use of clingfilm in certain situations:

  • don't use cling film where it might melt, e.g. in the oven, as it could contaminate the food
  • make sure the cling film doesn’t touch the food when heating food in the microwave
  • only use cling film on high fat foods if the manufacturer states that it is suitable, for example with cheese, pastry products, fried meats or cakes with icing

Cling film and the environment

The mining, transporting and distilling of crude oil for the manufacture of plastic products comes with a heavy environmental price tag, including soil, water and air pollution. Cling film can't be recycled and so will end up in landfill. So if you're going plastic-free or just want to try and avoid cling film what can you use as an alternative for those leftovers? Hunter Gatherer have an environmentally-friendly solution for preserving food, including tinned pet food, as seen in Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Bowl Overs – Eco cover-ups for your food leftovers

Bowl Overs are 100% cotton bowl covers with elasticated edges that can be washed and re-used over and over again. They're ideal for protecting things which need to be covered when in a fridge or when left out on the work surface. This eliminates waste and reduces landfill as there's no need to throw away food or used cling-wrap or foil. Plus they will save you money in the long run as you won't need to buy foil or clingfilm any more. They're versatile little things as can also be used in a microwave and to steam things. Plus they look lovely in your kitchen and are much more attractive than clingfilm I'm sure you'll agree.

The standard set of 6 consists of 2 large, 2 medium and 2 small that will fit over various common bowl sizes and each with a different message to encourage you to use up leftovers. The first set says “Delicious Leftovers”, “Tomorrow’s Breakfast”, “Save Some For me”, “Waste not, Want not” and the two tiny ones say “A Little Bit of…” and there is a paw print, perfect for covering a pet food can.

Salad bowl overs

With summer on its way you might want to get hold of this set of 2 extra large salad bowl covers will cover bowls up to 40cm in diameter. They will keep flies off when eating outside and as they are made from 100% cotton can be washed and re-used over and over and over again. Bowl Overs are great for picnics and barbeques too. £12.00 for a pack of 2.

Christmas bowl overs

There is also a Christmas range ideal for the festive season which is one day when we are all likely to have leftovers. The pack of 6 are printed in red and they say – “Not more Turkey?!?”, “Eat, Drink & Be Merry”, “Christmas Pudding”, “For Boxing Day”, “Cold Sprouts” and one with an image of a holly leaf. At only £12.50 for a pack of 6 I think that makes a great Christmas present for someone who loves cooking. (More Xmas present ideas : Green gift guide – 15 ethical & eco-friendly Christmas ideas)

Xmas bowl overs
Xmas bowl overs


Lekue Stretch Tops & Suction Lids

Lekue Stretch Tops re-useable and washable tops made from platinum silicone which creates a vacuum seal around the food to extend the life of food and prevent food waste by preserving leftovers. They are BPA-free and perfect for use in the fridge as well as being dishwasher and freezer safe. There are a variety of sizes and each one can be used to fit different sizes and shapes of containers. They can be used to save open food in glass, plastic, or metal containers or and can even be wrapped around half-eaten fruit and vegetables. For example, the 26 cm stretch top is perfect for large bowls and plates, salad bowls and even large fruits like watermelons. Buy online from Natural Collection.

Lekue Suction Lids are more versatile as they can be used to cover saucepans or casserole dishes instead of a lid, preserve food in the fridge or protect food from insects or other contamination. They're made from food-safe platinum silicone and will adapt to a variety of surfaces and materials to form a tight seal without retaining any odour or taste. They are safe to use in the oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher (-60 Celcius – 260 Celsius). Buy online from Natural Collection.

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