Photo of Anca Novacovici

Anca Novacovici

Professional Eco Expert

Best Eco Friendly Food Containers & Best Green Food Storage Containers

With our on-the-go lifestyles, most of us find ourselves in need of eating meals outside of our homes. Waste from the food industry as well as from lunches we eat at the office or at school is a contributing to the landfills and hurting the environment. Just using reusable containers to pack your meals instead of using one time use bags and wraps can make a big impact. Rather than buying take-out all the time, it is generally more eco-friendly to cook your own meals. With that said, it can be difficult to find products that will help you make it easier to pack your own lunches or take food with you on the go.

The best-known and most widely used food storage containers have been reusable plastic containers, the most famous of which is Tupperware. However, as more studies are being done, we are finding out that these plastic containers really aren’t all that good for us or for our environment. Because they are made out of plastic, they typically are created from non-renewable resources and when they can no longer be used, they can be difficult to recycle. Some studies have also shown that plastic products tend to “leach” or allow toxins to enter into whatever food or drink you have placed in these containers. The leaching typically takes place when the plastics are exposed to high temperatures such as those from a dishwasher or a microwave.

There are several other products available that are more eco-friendly than plastic containers and that won’t cause you concerns over your health. When considering what product is right for you, take into account what you are using the product for, where it comes from, what it is made out of, how durable it is, how it needs to be washed and cleaned, and how convenient it will be to carry around with you.

The best eco friendly food containers are great to not only store food but also transport it to work. The best green food storage containers ensure you're not adding unnecessarily to the landfill.

Best Eco Food Containers by Anca Novacovici

The Best You Can Get

  • To-Go Ware Stainless Steel

    Anca says: The To-Go Ware Stainless Steel Food Carrier offers many great characteristics that make this a convenient and healthy alternative to plastic containers. It comes with a two-tiered configuration that includes two containers and a plate that separates the two containers, which can be used to eat your meal. It also comes with a handle to make it easier to carry, and there is a sling that can be bought separately to carry it around in. The To-Go Ware container is relatively lightweight, and can be washed in the dishwasher. It also can be warned on a stovetop, but is not microwave safe. This is also a good product to use for camping trips. These containers are made using fair labor practices, but they are imported from outside the USA. The To-Go Ware containers will last you a long time, and can be recycled when they can no longer be used.

    • Stainless steel
    • 6.5” diameter at bottom, 7.3” height
    • Non-leaching
    • Imported
  • Tiffin Stainless Steel

    Anca says: The Tiffin Stainless Steel lunch boxes have been popular in Asia for many years, and they are becoming more popular in the USA. They are one of the best-known stainless steel lunch containers available and they have a reputation for being durable, convenient, and well made. There are many sizes of the Tiffin lunch containers available, so no matter what your needs are, you should be able to find a size that is right for you. The sizes range from a mini container, to a huge container that is made for an entire family; it contains a carrying bag, four food containers, one deep plate, six plates, six bowls, and six teaspoons. The Tiffin comes with a handle that makes it easy to carry. You should not put these containers in the microwave. The tiered design of the Tiffin is nice because it allows you to stack multiple dishes on top of one another so you can keep different foods separate and keep them in a compact shape.

    • Stainless steel
    • Various sizes depending on model
    • Non-leaching
    • Made in Thailand or India
  • Cedar Japanese Bento Box

    Anca says: This is a unique lunch container in that it is made from Cedar wood. It is coated with an ancient Japanese technique called “urushi,” which makes the box resistant to water, heat, and acid. The “urushi” coating comes from a tree and is a natural product. It is one of the most stylish containers compared to many of the stainless steel, glass, and plastic containers. It has two levels inside the container and one separator to create multiple compartments. This container cannot be placed in the microwave or the dishwasher. It is made in Japan and China, so there are negative transportation impacts.

    • Cedar wood
    • Non-leaching
    • Made in China and Japan
  • Sanctus Mundo Air Tight Stainless Steel Food Container

    Anca says: Sanctus Mundo offers a variety of great products. The difference between the Airtight Food Container and the other products they offer is that this one is, as the name suggests, airtight. That means that it is easier to take food such as soups and yogurt with you and not have to worry about the contents of the container spilling out. These stainless steel containers come in four different sizes and can be purchased separately or in a complete set of four. The bottom part of the container is dishwasher safe, but the lid is not because it contains a rubber-silicone seal. It is made in Korea, so it does cause negative environmental impacts during shipping, but there aren’t too many stainless steel food containers currently being made in the USA right now. Another cool feature is that you can use a non-permanent STEADTLER (TM) marker to write on it if you need to use it for storage and remember what day you put food in it. The marker will wash off easily with water.

    • Stainless steel
    • Sizes: 5 ½” diam (4.75 cups), 4 ¾” diam (3.0 cups), 4” (1.8 cups), 3 1/8” (1.0 cups)
    • Non-leaching
    • Made in Korea
  • Sigg Aluminum Lunch Box Maxi and Midi

    Anca says: You may have heard of the company Sigg due to their increasingly popular water bottles. Well, they also make this Aluminum lunch box that is handy to have for taking meals with you on the go. It has a secure lid that snaps shut so that it is leak proof, lightweight, durable, and looks great. This box is very compact and will easily fit in your bag. You need to wash it by hand, and you shouldn’t put it in the dishwasher or microwave. The box comes in two sizes, the larger one being the Maxi, and the smaller one being the Midi. Sigg as a company is very committed to environmental responsibility, and donates one percent of their profits to an organization called 1% for the Planet.

    • Anodized aluminum
    • Maxi – 3” H x 9” L x 5.7” W, Midi - 2.25” H x 6.75” L x 4.6”
    • Non-leaching
    • Made in Switzerland

You will be happy with any of these

  • Preserve Recycled Plastic

    Anca says: Of all the plastic food containers available, Preserve containers are one of the few that can claim to be made of 100% recycled plastic, and are 100% recyclable at the end of their life. They are made from #5 plastic, and offer conveniences such as being stackable, having a locking lid, being dishwasher safe, and very durable. They are also lightweight, so they are easy to carry around with you. The company that manufactures Preserve products is Recycline, which was founded on environmental and sustainable principles to make eco-friendly products. As a company, they will take back many of their products in order to recycle them, and their employees are committed to reducing their company’s environmental impact. The Preserve food containers are also much cheaper than a lot of the stainless steel and glass containers.

    • 100% Recycled plastic
    • 19 oz. and 25 oz. capacity
    • Non-leaching
    • Made in USA
  • New Wave Enviro Lunchopolis Plastic Lunch Box

    Anca says: If you are really set on using plastic containers to carry your food around, then there are at least some plastics that are better than others. Plastic containers offer a cheap and lightweight option for food containers, and this is why they have become so popular. The Lunchopolis Plastic Lunch Box is a complete lunch set that includes an insulated Lunchbox, four reusable food containers, and a fifteen-ounce drink bottle. Each food container comes with a sealing lid, and they are stackable for easy storage. It is not recommended to put these containers in the microwave, but they can be placed in the top part of the dishwasher to be cleaned. The containers and lids are recyclable once they can no longer be used to store food. However, this product is made in China, so keep in mind the carbon emissions from transportation when making your choice.

    • Plastic
    • 12” x 7” x 9”
    • Non-leaching
    • Made in China
  • Laptop Lunch Box

    Anca says: The Laptop Lunch Box was the creation of two parents who wanted to help others reduce their lunchtime waste and create nutritious meals. It is a modular system that contains an outer box, five reusable inner containers for food that are microwave safe (two of which have lids), a user guide with healthy recipes and tips for reducing waste, and a set of stainless steel utensils. All the pieces of this modular system are dishwasher safe as well (on the top rack), and even though some of the pieces are plastic, they will not leach and they contain no carcinogens, binding agents, plasticizers, or endocrine disrupters. This product is manufactured in California using strict health, safety, and environmental standards and using fair labor practices. You also have the option of buying the individual pieces of the set separately, as well as a carrying case.

    • Plastic
    • Outer Container: 9” x 7” x 2”
    • Non-leaching
    • Made in USA
  • Fit and Fresh Soup and Salad Plastic Container

    Anca says: This Fit and Fresh Soup and Salad Container is made out of #5 polypropylene plastic, so leaching is less of a concern, and it can be recycled when it can no longer be used. It is specifically designed for taking soup and salad with you and has many features that make it convenient to tote these foods around. The soup container is microwaveable and the salad container has a chilling ice pack and has a little compartment to hold salad dressing separately from the salad. It can hold up to twelve ounces of soup and two cups of salad. It even comes with a carrying strap and a utensil pouch. These containers can be placed in the dishwasher. The soup container also has a handle attached to make it easy to pick up. The two containers connect to one another by twisting them into place. This product is made in China, so there are some negative environmental impacts related to shipping it to the USA.

    • Plastic
    • 8.5” H x 4.5” diam (bottom) x 3.5” diam (top)
    • Non-leaching
    • Made in China
  • Wrap-N-Mat Sandwich Wrap

    Anca says: For those of you who are interested in finding a simple solution to the problem of how to pack your sandwiches without having to use sandwich bags, here is a product for you. This Wrap-N-Mat doubles as both a reusable sandwich wrap as well as a place mat. It can also be used for other foods besides sandwiches. It is much lighter to carry around in a lunch box, has a food safe, PEVA liner that can be cleaned by hand washing with soap and water, and comes in a variety of designs. The products that have fancier designs on them are printed with vegetable based dyes. According to the manufacturer, they are made with fair labor practices but they are still made in China, and need to be shipped to the USA.

    • PEVA Liner
    • 13” x 13” when open
    • Made in China

Related Articles

The best eco friendly food containers are great alternatives to plastics that can seep into your food and also are made with non-renewable resources that end up in the landfill. The best green food storage containers include stainless steel food containers and compostable food storage containers. These eco friendly food containers are perfect for the frig or carrying lunch to work.