7 plastic-free lunch boxes and bags

Great for work or back-to-school, these nifty boxes pack a meal without packing the landfill with plastic.

Packing a litter-free lunch has never been easier, nor has your lunch ever looked so delicious. Say goodbye to old, warped Tupperware, ill-fitting lids, and flimsy plastic sandwich bags with these sleek lunch boxes (and one bag), all made without plastic.

1. Japanese Bento Lunch Box #1

wooden bento box by Japantique© Japantique / Etsy

This beauty is made using a method called “magewappa,” a traditional Japanese craft dating back 400 years. It’s made from cedar trees and has excellent heat and moisture retaining properties. The bento box should be washed by hand in soapy water. Capacity is 700 mL (1.5 liquid pints). Made in Japan.

Magewappa Laquered Lunch Box, $49.99

2. Planet Box

Planet Box lunch containers© Planet Box

Planet Box makes stainless steel lunch boxes in 3 sizes with varying numbers of compartments. You can compare different models here. Warrantied for 5 years. Durable, dishwasher-safe, and easy to pack.

Planet Box, $39.95-$59.95

3. Japanese Bento Lunch Box #2

two-tier lacquered wooden bento box© Japantique/Etsy

This two-tiered version of the bento box is made by Japantique, the same Etsy seller listed above – but it’s even more stunning! In the words of TreeHugger’s editor-in-chief, Melissa Breyer, “This one is so pretty, I want it for jewelry.” Capacity is 450 mL (1 liquid pint) in lower compartment, 360 mL (0.74 pint) in upper. It’s held closed with an elastic band that’s provided by the company.

Magewappa Laquer Box Natural Wood, 2-tier, $49.99

4. ECOlunchbox Three-in-One

ECOlunchbox© ECOlunchbox

Another stainless steel creation, this is a 3-in-1 lunch packing system that’s very handy. (Other styles and sizes available on the website.) There are two levels, with kid-friendly stainless steel snaps on the side, and a third small container that can fit inside or be used separately. Food can be reheated in metal containers in a medium-hot oven or over a campstove. (Pot-gripper can be purchased separately.) My son has used an ECOlunchbox for the past year and we both love it. I love being able to toss the whole thing in the dishwasher at the end of the day and not worry about tracking down individual containers.

ECOlunchbox Three-in-One, $26

5. Zen Round Bento

Zen Round bento box© Bento&Co

Another option is this lovely bento called the Zen Round. It has a removable divider that divides the bowl into two. It has a silicone seal around the inside of the lid, making it leakproof when side clips are closed.

Zen Round Bento, $55

6. Wool lunch bag

wool lunch bag© Life Without Plastic

A fabulous offering from Life Without Plastic, this insulated lunch bag is made from 100% organic cotton canvas, insulated with wool, and has a removal cotton lining that can be laundered. Zipper is metal.

Wool lunch bag, $34.95

7. ECOlunchbag Backpack

ECOlunchbag© ECOlunchbox

Made by the same company that sells the ECOlunchbox, this is a handmade, lined cotton lunch bag that is sturdy, washable, and perfect for stacking lunch containers (or fitting the ECOlunchbox into the bottom). It comes with 3 cloth napkins, and has adjustable straps on the back that allow it to be worn hands-free.

Artisan Lunch Backpack, reg. $35, now on sale for $19.99

Tags: Babies | Kids | Plastics | Reusability | Zero Waste

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