Zip top sandwich and snack bags — we use them for just about everything — then we trash them after just one use.
The question is, “Can we live without them?”
Not only “can” we live without them, but we SHOULD make an effort to live without them.
All of the earth belongs to the Lord. He created it and gave us the mission to care for it as good stewards. When we buy, use and toss single use items like zip top bags, plastic grocery store bags, and plastic food wrap, we are going against our mission and trashing the earth.
Skip the Single Use Zip Top Bag
Did you know that 20 million zip top bags are thrown into US landfills EVERY DAY and it is estimated to take 500 years for them to breakdown?
They never fully decompose, but rather, during that time, they slowly leach chemicals into the earth. Although 1 baggie may not cause great damage, what is the result of 20M baggies per day?
They’re Plastic, Can’t They Be Recycled?
Recycling is important when there isn’t a better option, but most plastic disposable zip top bags are not easily recycled and they are consumed in huge quantities. They are made from “film” plastics with the recycling #2 or #4 and because they are lightweight plastic, you can’t recycle them with your curbside recyclables.
You can wash them, dry them and then put the CLEAN baggies in your grocery store recycling. How many people are willing to go through all that for one little baggie?
Rethink Your Zip Top Bag and Try Stasher Bags
The good news is, we don’t have to completely give up zip top bags! There are alternatives and reusable bags like the Stasher bag, which is a very good alternative. And spoiler alert — they are also my favorite brand even after trying several others.
Why Stasher BrandBags?
After researching the options available, I decided to try Stasher brand bags for a few reasons:
- They are zip top
- They come in a variety of practical sizes for sandwiches, snacks, and leftovers
- They are available in clear and translucent colors, so you can easily see what is inside
- They are made with food grade silicone and not plastic
Washing Stasher Bags
The very first thing I did was wash the bag in the dishwasher. Since it was brand new, I wanted it to be very clean before using. It came out of the dishwasher perfect, except for a few water spots that were easily wiped away with a damp cloth. After that first wash, I have mostly hand washed it every night, because I found that I use it every day!
Testing Stasher Bags
Testing Stasher bags was challenging because I only purchased one to try. They are a bit pricy at about $12 per bag, but I think if I had I purchased more than one, I would have used it for a lot more things. I stored a leftover piece of pizza in the refrigerator, kept a PB&J sandwich fresh on the counter for lunch, and more. I was tempted to store non-food items in it but found that I was using it often enough that I didn’t want it to be out of the rotation for long-term storage.
After storing pretzels and chips in the Stasher bag for a car trip for my 4-year-old, he has claimed the bag for his own! He calls it “my Stasher bag” and it is his preferred road-trip snack bag. Unlike disposable zip top bags, he can easily open and reseal it on his own. This is a huge bonus for both him and our car since more snacks are eaten and fewer are spilling on the floor.
Other Things I Like about Stasher Brand Reusable Bags
In addition to the reasons I tried Stasher bags in the first place, there are a few other things I really like about this brand:
- They have minimal packaging made from 70% post-consumer recycled materials. The only packaging was a single piece of printed cardboard that can be recycled or put in your backyard compost pile.
- They wash easily in the dishwasher or by hand. I haven’t tried anything too greasy, but the pizza did come off easily. There was a tiny bit of staining from the sauce, but it eventually faded. On a daily basis, it is easy to hand wash and dry, open over a Mason jar or bottle drying rack.
- They are well made and should last a long time.
What I Don’t Like about Stasher Brand Reusable Bags
- They are not made in the USA. The packaging says that Stasher bags are “responsibly made in PRC/China sweatshop-free.” With this being said, I was unable to find any reusable silicone bags made in the USA to test.
- Stasher brand boasts that their bags are microwave safe. The jury is still out on the safety of heated silicone, so for now, I would advise against heating or cooking in silicone bags. It’s just not worth the risk.
- Silicone tends to attract lint and dust. This was more common when the bag was new, but after a few washes, it has become less “tacky” and the lint less obvious.
- They are expensive at $10-12 per bag. I would really like to own at least 10 of these bags, but at this price, I will have to collect them one at a time as I can afford them.
The Bottom Line on Stasher Brand Reusable Zip Top Bags
Stasher bags are a really good and very useful alternative to traditional zip top plastic bags. They can be used for almost everything that we use traditional zip top bags for, but at $10-12 per bag, we won’t be as willing to share them or send them off with our younger kids who might accidentally throw them away.
After testing them for just a few weeks and their overwhelming acceptance by my preschooler, I plan on buying another one asap. Click here to try them yourself!
“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
The earth was created beautiful and good. When we buy, use, and trash single use items, we are damaging and polluting the “goodness” of the world God created for us. By changing our habits to find safe, reusable alternatives, we become better stewards and are taking steps to preserve the beauty of our amazing planet!
*UPDATE: After 5 years of use, our Stasher Bags still look brand new and we continue to use them almost daily. Since the time this article was written, similar products are more readily available, but we haven’t found any that compete with the quality and ease of use as the Stasher brand bags. I’ve use some of the cheaper bags for non-food items, but none have lasted nearly as long as Stasher!
Thanks so much for your great review, Darlene! Do you have an update as to any success locating reusable silicone bags made in the US? I am very leery of goods produced in China; both from a safety standpoint and because of human rights abuses there. Thanks in advance for your help! ~ Mary
Hi Mary, sadly no, I haven’t found any made in the USA yet. I have been searching for larger bags to use for make ahead freezer meals and so far Stasher is still (in my opinion) the best available. I’m hoping they release a gallon size bag in the future. If I find USA made bags in the future, I’ll be sure to update the article and keep you posted.
Zip top reusable silicone bags are made in the USA.
April Emery says
Yes! Zip Top brand is made in the USA. Can you do a review of them compared to the Stasher ones?