I love it when people contact me and ask questions about zero waste and plastic free alternatives! That’s what happened recently with Alexandra from Teuko
, a community of lunch box makers that shares tips and ideas to make healthy lunch boxes for our littles ones.
Lunch boxes are full of non recyclable disposable plastics
As we started exchanging about the plastic footprint of lunch boxes in the US, I made a quick estimation and… OMG! Look at the picture: chips bags, energy bars, plastic utensils, plastic cheese wrap, juice/milk box with a straw, ziplocks, pouches…. I have 2 kids, one in preschool, the other one in elementary school. I asked them what the other kids were having for lunch: they confirmed there’s a lot of these non recyclable non compostable disposable plastics.
By the way, as a zero waste parent, you have to stay strong to convince your kids to refuse this plastic food when that's what their friends bring to school everyday. My 8 yo recently told me « I don’t want healthy food anymore » 😃
Lunch boxes generate more than 60 million pounds of plastic waste every year in the US
In the US, approximately 15 million families make lunch boxes everyday. Let’s count 1 per family, 180 days a year (and I don’t include all the summer camps, spring break camps…). That’s 2.7 billion lunch boxes every year.
Now let’s say these lunch boxes include 10g of plastic (that’s 3 items, I included a snack).
That’s 27 million kg = 60 MILLION POUNDS of disposable plastic that pile up in landfills!
Besides creating trash, plastic leaches chemicals in the food
A healthy lunch box = healthy food in a healthy packaging!
A good way to reduce plastic packaging is to buy in bulk and to choose fruits as a daily dessert. Fruits don't need packaging and stainless steel containers are the best to store sliced fruits. Moreover there's a lot of snacks available in bulk in most grocery stores (nuts, dried fruits, cereals, energy bars..), many of which are organic.