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Why You Should Replace Your Ziplocks With Reusable Stasher Bags

Mother Earth will thank you.

Single-use plastic storage bags are a lot like vampires. In fact, they may be even more powerful. Sunlight won’t kill them. They handle garlic surprisingly well. While putting a stake through them renders them fairly ineffective, it doesn’t actually destroy them. They can’t be recycled, so they’re basically immortal. And once you invite SUPs into your house, they sink their teeth and claws into your life and never let go.

So how do we break from the thrall of single-use storage bags? Well, we use one of our most powerful weapons as consumers: our wallets. Then, we fight plastic with silicone.

The Basics

In a single year, the average family in the United States will use around 500 Ziploc brand bags alone. That extrapolates to over 58 million per year in the US. The environmental damage caused by unrecyclable food storage bags is staggering, from the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their production to the enormous space they occupy in our oceans and landfills. These bags are bad for the planet. Very bad. We should stop using them.

Stasher Bags are nontoxic, 100% pure platinum silicone, and 100% plastic-free reusable bags with what’s called a Pinch-loc seal. Not only are they freezer-, dishwasher-, and microwave-safe, but you can also use them with a sous vide machine, a standard oven, or a pot of boiling water (up to 400°F). They are available in multiple sizes, ranging from 4 to 64.2 fluid ounces starting at $7.99 for the smallest single bag up to $87 for a seven-piece Bundle Starter Kit. Bonus points: You can even write on them, and thanks to the clear window on every bag, they offer a “TSA-approved view of contents” for travel.

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What/Who It’s Best For

Anyone who wants to cut down on their plastic waste and do a little to help the environment, and those with some cash and some patience who want to free up valuable drawer space.

Stasher Bags with Fruit and Veggies

The Good

We wanted to see if five different-sized Stasher bags could handle the general wear and tear of a household (three adults and one baby) that cooks about four to five nights a week. Over the course of two weeks, we used them to store dinner leftovers, chopped-up fresh vegetables, frozen meats and veggies, snacks, cereal puffs for a baby, and liquids like juices and sauces.

Before we tested every bag size, we ran them all through the dishwasher. They came out just fine and ready to be put to work. It’s important to clean the bags quickly after use to avoid staining the silicone.

No matter the size, all the Stasher bags worked as advertised. There was no leakage or spillage, especially with the liquids. Foods stayed fresh in accordance with their method of storage, be it frozen hamburger meat, refrigerated greens, or room-temperature trail mix. Microwaving leftovers was easy enough, as was heating frozen sauces in boiling water. Sorry, no sous vide test this time.

The Not-So-Good 

The price tag is going to be the big issue. If you were to buy one 150-count gallon-sized, one 80-count quart-sized, and one 280-count sandwich-sized box of Ziploc bags, you’d get 510 individual bags (give or take the US family average for the year) for about $33 (on Amazon). A bundle that includes two Sandwich Stasher and one Snack Stasher bags will cost you $32. You’re probably going to need more than three bags. So this is the real test for going green: quantity and convenience versus quality, not only of your purchase but also their impact on the environment.

Some other things we took note of during testing were that you could smell the food in the bags, whether in the fridge of the freezer. The aroma of the stir-fry we had for dinner greeted us in the morning as soon as we opened the fridge. We also froze some apple cider, and that too had a distinct bouquet even as a block of ice.

Since Stasher bags are thicker and more firm than one-use plastics, they’re not the easiest to pour foodstuffs into, so that took some effort. And like any food storage bag, watch out for freezer burn.

The Takeaway

If you can see these bags as an investment, primarily in the planet you inhabit, they are really worth your time. Stasher bags take some getting used to (especially keeping them clean) but they get the job done and, in a strange way, make your leftovers feel a little more valuable (and perhaps a little more edible).

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Every product covered here is independently selected by opinionated humans. But so you know, buying stuff through our links may earn us a small share of the sale or other compensation.

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