If you are reading this, I’m willing to bet that you’ve packed lunch before. Whether you are the person who packs food every so often or every single day, you’ve probably used Tupperware or another plastic-based container. The ease, convenience, and durability of plastic food containers are what drove their popularity but not without severe consequences.
We know that plastic is awful for the environment, and plastic food containers certainly contribute to this growing problem.
“Plastic pollution takes a huge toll on wildlife: More than 700 species, including sea turtles, fish and whales, eat plastic or get tangled up in it. Plastic will soon outweigh all the fish in the sea, and it’s in our drinking water and on our plates.”From biologicaldiversity.org
So what about glass? Is glass biodegradable and eco-friendly?
Yes and no. Glass is a sustainable material that is relatively eco-friendly but it does not biodegrade. Furthermore, most glass food containers come with plastic or plastic-containing lids. And how many lids go missing in your home, for both plastic and glass food containers?
They have to end up somewhere, which usually ends up being the environment.
Thankfully, there is a great alternative. Biodegradable food containers are super easy to use, great for the environment, and won’t be laden with chemicals that are often lurking in plastics. And you don’t have to wash them either – just use and dispose of them properly.
I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best biodegradable food containers so you don’t have to worry about sorting through the garbage to get the gold.
Sound good? Then let’s jump right in!
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Top 10 Best Biodegradable Food Containers
#1 – Stack Man-BG-60HT1K 100% Compostable Take-Out Food Containers
The Stack Man Food Container is a good option for those who don’t need a ton of room when packing. This container is for those of us who like packing a single large item or a collection of small food items, like snacks. You can also use it to pack a dessert away for when you need a sweet treat.
Don’t let the size fool you though, as it is also heavy-duty and durable – it’s not going to break down and fall apart. The container’s composition also makes it leak-resistant, so minor moisture or grease won’t pass through the container’s walls.
It’s simple, elegant, and easy. The best part is that you get a ton of them for a fair price, so you won’t have to restock as often as you might think.
One thing to note, though. Overfilling this container may cause issues with closing and staying closed, so it is not recommended to pack as much as you can fit in there. The last thing you want is to open your bag and find food strewn everywhere.
So if you are looking for a biodegradable food container that meets your small packing needs, then I recommend checking out the Stack Man Food Container.
#2 – Avant Grub Biodegradable Take-Out Food Box
The Avant Grub Biodegradable Take-Out Food Box is a container that offers a bit more flexibility when it comes to your storage needs.
You can use the container as is in order to store food with a fold-over lid. But if you prefer to have more storage and don’t need a cover, then the upper and lower halves of the container can be separated.
This effectively doubles the storage amount, which can be a benefit for when you need more storage space but don’t want to use a whole other box.
The box itself has a chic, eco-friendly design with contour grooves, which helps prevent food from sticking to the bottom. This is especially helpful for food like rice or denser foods that can sink into the material over time.
Best of all, this food box is manufactured in a zero-carbon emissions facility, demonstrating that the company embraces eco-friendly practices from start to finish.
You should check out the Avant Grub Biodegradable Take-Out Food Box if you are looking to support an eco-friendly company that makes a seriously great container.
#3 – JAYEEY 32OZ Disposable Bowls With PP Lids
Looking for something a bit sturdier? Then the JAYEEY Disposable Bowls may be the perfect fit.
This is due to how the bowls are designed. The material, made from 100% naturally biodegradable resources, is carefully thickened to provide more durability. This means that you can really stuff these containers without worrying about them ripping or tearing – they’ll hold firm even in hot and cold temperatures.
The embossed design of the bowl is also smooth and without burrs, so you won’t have to worry about your food being stuck to the inside of the bowl or, worse, eating bits of material that could come off of it. Yuck.
The size of the container makes it a great choice for picnics, barbecues, and camping. And if you are feeling a bit hungry at night, they can easily hold a tasty night snack.
So if you are looking for a biodegradable food container that offers increased sturdiness and a smooth dining experience, then you need to check out the JAYEEY Disposable Bowls.
#4 – HeloGreen Eco Friendly 3 Compartment To Go Food Containers
The HeloGreen Eco-Friendly Food Containers are the go-to choice for people who like to use high and low temperatures when cooking or storing food.
Why do I say that? Because these containers are crafted to withstand a chilling -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) to a blazing 248 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius).
This means that you can store these containers in any standard freezer without them breaking down when it’s time to thaw your food out. And if you plan to nuke something in the microwave, you can rest easy knowing that this container won’t melt or catch fire.
And unlike paper-based food containers, these will not become soggy when subject to condensation. They maintain their shape and form very well under varying degrees, which is impressive for any eco-friendly material.
And thanks to the 3 compartments within the container, you can separate your food with ease – no need to worry about whether this food item is touching that food item. For me, this is my favorite feature as I cannot stand it when food is being warmed up and the moisture from neighboring foods affects each other’s flavor and texture.
So if you want a biodegradable food container that can hold its own under a wide range of temperatures, then you should check out the HeloGreen Eco-Friendly Food Containers.
#5 – WELLIFE 60 Pack Biodegradable Food Containers
The WELLIFE Biodegradable Food Container is a great option for those of us who don’t necessarily need a bunch of compartments.
The containers feature two compartments, one larger and one smaller. They are best used for simple meals that feature a main dish and a small side, or for carrying snacks and other small food items.
What’s also great is that the container is dye-free, unbleached, non-toxic, and BPA-free. You can be sure that nothing harmful will leach into your food, even if you heat your food up inside the container.
And on a health note, the containers are sized to provide proper portions for an adult. If you are looking for a biodegradable food container that makes it easy for you to pack proper portions for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then this one is a top contender.
Overall, WELLIFE Biodegradable Food Containers are remarkably simple yet high-quality products. I highly recommend them if you are looking for something that’s a good value.
#6 – REMERRY 100 Sets of 23 oz Disposable Bowls with PP Lids
The REMERRY Disposable Bowls are the perfect fit for fruit, soup, and salad lovers everywhere.
The reason is simple – it’s designed to handle moisture. Each bowl is lined with a protective film that prevents water from leaking out while being heavily oil-resistant. It’s pretty ironclad, making it one of the few biodegradable food containers that are more liquid-proof than liquid-resistant.
Considering how much food tends to “sweat” when it’s being warmed up, I believe that it’s a pretty considerable bonus. It helps that the compostable lid creates a strong seal between the lid and the bowl, which prevents liquids from leaking out the sides or the top.
I don’t usually pack soups in containers like these (I prefer to stick with fruit and salad), but I would be comfortable giving it a shot with this product. Other people have already, to great success.
So if you are someone who hates dealing with leaky food containers, you need to check out the REMERRY Disposable Bowls.
#7 – Chunspak Eco-friendly Disposable Bagasse Paper Bowls
If you are looking for a biodegradable product that has some certifications to back them up, then you should take a look at Chunspak Eco-Friendly Disposable Bowls.
This company is serious about complying with eco-friendly regulatory bodies. It complies with the EU EN13432 and US ASTM D6400 compostability and biodegradability regulations, which basically means that these bowls are actively harmless for the environment according to these organizations.
Taking a look at the product itself, we can see why. It’s made with 80% sugarcane bagasse and 20% bamboo fiber pulp – both are 100% natural materials that readily biodegrade in composting conditions. Furthermore, it’s recyclable with paper cardboard as long as the bowl is clean (no residue or oils remaining).
As for the performance of the bowls, they are pretty good. Being a bowl makes it great for soups obviously, though care must be taken when heating up soup as it softens the material a bit via steam. It comes with a lid made of the same material, which makes it convenient to dispose of the whole bowl in the same way instead of in different ways piece by piece.
The Chunspak Eco-Friendly Disposable Bowl excels at being a biodegradable product first and foremost, even if it means not being as “fancy” as some other brands. I respect the commitment to the environment, and I recommend that you check them out if you feel the same.
#8 – STOCKYOURHOME Bagasse Clamshell Takeout Containers
The Clamshell Takeout Food Containers are perfect for catering and parties, although you can always use them for take-out or to-go containers.
The main reasons have to do with size and composition. With dimensions of 9 in x 6 in x 1 in, the container is small enough to be easily transported and filled, yet large enough to feed the average person. And thanks to the bagasse material, the containers are sturdy and durable.
What’s even better is that bagasse can be composted at home, making it one of the few biodegradable materials that do not require a commercial composting facility. It’s also microwave and freezer-safe, so you can store your food in whatever conditions you need. It’s also grease-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about leaks due to your favorite delights.
And with the lock tab design, it’s pretty simple to shut the lid and keep it shut, which is surprisingly rare for an eco-friendly container.
Personally, the Clamshell Takeout Food Containers are one of my favorites on this list. You can’t go wrong with them. And I love the bagasse material as it serves both the user and the environment well. I highly recommend that you check them out.
#9 – Kaderron 11″x8.7″ Compostable Take Out Food Containers
If you love to compartmentalize, then you’ll love the Kaderron Compostable Takeout Food Containers. These containers offer not one, not two, but four different compartments for your food. Each compartment varies in size, giving you the option to pick and choose which foods you want more of.
The only that I would caution on is that you technically get less total space for your food (gotta use some of that space for the barriers). Depending on your dietary goals, this may or may not be a bad thing. But for people who can’t stand having food mingling with other food, these containers are really useful.
Due to the smaller size of the compartments, I suggest sticking with snacks and smaller meals. You can really load up a large variety of tasty treats if you choose a different item for each compartment. I know that people who don’t like to eat the same thing day in and day out would love the options that these containers provide.
And of course, the quality isn’t sacrificed. It’s on the thinner side but maintains its durability and resistance to moisture. The design also makes it easily stackable, so you can conserve fridge space if you decide to meal prep.
If you value the ability to organize and separate your food as you see fit, then you should check out Kaderron Compostable Takeout Food Containers
#10 – Green Wave Clamshell Take-Out Food Containers
The Green Wave Clamshell Takeout Food Containers are definitely the smallest biodegradable containers on our list, but don’t let that fool you. These containers are the real deal.
They meet the ASTM D6400 and D6868 standards, meaning that they can be certifiably compostable. The standards dictate that products meeting this standard are to be broken down in a commercial composting facility, though you should have success with home composting since the material is bagasse.
The containers themselves are moisture resistant and can handle high heat well, although it’s not recommended to store food that is saturated with moisture, as too much will affect the container’s durability.
And due to the size of the container, it’s best to store individual, larger food items. These are great for holding a hotdog or a burger, which is great for barbeques or as a concessions container. You can also hold a decent amount of leftovers in them, which is very useful for when you want to take some food home or give food away after a party (so you aren’t stuck eating thanksgiving leftovers for weeks).
I also like how easily they can be stored in pantries or fridges. The small size allows you to line them up in rows pretty easily while saving a ton of space.
These containers are a no-fuss, beginner-friendly introduction to biodegradable containers. If you are looking for a product to try out, I recommend giving Green Wave Clamshell Takeout Food Containers a shot.
What to Look For in Biodegradable Food Containers
Keep an eye on these few things to get the most out of your biodegradable food container. Most of these points are topics that you should review and ask yourself about when checking out a product for the first time. This is a general checklist, so don’t be afraid to adjust it to best fit your acceptance criteria.
Food Container Material(s) – Make Sure That It’s Really Biodegradable
You might read the point above and think, “duh.” But you’d be surprised by a company’s cleverness in covering up essential information. And as long as the company gets your dollar, they couldn’t care less. I’ve had similar-looking plastic products presented to me as “sponsored content” when I searched for eco-friendly products.
This means that it’s up to us to ensure that we support companies that support the environment. In this instance, the most important thing to be aware of is the food container’s material.
Most biodegradable food containers are made from sugarcane pulp called bagasse. Its use is very good from a zero-waste perspective, as it comes from sugarcane or sorghum stalks that had their juice extracted.
From an eco-friendly perspective, bagasse is a great material. It will decompose and biodegrade, though it does so best in commercial composting conditions. This is important to note, as certain products will not decompose promptly outside of commercial composting conditions. So if you don’t have one of those nearby, just be aware that composting at home may yield different results.
You want to look for products that have “sugarcane” or “bagasse” in their description, as those are the ones that are best for the environment.
Stay away from products that don’t list their materials. Those are usually made from plastic, petroleum, or other harmful materials.
Container Type and Added Accessories
There are many forms that a biodegradable food container can take, but the three most common are rectangular, cup, and bowl-shaped containers.
You should choose containers that best fit your needs. For example, you may only need a container for an afternoon snack, therefore a cup-shaped container would be perfect. Want to hold some chili? Then consider using a bowl-shaped container.
The rectangular ones are typically larger and offer space than the other two options. They can be a single, standalone plate, a plate with lids, a plate with sections, and any number of hybrids. If you are someone that hates the idea of food touching, then you can easily pick a container that has 3 or 4 sections. If you like to throw everything together, pick a container that doesn’t have any sections.
You should also be sure to consider accessories like lids. Many containers are closeable by using the same material as the lid, similar to that of restaurant take-out containers. Other containers offer detached caps of the same material or even another material altogether.
Don’t be afraid to pick up a few different types and see which one suits you best. Once you find one or two that fit the best, you can try to find a hybrid between the two or just use them separately.
Food Container Size
Biodegradable food container size tends to draw the most complaints from people. They often pick a product that looks a lot larger than it is, which can be understandably upsetting.
To prevent this from happening to you, look for the dimensions of the container in its description or title. You have a good shot of finding something there. If there is no such information in those places, look at the reviews next. If there are a lot of people complaining about the size of the container, maybe you should skip that one.
It’s hard to say just how large your container needs to be. That’s entirely dependent on how much food you need to keep handy. Storing dinner for tomorrow may require more space than taking lunch to work.
I recommend sticking with the rectangular containers in most instances, as the separated sections are super useful for lunches, while the non-separated containers have more room to hold food.
As for soups and snacks, you are going to want to choose cups and bowls, which can be used in tandem with the rectangular containers to hold a large variety of food.
Food Container Durability and Protections
This point focuses more on the individual product’s performance. A container that sucks at containing things is pointless, even if it’s biodegradable and eco-friendly.
Thankfully, bagasse is pretty sturdy. Your container won’t just fall apart easily at room temperature conditions, though its durability does fade a bit when exposed to higher temperatures.
The bagasse is also typically coated with a protective (and biodegradable) film designed to keep oil and grease inside the container, which keeps your bags and clothes clean.
You will want to look for containers that mention a layer of protection and the use of sugarcane or bagasse. Stick with those, and you should not have any problems.
Food Container Reviews – But Think Critically
Reviews can be an excellent way to gauge the performance of a product, and biodegradable food containers are no exception. But you still need to come to your conclusions after reading them – and don’t assume anything based on a review that is standalone or does not make sense.
Generally speaking, you are going to want to stick with products that have 4 to 5-star reviews. Anything lower raises serious question marks, especially when the product has many reviews.
A general rule of thumb for me is to stick with products that have at least 40 – 50 reviews. If a product has that many reviews and is still coming in at 4 to 5 stars, then there’s a pretty great chance that the product is good. There are biodegradable food containers that may be gems at lower reviews, but you could also just get a dud.
I’d rather be safe than sorry.
All right, that wraps up the list. I hope you found it helpful.
As always, thanks for reading. We appreciate you stopping by to learn a bit more about the world of eco-friendly products.
Let’s continue to strive for a greener, better way of living!