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Looking for zero waste kitchen products and plastic-free swaps, for an eco-friendly kitchen?
I got you covered!
The truth is that when it comes to our kitchen, we tend to use a number of unsustainable products that create A LOT of waste in the long run.
From toxic detergents in plastic bottles and synthetic sponges to plastic wraps, various single-use items, etc.
Luckily, there are sustainable zero waste kitchen products and alternatives to almost anything!
Now we will explore 32 eco-friendly kitchen products that will help you create an (almost) zero waste kitchen!
The products are divided into 5 categories, to find specific items easily:
- Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Cleaning
- Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Food storage
- Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Cooking
- Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Shopping / On the go
- Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Other
Without further ado, let’s begin with the list.
Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Cleaning
1. Dish brush
Why it’s better: The sponges for washing dishes are made of synthetic fibers. They pollute waterways and aren’t biodegradable, so they sit in landfills for decades.
The sustainable dish brush is better because of the materials, and it is long-lasting – you can use each brush head for 1-3 months.
Materials: Made with sustainably harvested wood and stiff Tampico plant fibers.
The top part is removable, so you can keep the handle and change the dish brush head.
- Fully recyclable and compostable
- Removable head
- The initial cost will be higher
- You may need some time to get used to it
2. Loofah sponge
Why it’s better: The loofah sponge is 100% plant-based sponge, and it can last up to 5 weeks! Loofah is also completely unprocessed and chemical-free.
Materials: Unbleached loofah, 100% plant-based fiber material
End of life: Compost in your backyard, or commercial composting facility
- Fully compostable and biodegradable, in a backyard or commercial composting within 30 days
- Non-scratch fibers
- It is a bit hard at the beginning
3. Reusable cleaning cloths
Why it’s better: Paper towels are incredibly wasteful, and millions of trees are destroyed to create this single-use product.
Reusable cleaning cloths are ideal for spills, cleaning different surfaces, and most are designed to dry-out quickly, without breeding bacteria or creating odor.
Materials: 100% Organic cotton
- Absorbant & long-lasting
- Dishwasher and laundry safe
4. Latex cleaning gloves
Why it’s better: They are made from ethically sourced latex made from natural rubber, and cotton.
The gloves are ideal for cleaning dishes, oven cleaning, scrubbing the bathroom, etc. They are 100% backyard compostable.
Materials: 100% natural latex, and 100% cotton
End of life: Backyard compostable (cut them into small pieces first)
- Durable and slip-resistant
- Your hands won’t feel sticky and wet since they are lined with cotton from the inside
5. Copper scrubber pads
Why it’s better: Copper is a soft metal that will not scratch aluminum, stainless steel, or enamel surfaces when wet! It is ideal for cleaning pots and pans, sinks, bathtubs, etc.
The scrubber is 100% plastic-free and fully recyclable.
Materials: pure woven copper
End of life: Recycle with metals.
- Fully recyclable
- Not suited for Teflon or non-stick surfaces.
While I found three options, 2 of them contained polyester threading (polypropylene yarn), so they aren’t entirely plastic-free. That’s why I will include just one option, which happens to be the cheapest, too!
6. Dishwashing soap bar
Why it’s better: Liquid dishwashing soaps come in plastic, and they often contain ingredients that aren’t the best for your skin. These eco-friendly dish soap options are plastic-free, non-toxic, and long-lasting.
Materials: vegetable oils like castor, coconut, and sunflower, and sometimes essential oils for scent
- Lathers easily
- Safe, and chemical-free
- Vegan & palm-oil free
Why it’s better: Conventional dishcloths are made from plastic, and they aren’t recyclable. These eco-friendly alternatives are long-lasting, super absorbent, quick-drying, and machine washable. They are the ideal swap to paper towels and sponges.
Materials: Cellulose, cotton and non-toxic vegetable dye
End of life: You can throw them in your compost bin
- Machine washable & easy to keep clean
8. Dishwashing tablets
Why it’s better: The plastic-free dishwashing pods have a biodegradable formula (and pod shell), and eco-friendly, chemical-free ingredients. They can remove grease, fight stains, and leave your dishes perfectly clean!
Materials: Vegan pods with water-soluble film (full ingredient list here)
- No artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, or dyes
- Compatible with all dishwasher types
- A water-soluble film made of polyvinyl alcohol
- More expensive than the non-sustainable ones
Earth Hero: Dishwasher Detergent Pods
9. Countertop spray cleaner
Why it’s better: Cleaning sprays contain chemicals that can contribute to indoor air pollution, and they can be poisonous if ingested, and harmful if inhaled or touched.
This natural, chemical-free spray works perfectly well without the dangerous aspects.
Materials: Natural ingredients and essential oils, packaged in durable glass reusable bottle
End of life: You can get a refill, reuse the glass bottle, or recycle it
- Contains no chemical additives including phthalates, parabens, ethyls, or sulfates
- Plastic-free & eco-friendly product
- Earthy Edith’s is a zero-waste company, creating little to no waste at their production facility
- The company has 3 different sizes and a variety of other eco-friendly cleaning products and sprays
Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Food storage
10. Silicone baggies
Why it’s better: They are reusable, durable, freezable, and the ideal eco-friendly swap for plastic bags (such as Ziplocks, and other similar single-use items).
Materials: 100% pure platinum grade silicone
End of life: Silicone is a bit tricky to recycle, but Stasher has a take-back program to repurpose used silicone bags
- Freezer & microwave and oven safe
- Dishwasher safe
- BPA free, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic
- The initial cost is higher
- Silicone is hard to hard to recycle, so try to use it as long as you can
11. Stainless steel container
Why it’s better: These stainless steel containers, you can reuse them endlessly, though they are also 100% recyclable.
You can use them for meal plans, store different foods and leftovers, and use it as a container when buying something from different stores, freeze things, and much more! They will help you to reduce A LOT of single-use waste.
Materials: 100% non-toxic, stainless steel food storage containers
End of life: Throw it in your metal recycling bin
- Various sizes
- Freezer & dishwasher safe
- Reuse endlessly
- The initial cost is quite high
12. Wax wraps
Why it’s better: Plastic foil is wasteful, single-use, and quite useless. A wax wrap can keep your food fresh, and you can reuse them over and over again!
To increase their life, wash the wax wraps with cold water & a bit of soap, hang dry or pat dry with a dishtowel.
Materials: Cotton-hemp blend fabric & plant-based waxes, oils, and natural tree resin
End of life: Compostable
- Washable, reusable, and biodegradable
- 100% plant-based and vegan
- HEAT will destroy it – keep wax wraps away from heat, including hot foods, dishwashers, microwaves, and ovens
Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Cooking
13. Silicone baking mats
Why it’s better: Silicone baking mats are reusable, so you can avoid wasting single-use baking sheets. The mats are washable & non-stick, and durable.
Materials: food-grade silicone
- Washing machine safe (top rack only)
- Non-stick baking mat
- No need for oil, cooking sprays, or parchment paper
- Suitable only up to 420 degrees F (215°C) – it burns on a higher temperature
- Some things leave stains (spices, sauces, etc.)
- A bit hard to clean
14. Silicone cupcake cups
Why it’s better: Like the silicone mats, the silicone cupcake cups are better because you can use them hundreds of times, for baking and even freezing things. You can bake food, up to 400F.
Materials: food-grade silicone
- Lifetime guarantee
- No more throwing away paper cupcake liners!
- A bit hard to wash
Find it on Amazon:
15. Cutting board
Why it’s better: The cutting board is plastic-free and made from sustainably harvested bamboo.
Materials: organically harvested bamboo
- Finished with food-safe mineral/wood oils
- Not recommended for microwave or dishwasher
16. Veggie peeler
Why it’s better: This veggie peeler is 100% recyclable, ad it is fully plastic-free, made of stainless steel. If you take good care of it, it can last you a lifetime!
Materials: Stainless Steel
- 100% recyclable & plastic-free
Earth Hero (Cheapest option): Package Free Shop – Vegetable peeler
Amazon (Pricier option): Vegetable peeler
17. Cotton oven glove and hot pad
Why it’s better: Organic cotton uses significantly less water in production, and it isn’t contaminated with toxic chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides, as traditional cotton.
Materials: 100% organic cotton oven mitt
- Organic cotton & EKO Certified
- Machine washable
Earth Hero: Organic cotton oven mitt
18. Silicone spatula
Why it’s better: It is plastic-free, chemical-free, so that no chemicals will leach inside your food.
Silicone is durable, so the spatula is meant to last years.
Materials: The handle is100% Molded Bamboo, and the spatula is made from silicone
- Safe to use in non-stick pans and won’t melt, or stain
- Does not absorb flavors
- BPA free
- Hand washing is recommended
Earth Hero: Bamboo & Silicone spatula
19. Waste-free coffee
Why it’s better: Other methods include a lot of disposable, single-use products.
Using Reusable K cup, Mocha pot or French press, you will drink waste-free and plastic-free coffee!
Materials: Whichever option you choose, it will be mostly stainless steel or glass.
20. Bread maker
Why it’s better: If you would like to make homemade bread, but you don’t lack the time or effort, you can get yourself a bread maker, which will make the whole process much faster.
- You can find awesome second-hand deals on eBay
21. Silicone Freezer Tray
Why it’s better: The silicone tray is ideal for freezing, it can’t break, it is flexible and non-toxic.
- no BPA or PVC
- Dishwasher safe
- Durable, unbreakable and heat-resistant
- Flexible for easy removal
Earth Hero: Silicone Freezer Tray
22. Nut milk bag
Why it’s better: It is specially designed for homemade nut milk, and it is made from GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. By getting a nut milk bag, you can make delicious and healthy nut milk at home!
Materials: Food-grade organic cotton
- Machine washable for easy cleanup
- Perfect for making any type of homemade nut milk
- Packaging contains plastic (couldn’t find one without plastic, so if you know some, please share in the comments below!)
Earth Hero: Organic cotton nut milk bag
23. Nut milk maker
Why it’s better: TetraPaks recycling process is quite troublesome, and many of them are ending up in the landfills.
Making homemade plant milk can be a bit time consuming, but a Nut milk machine will make the process way easier and faster!
You can use a blender for that, yet, I tried both options and I prefer my second hand Soyabella machine.
- Fantastic nut milk in less than a minute
- Super simple – just press a button, and you have your nut milk
- You will need some time to find how you enjoy the homemade nut milk the most (consistency, flavors, etc.)
Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Shopping & On the go
24. Tote bags
Why it’s better: You can reuse them endlessly, and they will help you avoid single-use plastic bags.
Materials: Recycled or organic cotton
- No bleach, toxic dyes, or chemical additives
- Machine washable (cold water)
Life Without Plastic:
25. Produce bags
Why it’s better: You can use them for your veggies, fruits, and shopping in bulk – anything from seeds, and nuts, to legumes. You will avoid using plastic or paper bags, and you can wash and reuse the produce baggies endlessly!
Materials: Organic cotton
- Machine washable and reusable
- Unbreakable, unlike jars
- Easily foldable to be extremely compact to carry
- Various sizes
- With or without holes (for fine ingredients, like flour, or small seeds)
- The initial cost is a bit higher
Life Without Plastic:
Why it’s better: You can simply reuse jars that you got from the shop. Wash the jars, and then use them to shop in bulk, freeze things, keep leftovers, etc.
- Cost-effective option
- They are breakable
27. Bread bag
Why it’s better: You can reuse and wash this food-grade organic cotton bread bag! It is breathable and helps fresh bread to last longer, with no need for plastic.
Materials: Certified organic cotton
- With no bleach, or toxic dyes
- Washing machine safe
Earth Hero: Organic cotton bread bag
28. Cutlery set
Why it’s better: Perfect for lunch on the go, or whenever you need some reusable cutlery.
Materials: Bamboo, or stainless steel
- Compact & easy to carry
- Heat resistant
Zero Waste Kitchen Products: Other
29. Compost bin
Why it’s better: Composting is a huge part of living a zero waste and eco-friendly lifestyle.
If organic waste is dumped in the landfill, it cannot biodegrade (due to the conditions).
It also releases methane – a greenhouse gas that’s between 28 to 36 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
There are various options when it comes to composting your food scraps, and while it may seem intimidating, it is easier than you think!
Materials: Silicone, bamboo, or stainless steel
- The silicone kitchen compost bin is an odor-free and freezer-safe door
- Molded bamboo compost bin uses charcoal filters to absorb odors, and you can quickly transfer the food scraps to your local compost facility, or a backyard system
- You can convert your food scraps into nutrient-rich compost
30. Reusable recycling trash bin
Why it’s better: Using single-use plastic bags isn’t the best option when we have great alternatives, such as reusable trash bins/bags! You can easily divide the trash, and if the bins/bags are dirty, you can wash and reuse them!
- aluminum handles and cloth fabric (not specified)
- post-consumer recycled plastics
- Ideal for sorting different waste materials
- Lightweight and durable
Amazon: Triple Recycle Sorter Bag
Earth Hero: Reusable trash can liners
31. Water filter
Why it’s better: Amazing way to purify water, and it is entirely plastic-free!
Binchotan charcoal sticks naturally absorb toxins, leaving you with clean, purified water.
Materials: Made from branches of sustainably harvested Japanese holm oak trees
- Absorbs impurity from water
- Improves the taste of water
- Purifies the water in about one hour
Life Without Plastic: Charcoal Filter for Bottle – Small, 1 liter
Life Without Plastic: Charcoal Water Filter for Pitcher – Large, 2 liters
32. Zero waste cookbooks
These zero waste cookbooks are filled with zero waste practices, that can help you to reduce your waste.
The books will share great and interesting recipes, and in general – will give you food for thought (figuratively and literally).
- Great for chefs, and a cool gift idea
- Gives creative contemporary ways of cooking and dealing with waste
- Ideas on how to cook with your food scraps
As you can see, there is an eco-friendly alternative to most conventional & wasteful kitchen items!
As I tired to include plenty of products, keep in mind that probably you won’t need all of these items.
Purchase only if you truly need something, and remember that the goal of this list is to help you to find specific eco-friendly kitchen products, that are usually hard to find, and the accessible versions in your local stores are wasteful.
Lastly, if you want to explore more cool websites, and items, I advise you to check my list with 46 zero waste online stores around the world!
Did I miss some cool zero waste kitchen products and swaps?
Let me know in the comments below!