Power Lunch: 13 Reusable Wares For A More Sustainable (And Stylish) Packed Lunch

Plastic is not fantastic, so green up the daily routine with these eco-friendly but still chic options
Reading time 6 minutes

Let’s be honest, most of us have at some point contributed to the single-use plastics problem. Walk through any hawker centre, food court, or eatery offering takeaway at meal times and you are sure to see plastic or styrofoam containers, cups, cutlery, and straws being used. Our culture of convenience might be comfortable, but it definitely is not considerate towards the environment. Approximately 1.76 billion plastic products are used in our country each year, including some 820 million plastic bags, 476 million plastic bottles, and 473 million disposable plastic items, but only six per cent of all that waste gets recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills or the ocean.

Fortunately, you can do your part. Forgoing plastic may take a bit more effort and forethought, but in this case, a little really does go a long way. Think ceramic, glass, or stainless steel travel mugs (coffee actually tastes better that way!), multi-use bamboo and metal straws, plant-based BYO cutlery, bento boxes, and the like. Whether you’re at work, at school, on a picnic, or on holiday (eco-warriors don’t stop even on vacation), here are some of the most stylish ways to up your sustainability game this year:

Star Eye Mug, Gucci

Add a few drops of Gucci magic to your daily cuppa with this white china mug. Made of Richard Ginori porcelain, it features the Star Eye print on the front and back, and a coiled snake as a handle.

Star Eye mug,

The Beauty Of Dawn, AHAlife

Should you not be a morning person, you can still enjoy the sky at sunrise with this hand-painted, double-walled ceramic tumbler. The Tourmaline Anion Technology used in the lining neutralises harsh chlorine and other impurities to improve the flavour and freshness of any beverage.

The Beauty Of Dawn ceramic tumbler,

Food Storage Containers, Kate Spade New York

Kate Spade can always be counted on to brighten up the day, and these glass containers are no exception. Printed with tongue-in-cheek phrases like “Make Room” and “Keep A Lid On It”, they are both handy and humorous.

2pc rectangular containers,

Starter Kit, Stasher

Reusable and recyclable, Stasher bags are made wholly from sand-derived silicone, and offer an eco-friendly alternative to plastic ziploc bags. They are also microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and can even be written on so you can remember what’s inside.

Silicone starter kit,

Bamboo Cutlery Set, Trove of Gaia

No pandas were harmed in the making of such cutlery, thanks to lightweight MOSO bamboo that does not endanger their food sources. Each cotton linen wrap bag holds a spoon, a fork, a knife, and a pair of chopsticks, and comes in a variety of prints from blue Hokusai waves to stripes to an adorable polar bear pattern.

Bamboo wood cutlery wrap set,

Beeswax Wrap, Minimakers

Ever been told to mind your own beeswax? You can now take that literally with the natural cling wrap from homegrown brand Minimakers. Antibacterial beeswax is blended with GOTS-certified cotton, tree resin, and jojoba oil to provide a protective but breathable layer that keeps food fresh.

Organic cotton wraps,

Rainbow Plaid Lunch Bag, Kate Spade New York

Sticking to your plastic-free resolutions will be easy with the vibrant plaid piece from Kate Spade. The insulated bag has a silver lining (really!) so your warms stay warm and your cools cool.

Rainbow plaid lunch bag,

Mindful Bento Box, Bamboo Straw Girl

Despite what the name suggests, this local brand does so much more than that. Founder Melissa Lam goes to schools, organisations, and communities to advocate a green lifestyle, and the company provides steady employment to artisans in Indonesia. The bamboo and steel lunch boxes have quotes by a Zen Master engraved on the lids, so you can practice mindfulness at meal times too.

Mindful bento box,

On-the-Go Bowl, Uncommon Goods

Avoid the dreaded soup spill in your beloved bag with this portable silicone and glass bowl, which can probably also fit a portion of overnight oats or congee, if you’re that kind of person.

On-the-Go leak-proof bowl,

Stainless Steel Straws, Mermaid Straw

Carrying a reusable straw around is a small step, but also a significant one. Ditch the plastic and go for Mermaid Straw’s stainless steel options, which are available in different widths for different drink needs – there’s even a version for bubble tea!

Mermaid stainless steel straws,

Bento Box, Takenaka

Takenaka has been crafting bento boxes for decades, and its wares promise to be nearly as long-lasting. Made from BPA-free polyethylene with a glossy hand-painted lacquer coating in various vivid shades, the lunch box comes with two tiers (which can be used together or separately), a reusable fork, and a wraparound band to prevent leakage.

Takenaka bento box,

Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag, Colony Co

Make like the movies and take a brown bag lunch along with you, except this version won’t fall apart so easily. Made from heavy-duty waxed canvas, Colony Co’s Lunch Bag is stain-resistant, easy to clean, and simple but stylish.

Lunch bag,

Tingkat, Hai Seng Porcelain

Bring your own cai fan to work with this quaint and colourful vessel, ample enough for a portion of rice and two side dishes (or more). Known as tiffin or tingkat, these enamel containers were the lunch boxes of yore, so you can carry along both your lunch and a piece of heritage.  

Enamel tingkat,

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