As more and more parents try to pack their kids healthier school lunches and school systems have grappled with providing healthier options, eco-friendly lunch boxes and packaging are becoming more common in schools too. Whether it’s a metal lunch box or an insulated carrier, students seem to be ditching the days of plastic and paper bags in favor of Tupperware, stainless steel and other reusable options.
A variety of companies make eco-friendly options using different materials, different sizes and different colors. EcoLunchbox makes stainless steel bento lunch boxes with a variety of compartment-size options. Laptop Lunches makes a variety of bento products, insulated lunch totes and sleeves as well as additional bento boxes. They come in kid-appealing designs with a variety of color schemes and patterns. Laptop also makes many biodegradable non-toxic bento ice packs to choose from.
A lot of products are made BPA- and PVC free, widely acknowledged as a harmful chemical and plastic, respectively. Laptop products are BPA- and PVC-free, as is the Oots! lunchbox, which features upright containers inside a larger container held together with an elastic strap. Stainless steel water bottles provide long-lasting and safe alternative to plastic bottles.
If bento boxes aren’t to a student’s liking, options include Dabbawalla’s machine washable lunch bags, and Lunchskins makes leak-proof sandwich- and snack-sized bags out of cotton coated with a food-safe polyurethane liner.
New this year: Pottery Barn Kids has a Heroes & Villains collection that includes lunch bags, thermoses and more.