Cling film, a/k/a plastic wrap, is essentially non-recyclable.* But it's super-useful stuff, and I've been seeking an alternative.
These odd-looking platinum-cured silicone** Reusable Flexible Lids, by Spanish kitchenware manufacturer Lékué, may fit the bill. The odd-looking objects are kind of shaped like flexible yo-yos and come in different diameters.
The diameters do not need to correspond precisely with the diameter of the vessel or fruit-half—they just need to be close. For example:
- The 11 cm unit will cover from 11 cm up to 14 cm (4.3" to 5.5").
- The 15 cm can cover 15 cm up to 18 cm (5.9" to 7").
- The 20 cm can cover 20 cm up to 24 cm (7.9" to 9.4").
So the way they work is, you stretch the bottom half of the yo-yo over the top of the vessel, then stretch the top half over the bottom half. This adds enough compression, the manufacturer says, to get an airtight seal.
Here's what the process looks like:
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They offer additional sizes as well, you can peruse them all here.
*Long story short: Manufacturers will say their cling film is recyclable, because it's polyethylene, or PE. However, it's technically cross-linked polyethylene, or XPE. Call your local recycling facility, talk to someone who actually knows the machines, and they'll probably tell you that their PE recycling lines can't handle XPE. You can read Year of No Garbage author Eve Schaub's struggles to find out why here.
**You can learn more about platinum-cured silicone and its applications here.
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Good product, but another thing I was wondering, apart from the other two, was its odour resistance. Usually, it's tough to get rid of odours from some strong-flavoured or spoiled food. How do they deal with that?
I've run the numbers on the eco-footprint of plastic wrap vs a glass lid. Surprisingly, plastic wrap is the better green choice. Glass ovens are HOT, so the embedded energy is high, but more importantly, you have to wash the glass lids and this uses hot water (and water). Depending on how you wash (sink vs dishwasher, running the tap while rinsing or using a tub), plastic wrap has 3-8 times lower footprint. In countries where they collect trash and combust for energy recovery, plastic wrap returns much of its petroleum footprint, so it does even better. I would expect silicone lids suffer from high washing energy costs as well.
We have been using something similar for a year or so and have been so happy to not use cling wrap!