One of the best alternatives to plastic usage at the moment is stainless steel. On the one hand it is derived from steel, which comes from the act of mining, which contributes significantly to climate change. On the other hand, the items manufactured from it are extremely strong, durable and long lasting.
Purchasing stainless steel alternatives can offset the carbon emissions generated from its manufacturing, simply through the long-lasting nature of the items. You would no longer need to continually purchase replacements.
Here is an overview of some of the pros and cons of stainless steel and then the top five swaps below.
Stainless Steel Pros
- Stainless steel products are long-lasting, if well cared for, they can be handed down to family or friends.
- Stainless steel is durable and robust, expensive initially but helps reduce the need for repeat purchases. Over the long term, this can in fact save you money.
- Replaces plastic products, as we all know the world needs to drastically reduce modern day plastic reliance.
- Highly recyclable, steel is purchased by scrap metal traders who on sell it back to manufactures who turn it into new things. It is a valuable metal, truly recyclable, nothing like plastic recycling. (MAYBE ADD SCRAP PRICE v PLASTIC PRICE)
Stainless Steel Cons
- All of the below are stainless steel and so have a common con; brand new steel is mined, which does have environmental impacts, please make sure that you recycle any old steel to reduce the need for mining new ore.
- Stainless steel is non-transparent, meaning you need to open the container to see its contents.
- If not cared for, stainless steel can possibly dent, but this is generally cosmetic and usually doesn’t affect functionality.
Stainless Steel Pegs
Our 2 favourites, plastic to stainless steel swaps are both laundry related! Number one is PEGS!!!
How many plastic or wooden pegs have you gone through?
Plastic pegs deteriorate, and in our experience pretty fast. They simply cannot hold up to the harsh Australian weather.
There are wooden pegs of course; in the past I have spent a lot of time trying to squeeze the two pieces back under the wire as they are constantly falling apart. Then there is also the question of where the wood is being sourced from? I certainly would not like to know that my wooden pegs were fuelling deforestation.
Pros for stainless steel pegs
- Plastic free.
- Very long-lasting, all of the below products should last much longer than their plastic counterparts.
- Tree free! Meaning it will not lead to deforestation.
- Highly recyclable.
- I BUY ONCE pegs are 316 marine grade stainless steel, they will not rust!
We have a great range available, for great prices here: I BUY ONCE Famous Stainless Steel Pegs
Stainless Steel Hanging Dryer
Oh my gosh I love this one! There is so much plastic over and above the 20 little pegs that are attached to it.
The plastic versions are constantly breaking and having pegs fall off! These stainless steel versions are such a good idea, especially for those with kids who have lots of tiny pieces of clothing to hang!
If you are one of those who does all your washing in one day a week, these will save lots of line space as they are perfect for socks and undies!
If you want to avoid the unnecessary plastic versions and have a socks and underwear hanging dryer that will last, then check out our version here: stainless steel drying rack hanger
Stainless Steel Drink Bottle
I have been carrying around the same stainless-steel drink bottle for two years and only because the one before was commandeered by my husband.
In the last six months or so we have noticed drink fountains popping up in town centres, one is even in a small country town on our 5-and-a-half-hour journey to country Victoria to visit family. It also has a dog drinking station! Why not take advantage of these drink stations, by having your very own stainless-steel drink bottle to fill up? It is a great environmentally friendly alternative but will also save you money in the long run, by stopping you from purchasing unnecessary plastic water bottles.
I really love glass drink bottles, but have even managed to smash a few whilst they were tucked away in protective sleeves. The last one smashed whilst it was inside the backpack with all the baby gear!
- Durable will not smash like glass alternatives.
- Avoid the chemicals found in plastic bottles.
- Avoid unnecessary plastic waste.
- Saves money, refill refill, refill.
- Heavier to carry than a plastic bottle.
Stainless Steel Lunch Box/Snack Boxes
These are amazing! Since having a little one we have used these nearly every day! They are excellent for storing snacks when you are out and about and on the go.
We are not fans of storing food in plastic so started using glass, but trying to lug glass containers around in a backpack or nappy bag is hard work, they are heavy! Not to mention I was worried about them clanging against each other and breaking.
These snack boxes are strong, light and durable. If you choose to use these as an alternative, then you would not be disappointed.
- Avoid chemicals in plastic.
- Heavier than plastic (but still very lightweight).
- Not see through, so you can’t see the contents at a glance.
Here is a great option, recommended by I BUY ONCE: Stainless Steel Container
Stainless Steel Dish Rack
There are so many dishrack options available these days!
We have in the past used both chrome and plastic. The Chrome one held up reasonably well it lasted about 6 years but then started to rust. The plastic one lasted a few years but discoloured and got scratched quite quickly, where it then sat for a couple of years getting worse and looking awful on the sink!
Here is a picture of My brother and sister-in-law’s dish rack…they are getting a stainless steel one for Christmas this year! Shhhhh. Don’t tell them!
My niece got one for her birthday! It replaced a wire coated one that lasted less than 12 months! I’ve given her strict instructions to take care of it and it should reward her for a lifetime!
We don’t stock one at the moment, but hope to source one with an excellent warranty in the near future. Stay tuned!
- Plastic Free
- Can be harsh on benchtop/sinks
- If not cared for or cleaned, can start to rust over time.
Although there are lots of sustainable and eco friendly alternatives on the market, we like stainless steel as an option. This is due to its strong, durable and versatile nature.
We recommend that you explore all options, to find the best alternative to suit your needs.
Remember that either way, as long as you are choosing a more Eco friendly alternative, then you are helping to make a positive impact to our world by producing less waste.