7 ways to store meat in the freezer without using single-use plastic and clingfilm

7 ways to store meat in the freezer without single use plastic

I had an email from Tim who wants help storing chicken in the freezer without using clingfilm.

He wrote “Please can you provide an alternative to using cling film when wrapping chicken breasts/thighs for the freezer. I’ve tried tubs, but they take up way too much space in my freezer.”

In this article I shared ways to reduce reliance on clingfilm but I didn’t cover frozen foods. I put Tim’s question out to my wonderful Facebook group, and here’s some of the ideas we discussed:

Reuse what you have

Unless you’re living completely zero waste, you’ll most likely end up with some plastic bags in your home. Using them to freeze things in, means you can reuse them and increase their lifespan before finally recycling them. Bread bags, cereal bags, frozen fruit and vegetable bags are ideal for reuse. Cereal packets freeze really well and are robust enough to wash at least once.

Cheese bags

Have you ever bought a large block of cheese in a resealable bag? These are the perfect size for an individual piece of chicken.

Reusable silicon zip lock bags

You can purchase reusable silicon zip lock bags which can go in the dishwasher. Since they are dishwasher safe, they can withstand the heat needed to kill germs associated with raw meat.

Greaseproof paper

Before the days of plastic, we used greaseproof paper or parchment paper to wrap meat in. Take a tip from Grandma’s book and use greaseproof paper which you can compost or burn after use. Make sure the meat is wrapped completely airtight to avoid freezer burn.

Freeze separately

As Tim mentioned, one piece of chicken in a container takes up far too much space, but if you freeze the chicken pieces separately on a tray, you can then put them all together in a tub. They don’t stick once they’re already frozen so you’ll get more use out of the space the tub takes up.

Separate the pieces

If you don’t have time to freeze on trays, you can cut strips from cereal bags to use between the chicken joints before storing them in old tubs. This prevents them sticking together and helps save space.

Cellulose bags

You can buy proper cellulose bags. Proper cellulose, unlike man made plastic, is fully biodegradable and can be put onto a compost heap once you’ve finished using it.

What about you – how do you freeze individual pieces of meat in the freezer without using single-use plastics?

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Rachelle Strauss


  1. Darlynn on November 3, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Would the chicken dry out by freezing them on a tray before putting them in a reusable container?

    • Rachelle Strauss on November 4, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      I imagine not, as you’d only have it open until it was almost frozen, so less than a day?

    • Sebastian on January 9, 2021 at 1:02 am

      Freezer burn occurs when food is repeatedly exposed to temperature changes. That’s why older food will often get freezer burn: it’s been in there long enough for people to repeatedly open and close the freezer, thawing the water slightly and then freezing it again over and over. One trip in the freezer before packing it into containers won’t do any harm.

      • Rachelle Strauss on January 10, 2021 at 1:27 pm

        That’s a really helpful explanation. Thanks Sebastian 🙂

  2. Ellie on May 7, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    I wrapped mine in grease proof paper and then put them in a supposedly air tight box but the chicken breasts still stuck together.

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