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We are a family of pack lunchers, I make four sets of sandwiches in the morning to be taken of to school and work. For as long as I remember I had been using cling film to wrap up our sarnies but I found if we had a 'juicy' filling like tuna and mayonnaise or coronation chicken it would sometimes splurge out of the sides so when you unwrapped the sandwich it would be all messy. It wasn't a major problem for me and I wasn't actively looking for a solution but when I came across these paper bags in Lakeland I thought they might just do the trick.
The bags instantly reminded me of my school days when on school trips or sports day we would be given a sandwich in a bag just like this, it was always corn beef ! Slightly off topic but I can't remember anyone having a packed lunch when I was at school, my little son who has school dinners is only one of four out of his class of 30. Anyway back to the bags they are a light brown in colour and are made from 100% unbleached, chlorine-free greaseproof paper.
They measure about 6" by 8" which is perfect for one sandwich but too small for two so hungry husband has to have two bags. They are also great for things like sausage rolls or pasties as they are greaseproof and very absorbent. I also use them for bringing a slice of pizza to work, they are brilliant for this as I can microwave it in the bag and so it saves loads of mess and no washing up.
The bags do not come with ties or anything but the paper is fairly rigid and so will stay closed when folded or rolled.
I think my sandwiches taste fresher in these than when using cling film, the bread is still springy and not at all dry.
The bags are really strong and survive being just chucked in a teenagers school bag (it's apparently not cool to have a lunch box !) They do not tear easily and can withstand a good bit of rough and tumble which is perfect for my family.
The bags are made by a company devoted to saving the planet, the range is called 'if you care' and every product in the range is made from either recycled or recyclable, or renewable, sustainable resources, there were things like grease proof paper, cup cake cases and foil. I must admit that this wasn't my motive for buying these bags, I just didn't want soggy sandwiches but as an additional bonus I am very happy that my family and I are reducing our carbon footprint even just a tiny bit.
The bags come in a box of 48 and costs £3.59, this is a quite a bit more than I was spending on cling film as I use about one and a half boxes a month. However I think they are worth this extra money, they keep the sandwiches fresh and contained no more soggy splurges, they are tough and easy to use and as a bonus they are good for the environment.
You can buy these from Lakeland stores or on their website.
A great little bag for cakes, sandwiches, pizza and pasties. I wish they would come in a bigger size though.
If You Care Paper Snack And Sandwich Bags
Regular readers of my reviews will know that I spend a lot of time travelling, and when away from home I try whenever possible to eat healthy meals. This sometimes involves preparing sandwiches from home, as not only is it less expensive than buying them, it also allows me to choose my favourite breads and fillings. This also ensures that after several hours of driving I will actually enjoy my lunch. Being vegetarian I often find choosing sandwiches difficult as there is limited choice in many outlets, and you can find yourself at the mercy of egg and cress almost every time! I am not overly keen on plastic bags as a medium to transport my lunch, and containers are useful but require washing up, so I was delighted to find an alternative that almost makes my lunch feel as though I have just purchased it from a deli! "If You Care Paper Snack and Sandwich Bags" are an ethical alternative to plastic, and they can be purchased from Lakeland stores or if you have a delivery from the organic company Abel and Cole you can purchase from them. I paid £3.36 for 48 making them about 7p each. Some retailers sell these through Amazon Marketplace, but the postage charges make them slightly more expensive.
I love these bags for two reasons. Firstly the way they make me feel about my lunch that was prepared many hours earlier, and secondly because they are ethical. I will come onto the latter in more detail in a moment, but first I will explain what it is about these that really make lunch appetising.
They are made from unbleached pulp harvested from spruce trees in Scandinavia and are actually produced in Sweden. They are a generous size measuring just over 8 by 6" which is more than adequate to fit in two slices from a large 800g loaf. They are greaseproof so have a lovely wax paper bag feel to them, even though they are not waxed, and they remind me so much of the type of bag used in many delicatessens. It brings back fond memories of feeding ducks with crusts of bread with my late grandmother when I was a child, as she often had similar bags in texture and feel to these many years ago in her pantry.
I love the way that the sandwiches remain so fresh and appetising in these bags and do not sweat as they can sometimes do when preserved within plastic layers. If I am going on a long journey I will place the bags within a container in the car, but if I am going out more locally I might secure the bag with a little tape, and take it as it is in my bag. None of the filling penetrates the bag to soil anything that lies around it, which I value really highly, and this seems to be true even if the fillings are of a more moist nature such as peanut butter.
I think these bags ensure freshness, and to illustrate this I used them on a recent long journey back from Scotland to Essex. I actually made sandwiches the night before I was due to drive home and left them in the fridge. I then placed the bags within an outer box inside a cool bag and they remained beautifully fresh until I ate them at lunchtime. If I do the same with plastic they don't keep so well and I prefer to purchase on the journey itself. If You Care actually claim that these bags keep bread soft for 6 hours, but I think that this is an understatement as I have found the product ensures that the bread is softer for much longer periods of time.
Environmental considerations are always in the forefront of my mind when making purchasing decisions, and these score highly in a positive way in this respect. The pulp is taken from sustainable forests and they are not treated with paraffin wax. Additionally they are not chlorine treated either, which is important as this chemical is adversely affecting the wildlife in our waterways. Some greaseproof paper is actually dyed brown using chemicals but this is in its natural state. In addition the box which contains the product is fully recyclable which is important.
I have found many uses for these bags not only for sandwiches but also for cakes, biscuits and nuts and anything that you want to take out from home. They are so useful and provide the perfect medium for all sorts of foodstuffs for meals and snacks.
Looking at the website over at www.ifyoucare.com it seems that they make more more products including foil and bake ware so I will be using many of these in the near future and will present my findings on Dooyoo over the coming weeks. Also on the website are many other household items all produced ethically with care for the environment.
These bags have really changed my view on the whole subject of lunch on journeys. I actually look forward to what I have prepared, and haven't been faced with a vast array of overpriced sandwiches with limited vegetarian choices for some time.
We use them all the time now in our house, my husband takes them to work each morning and he places them inside his briefcase and never complains of any problems at all. We also take them out with us when we go on picnics at the weekend and have really enjoyed all our lunches - the bread has remained soft and the filling in place.
I can highly recommend these bags which are becoming more available in The UK.
Also published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.