Simple but clever - The Wrapper "green" reusable eco-friendly sandwich packaging.#review

Every morning I make packed lunches for my children. I hate it. This is the one job I most look forward to abandoning when my last little bird flies the nest or manages to make a lunch which doesn't just consist of a banana.

 I have a cupboard full of old takeaway tubs and other plasticky boxes whose lids shrink mysteriously overnight so nothing ever matches up. Nothing stacks so I frequently end of being caught in an avalanche of boxes which I juggle unsuccessfully as they cascade down from the shelf.

plastic tubs in cupboard

I have a selection of smaller containers to house mini-things-same matching lid problem - so frequently resort to bundling food into expensive and not at all eco-friendly plastic food bags or clingy-film -which of course never cuts properly with the stupid toothed strip designed to rip flesh but not film.

The alternative is foil which ends up making giant parcels out of tiny sarnies with the added risk of shreds of foil in the teeth (argh!) and despite my vow to rinse and recycle it generally gets dumped into a bin at school leaving me feeling guilty.

Of course with my older children they just want to stuff food into their blazer pockets and eat on the hoof. They refuse to use any form of tub or box so, back to the flesh-eating film dispenser or planet-killing foil and bags. Sigh.

And then - I had an email.

The email contained details of one of those mind-blowingly simple product ideas that the second you see them you simultaneously think "genius!" and "crap, I wish I'd thought of that."

The product is the Wrapper.

The concept is very simple. Rather than using plastic bags, cling film or tinfoil to wrap up your sandwiches, you use a Wrapper. You just place the food in the centre and fold over and seal with the velcro strap. 
eco-friendly food wrapper the wrapper

To clean, just wipe the plastic covered inside with a cloth, and if the outside gets a spill or grubby you can just give it a rinse in the sink like a rag. It can go in the washing machine at 30 degrees - you just have to make sure the velcro is strapped over to avoid catching on the inevitable sock!

You can use the Wrapper over and over again!

As a "green" waste reducing product, the inventor, Shona Forbes was very keen to keep them made in Scotland rather than go overseas. She told me she really struggled to get either any manufacturer to get back to her, or to get a reasonable price… she contacted Kilmarnock High Security Men’s Prison. The inmates now do the sewing. They learn a skill, gain a qualification and so hopefully have a better chance of getting a job when they are released.

It really is a win/win situation as they are made 20 minutes away from her home so Shona can chop and change the colours.

The Wrappers are great for school Eco Committees or Enterprise Clubs to sell on as a fund raiser for the school; one of the Eco Schools Green Flag award criteria is to have a rubbish free lunch hall - so the Wrappers tick that box! 

They're of course great for sandwiches, rolls, and toddler finger food platters, but Shona said her ones have been well used as rain hats, waterproof seats for Scottish picnics, and her kids have also used them for sledging. Don't try this at home!
teenager with thewrapper eco- reusable food packaging

My 15-year-old daughter was delighted to be able to try a Wrapper out - she loved the design (there are lots of designs for all ages, genders and taste to choose from on the website) and how easy it was to wrap up her lunch then cram it in her pocket.

the wrapper designs eco reusable sandwich wrapper
My daughter especially liked using the Wrapper as a table mat for her lunch- I think this might appeal to adults taking lunch to work too. No crumbs on the desk/in the keyboard. No worrying about grubby park benches. They'd be great for picnics on the grass too - no plates required as the Wrapper has plenty of room to hold sausage rolls, fruit, cucumber sticks etc.

When she got home I simply dusted off the crumbs, wiped it with a light spray of anti-bac spray and hung it to dry for a couple of minutes.

My younger daughter was really keen to try it too - it's handy that the Wrapper has a label to write the owners name on since I think these will really take off and you might find there are a few in the school dining hall. At the moment she's the only one with one at her school and it was quite the talk of the school at lunchtime!

The Wrapper costs £6.99 with free delivery to UK addresses. Shona will also post them abroad - check out the website for postage costs or call 07801 566267. You can also find the Wrapper on Facebook and Twitter at @the_wrapper_

The LDPE plastic lining conforms with EU regulations and the simple and effective reusability of it must surely appeal to those with eco-concerns. I love that buying them also helps towards the rehabilitation of prisoners. It makes the terrible chore of making and wrapping lunch a little brighter as I get a warm fuzzy feeling about using the Wrapper.

Disclaimer: I received one free Wrapper for the purposes of this review. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.

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