Keeping breast milk fresh is one of the most important tasks a new mom takes on. Most pumping moms will use a combination of storage bags, bottles and ice cube trays to ensure they have enough to last through breastfeeding. While most conventional plastic milk storage bags are designed to be used once and discarded, there are alternatives that can help reduce waste and the amount of time it takes to sterilize and prep breast milk containers. Reusable milk storage bags are made from materials like glass or BPA-free plastic and can be used multiple times without contributing to landfill waste, making them the eco-friendly choice.
Whether you’re pumping at home or on the go, these eco-friendly breast milk storage bags are safe to freeze and can be used with most breast pumps. They’re also easy to clean and have convenient features, such as a pour spout and an easy-to-close zipper that prevents leaks. Many come pre-sterilized, which can be a big time saver for new pumping moms.
Reusable milk storage bags are usually free of harmful chemicals like BPA, PVC and phthalates, which can leach into the milk and harm your baby. They’re also often less expensive than disposable options and can be used long after you’ve finished breastfeeding.
Some reusable milk storage bags are even made with recycled plastics, which is a great way to reduce your waste footprint. However, while they’re better for the environment than regular plastics, these types of recycled plastics still use a lot of energy to make. Depending on how they’re recycled, some may not be able to be used for food or drink containers again, which can make them a less sustainable option than reusable silicone or glass milk storage bags.
Unlike single-use milk storage bags, most reusable options are made from silicone, which is BPA-free and heat-resistant. Silicone is a natural element found in the earth and requires significantly less energy to produce than other plastics. It’s also freezer and microwave safe, so it’s easy to quickly thaw and reheat breast milk for feedings.
Some reusable breast milk storage bags are even made from plant-based materials such as corn starch. While this is great for the environment, it’s important to remember that these types of bioplastics aren’t compostable and can contaminate your garden or soil when you’re ready to grow your own veggies.
Other alternative breast milk storage bags are hard-sided containers made from glass or BPA-free plastic. These are more sturdy than the soft-sided, flexible resealable plastic bags and can be used to store other foods or liquids, as well. Some even have a built-in ice cube tray! They’re also easier to sterilize than a traditional milk bottle and can be used over and over again. As a bonus, most of these options are dishwasher safe.