Road Trip! How to Keep Food Fresh and Reduce Packaging Waste


You’re on the road, windows rolled down, music set to eleven, landscape whizzing by. You reach for your sandwich—and it’s all soggy.

Eating on a road trip can be tricky. Done right: healthful, fresh snacks. Done wrong: your dubious bread/meat/cheese combo.

We vote for healthful and fresh, while reducing packaging waste.

  • Minimalist Pouches: A lot of today’s foods come in flexible, lightweight plastic pouches, so it’s easy to toss them in a purse, picnic basket, or backpack—while using minimal packaging. Healthful snacks in protective re-sealable pouches (nuts, trail mix, dried fruit) let you eat just what you need and then seal and save the rest for family packing car for road triplater, instead of tossing out questionable food. Or worse… eating it.
  • Airtight Storage: Oxygen is great and all, but it can spoil your road food. Airtight plastic zipper bags help keep your food fresh: fruits, veggies, snacks, (un-soggy) sandwiches. Just squeeze out the air and zip them up to help reduce food waste. Airtight plastic containers do the same thing for prepared food (remember: keep it cold!), plus they’re light and easy to carry—without having to worry about them shattering.
  • Lighter Loads: Weight matters. Plastics are strong yet light, so plastic bottles, bags, cups, and plates usually use less material than alternatives—this can help reduce packaging waste. Insulating foam plastic coolers also are lightweight and can keep food fresh during long drives. Some keep ice frozen for days… and some are even made with recycled plastics.
  • Road Trip Recycling: Keep two plastic bags in the car—one for trash and one for recyclables. Most communities recycle everyday plastic packaging: bottles, jugs, tubs, containers, and more. Plus, more than 20,000 retail stores across the country collect plastic grocery bags for recycling—plus the bags and wraps from bread, buns, bottled water cases, napkins, and other products. You can help them live again and keep valuable materials out of landfills.

scenic view in car mirror

So… you can protect your healthful food and the environment on the road.

Now turn the music down to nine.

Visit to find out what’s collected for recycling wherever you find yourself.