Cutting Costs in the Kitchen: Affordable Alternatives for Lining Your Food Caddy

October 13, 2023

What can I line my food caddy with?

Getting Started

Proper waste management is critical to maintaining a clean and sustainable environment. One aspect of waste management is the use of food caddies, which are containers specifically designed to collect food scraps and organic waste. While using a food caddy is an excellent step toward reducing landfill waste and promoting composting, many people wonder what they can use to line their food caddies. In this article, we will explore several options for lining your food caddy, taking into consideration both environmental sustainability and practicality.

1. Compostable liners

Compostable liners are an ideal choice for lining your food caddy. These liners are made from plant-based materials, such as cornstarch or vegetable oils, which break down into natural components when exposed to composting conditions. Compostable liners provide a convenient and hygienic way to collect food waste, as they can be easily tied and disposed of with the organic waste they contain. In addition, compostable liners help maintain the cleanliness of your food caddy and prevent odors.

When choosing compostable liners, it is important to look for certifications such as the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certification or the European Standard EN 13432 certification. These certifications ensure that the liners meet specific standards for compostability. In addition, be sure to choose liners that are suitable for your local composting facility, as some facilities may have specific requirements.

2. Newspaper

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly and readily available option, newspaper can be a suitable alternative for lining your food caddy. Newspaper is great for absorbing moisture and preventing food residue from sticking to the container. To use newspaper as a liner, simply fold a few sheets and place them in the bottom of your food caddy before adding your food waste. When it’s time to empty the caddy, the newspaper can be added to your compost pile or green waste bin.

It’s important to note that colored or glossy pages should be avoided, as they may contain chemicals or inks that are not compostable. Stick to plain black and white newsprint for best results. Also, make sure the newspaper sheets adequately cover the bottom and sides of the caddy to prevent leaks and maintain cleanliness.

3. Brown paper bags

Another environmentally friendly option for lining your food caddy is to use brown paper bags. These bags are usually made from recycled materials and can be easily composted along with your food waste. Brown paper bags are absorbent, which helps control moisture and odors in the caddy. They are also a convenient way to transport your food scraps from the kitchen to the composting area.

To line your food waste bin with a brown paper bag, simply unfold the bag and place it inside the bin, making sure the sides and bottom are completely covered. As you add food waste, the bag will help contain any liquids and prevent the caddy from becoming soiled. When the caddy is full, remove the bag and add it to your compost pile or green waste bin.

4. Baking Paper

Baking paper, also known as parchment paper, is a versatile option for lining your food caddy. It is typically made from unbleached paper coated with a thin layer of silicone, which gives it non-stick properties. While baking paper is primarily used in the kitchen for baking purposes, it can also serve as an effective lining for your food caddy.

To line your food caddy with baking paper, simply cut a piece to fit the bottom and sides of the container. The paper’s non-stick coating helps prevent food from sticking to the caddy, making it easier to clean. Because baking paper is generally heat resistant, it can handle the moisture and organic matter found in food waste without degrading too quickly. After emptying the caddy, dispose of the used baking paper in your compost pile or green waste bin.

5. No liner

While using liners in your food caddy can provide convenience and help with cleanliness, it’s worth noting that you can also choose to skip the lining altogether. With regular cleaning and maintenance, your food caddy can remain odor-free and hygienic without a liner. Simply rinse the caddy after each use and clean it thoroughly as needed.

By not using a liner, you eliminate the need to dispose of additional materials and further reduce waste. However, it’s important to make sure your food caddy is made of a material that’s easy to clean and won’t retain odors. Stainless steel or plastic caddies with removable and washable components are good options if you choose to go linerless.

Bottom line

Choosing the right lining for your food caddy is essential to maintaining cleanliness, preventing odors and supporting sustainable waste management practices in your home. Compostable liners, such as those made from plant-based materials, offer a convenient and environmentally friendly option. Newspaper can be an inexpensive alternative that absorbs moisture and prevents food from sticking. Brown paper bags made from recycled materials are absorbent and easy to compost. Baking paper, with its non-stick properties, can serve as a versatile liner. Finally, it’s possible to forgo a liner altogether and rely on regular cleaning and maintenance of the food caddy. Whichever option you choose, remember to consider your local facility’s composting requirements and prioritize sustainable practices for a greener future.


What can I line my food caddy with?

You can line your food caddy with various materials that help contain food waste and prevent odors. Here are some options:

Can I use newspapers to line my food caddy?

Yes, you can use newspapers to line your food caddy. Simply crumple up several sheets of newspaper and place them at the bottom of the caddy to absorb moisture and prevent leakage.

Are compostable liners a good option for lining my food caddy?

Compostable liners are a popular choice for lining food caddies. They are made from plant-based materials and can be composted along with the food waste. However, it’s essential to check if the liners are accepted by your local composting facility.

Can I use plastic bags to line my food caddy?

Using plastic bags to line your food caddy is generally not recommended. Plastic bags can take a long time to break down in the environment and may interfere with the composting process. It’s better to opt for compostable or biodegradable alternatives.

What other alternatives can I use to line my food caddy?

There are several alternatives to consider when lining your food caddy. Some options include compostable paper bags, certified compostable liners made from materials like cornstarch, or even no liner at all, depending on the design of your caddy and local regulations.

How often should I change the liner in my food caddy?

The frequency of changing the liner in your food caddy depends on various factors, such as the amount of food waste generated and the ambient temperature. It’s generally a good practice to change the liner regularly, at least once a week or whenever it becomes full or starts to emit unpleasant odors.