Plastic Wrap

Friday, 15 April 2005 | Tags:

A convenient way to protect and keep food fresh, plastic wraps have been doing their job since the 1950s. All brands use essentially the same material, so does one do a better job than the others?

The Basics

  • Please note: Since we tested plastic wrap on The Shopping Bags a number of years ago, many new developments have arisen with respect to health and chemicals. If you’re using plastic wrap in the microwave or in hot situations, be sure the wrap is deemed safe for use. If you’re not sure, opt for paper towel in the microwave, or use glass or other non-reactive material (e.g. stainless steel, but not in the microwave).

  • Plastic wrap is either polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) or polyethylene. The difference between brands is essentially the packaging and dispensing methods.

  • Plastic wrap adheres better to ceramics and glass than to stainless steel and plastic. It also works better when the surface of your container is completely dry.

  • ”Griptex” (e.g. Glad Press’n Seal) is a somewhat revolutionary form of plastic wrap that actually seals to a variety of surfaces like glass, plastic and paper. It costs more but leak-proof may be worth it to you.

Other Considerations

  • If you’re using it in the microwave, make sure the box says microwave-safe and that the wrap doesn’t actually touch the food you’re microwaving. Also leave a vent for steam to escape.


We tested these four different brands of plastic wrap in everyday household situations:

  • Glad Cling Wrap: $1.99 / 30 meters
  • Grocery Store Brand: $2.09 / 30 meters
  • Saran Premium: $4.50 / 30 meters
  • Glad Press’n Seal: $4.50 / 23 meters

Picnic Test

We packed up a picnic using our different wraps to see which one traveled the best.

  • The Glad Press’n Seal and the regular Glad Cling Wrap didn’t release a drop.

  • Things got a little leaky with the grocery store brand and the Saran.

Regular Use Test

  • The Press’n Seal clung well due to tiny little divots that give it a very high surface area allowing it to adhere much better than conventional plastic wraps. However, it was the most expensive of our test products.

  • The Glad Cling Wrap worked nearly as well as the Press’n Seal.

  • As in the picnic test, the Saran Wrap and the grocery store brand didn’t work as well as the Glad products.


Glad’s Press’n Seal worked the best, but the price kept us sticking to regular Glad Cling Wrap for most common household uses.



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