Reusable food containers in Singapore


Bringing your own lunch box to dabao food has become all the rage, which is a heartening sign that Singaporeans are becoming more eco-friendly. Making the switch from disposable containers can take some getting used to, but it’s a small change of habit which leads to reduced waste generation and a lower carbon footprint. 

With self-heating, space-saving and even phone-holding capabilities, these 8 reusable food containers in Singapore under $12 pack more function than simply storing your meals. Considering most F&B businesses charge $0.20 to $0.50 per takeaway container, you’ll be saving not just the earth, but plenty of cash too.


1. Multi-purpose container that transforms into a mug, bowl and dish set


Reusable Food Containers - Multi-Purpose Set
Image credit: Ezbuy

Laying your meal out in proper crockery provides a more enjoyable dining experience than just shovelling out of an all-in-one mish-mash. Rather than packing separate tableware, this multi-purpose container ($5) essentially unpacks to form a mug, bowl and dish set.

An ingenious way of making full use of its materials without creating extra clutter, the plate is stowed away as an additional layer for sides, while the bowl acts as an overall lid which snaps on securely and keeps everything intact.

Microwave safe: No
Price: $5

Get the Multi-Purpose Container on Ezbuy


2. Collapsible silicone container for space-saving storage


Reusable Food Containers - Collapsible Silicone Lunchbox
Image credit: Shopee

A huge deterrent to bringing along your own food container is the amount of bulk it involves. It’s always easier to travel light, and nobody wants to lug around a big and heavy lunch box. 

Made with flexible yet sturdy material, these collapsible silicone containers ($4.10) can be squashed into flat and compact pieces when not in use. They’re able to store food to a significant capacity once popped into place, and are available in 4 different sizes to suit your needs.

Microwave safe: Yes
Price: From $4.10

Get the Collapsible Silicone Containers on Shopee


3. Electric self-heating container with customisable layers


Reusable Food Containers - Electric Self-Heating Lunchbox
Also available in baby pink and royal purple shades
Image credit: Ezbuy

Nothing hits the spot like the first bite of a warm meal. You can savour piping hot food even if it’s been sitting out for hours, by plugging an electric self-heating container ($11.80) into the nearest power outlet.

Customisable from 1 to 3 separate layers, the heating base comprises a water bath which gently warms your food without torching any areas to a burnt crisp.

Microwave safe: No
Price: From $11.80

Get the Electric Self-Heating Container on Ezbuy


4. 3-piece slot-out lunch box that stacks vertically to save space


Reusable Food Containers - Slot-Out Set
Image credit: Taobao

Featuring a chic and unique structure that’s guaranteed to start conversations at the lunch table, this 3-piece slot-out set ($7.50) enables you to pack different components while saving precious space in your bag. 

Each food tray can be stacked and connected securely to be slid into a sleek carry case. The external shells come in orange, blue, pink or black, and can almost be considered a fashion accessory in itself. 

Microwave safe: Yes (individual food trays)
Price: $7.50

Get the 3-Piece Slot-Out Set on Taobao


5. Stackable modern tingkat to dabao for yourself or the entire family


Reusable Food Containers - Stackable Modern Tingkat
Image credit: Taobao

Tingkats are a staple of local nostalgia, and this modern tingkat set ($2.40-$5.70) is a must-have for all eco-friendly households. Besides looking adorable in pastel pink, green or blue shades, it’s fully customisable and can be used as a single-layer, all the way to a tower of 4.

This means you can adjust it in a jiffy according to how much you’ll be dabao-ing, instead of having to buy multiple different containers to suit you and your family’s takeaway needs.

Microwave safe: No
Price: $2.40-$5.70

Get the Modern Tingkat Set on Taobao


6. Bento box with built-in phone holder and utensils compartment


Reusable Food Containers - Bento Box Built-In Phone Holder
Image credit: Taobao

A bento box is ideal for those who are particular about keeping dishes separate. Especially if certain components of your meal are saucy while others need to stay dry, the allocated sections also prevent flavours from mixing unnecessarily.

Although it’s super affordable at under 5 bucks, this bento container ($4.55) also comes along with a spoon and chopsticks set which you can neatly tuck away in the lid. When flipped open, the latch also doubles up as a handy phone stand so you can accompany your meal with some shows.

Microwave safe: Yes (remove lid before microwaving)
Price: $4.55

Get the Bento Container on Taobao


7. Mini soup pot with separate layer to prevent soggy toppings


Reusable Food Containers - Mini Soup Pot Separate Compartment
Image adapted from: Taobao

Restaurants nowadays have innovative takeaway containers which separate solids and liquids. In the same vein, your reusable food container should have dividers to prevent pasta, ramen and other soupy delights from getting soggy and bloated during storage.

This insulated mini pot carrier ($9.60) stores your liquids securely while keeping dry toppings tucked away. Come meal time, simply dump the dish’s components into the pot, give it a good mix and get slurpin.

Microwave safe: No
Price: $9.60

Get the Insulated Mini Pot Carrier on Taobao


8. Bento container with spill-proof soup and sauce compartment


Reusable Food Containers - Spill-Proof Bento Box Soup Compartment
Image credit: Taobao

Storing and transporting liquids can be quite the balancing act if you don’t have a proper, air-tight  container. This spill-proof bento box ($6.70) not only divides your meal components, it comes with a soup and sauce section complete with a secure lid.

The small bowl is also completely removable from the tray, so you can sip hearty broths directly instead of one spoonful at a time.

Microwave safe: No
Price: $6.70

Get the Spill-Proof Bento Box on Taobao


Use reusable food containers to reduce disposables


Styrofoam Takeaway Boxes
Image credit: Just Another Natural Nut

Most of us don’t give much thought to dabao-ing food in plastic, paper or Styrofoam containers. Into the bin they go once we finish our meal, but it all adds up over time. According to the National Environment Agency, a staggering 200,000 tonnes of domestic waste disposed of in 2019 comprised of disposables – translating to roughly 6 kilograms of waste every second.

It is estimated that the Semakau Landfill will run out of space by 2035, if we continue down the trajectory of our current waste disposal rate. All hope is not lost, however, and it’s up to each of us to play our part in reducing wastage. Besides making use of the reusable food containers listed above, there are a myriad of ways to cut down on the usage of disposables.

Reusable Shopping Bag - Grocery Shopping at Supermarket

Bring your own reusable bags when shopping, invest in a bottle for your takeaway beverages, and even get a tumbler to accompany your morning coffee runs! Using 1 reusable bag over a year could replace the use of up to 125 single-use bags, while using 1 reusable container over a year could replace the use of 730 pieces of single-use containers. 

For even more fun facts and practical ways in which you can contribute to Singapore’s Towards Zero Waste movement, take part in Youth for the Environment Day 2020, a platform for the new generation to champion environmental initiatives for Singapore, and the world.

Find out more about Youth for the Environment Day 2020 here


This post is part of an initiative to raise awareness on reducing waste and adopting a zero-waste lifestyle.
Cover image adapted from (L-R): Taobao, Taobao & Shopee