Popcorn: A Perfect (almost) Plastic-free Snack

We all have our own preferences when it comes to the snacks we love. Popcorn is one of my favorites, satisfying my craving for salty crunchiness. It’s also a great alternative to all the snacks available on the market. You know, all those snacks packaged in plastic – potato chips, nuts, energy bars, cookies, and cakes. Besides the issue of the plastic packaging, the nutritional value of these “foods” is also questionable. I’m not a big fan of snacks on most days, so it is easy for me to REFUSE these packaged snacks. When I do feel the need for a snack, one of the foods I reach for is popcorn.

If you bring your own bag, you can purchase popcorn completely plastic-free from the bulk bags at 1,000 Items (Alf Sunf) in Assalah Square. This past weekend, I paid LE 10 for a kilo of popcorn. Make sure you buy from the bag that says “POPCORN” because corn feed for chickens is also available.

popcorn in bulk

Bring your own bag or reuse a plastic one you already have.

To pop the popcorn on my stove, I cover the bottom of a pan with about a tablespoon of cold vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter). I then pour the kernels in, just enough to make one layer.

The oil, unfortunately, comes in a plastic bottle so when I purchase oil I always buy the largest bottle possible. (Crystal Sunflower Oil, 3 Liters) This at least reduces the amount of plastic that will need to be recycled. 


Plastic-Saving Tip: Buy the largest bottle available.

The ghee comes in a glass jar that can be reused or recycled, but it does have a small amount of plastic on the lid. I prefer the ghee not only because it’s less plastic, but it’s tastier too!


Less plastic and better tasting – ghee

I cover the pan and put in on medium heat. As the oil heats, I shake the pan gently every once in awhile to make sure all kernels are covered evenly in oil. I continue to do this as the kernels pop. Once the popping has stopped, I remove the pan from the stove and pour the popcorn into a large bowl, sprinkle some salt on top, and start munching. I don’t measure anything so if you need more precise instructions, read these.


What is your favorite snack food? Does it come packaged in plastic? Do you make it yourself? Do you have any recipes to share?

Refuse ~ Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle


5 thoughts on “Popcorn: A Perfect (almost) Plastic-free Snack

  1. Popcorn, so delicious! Haven’t had it in ages, but craving it now. At the moment, my favorite snack are carrots and fruits! Here in China, there are so many fruits we don’t have in the Netherlands. And while the seasons change, we often meet new kinds of fruit on the market. During summer, my favorite was durian, but recently I fell in love with persimmon. So sweet! In a few days we will relocate to a tropical region… which means new fresh fruit to discover!

    PS: Have you managed to find plastic-free salt?

    • Oh, yes, veggies and fruits make excellent plastic-free snacks! I bought three beautiful pomegranates yesterday. Yum! It’s always interesting to eat the different fruits available when you travel. I really liked durian when I tried them in Malaysia. I wonder what new fruits you’ll discover!

      The salt – I forgot completely about the salt for this popcorn “recipe”! Oops. Since we last ran out of salt bought from the supermarket, we have been using salt that was collected from the mountains in Sinai by a Bedouin friend. He gave us several chunks and I grind them in the processor and store in a glass jar. I love this, knowing I am using such local salt! But unfortunately, still no source of plastic-free salt on the market. How is salt sold in China?

      • Wow! So happy to read you found local, zero-waste salt! We just went to the supermarket. Ended up with salt in plastic packaging. It’s hard to find it plastic-free here. Imported salt is sometimes sold in cardboard boxes, but we just landed in a new city, so not sure where to get it here (and would prefer not to import from far away something simple like salt).

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