Frankly, it is hard to find alternatives to the big plastic storage bins that are as cheap, long lasting, durable and convenient. But given that these containers emit the plastic smell for months, using alternative storage containers is well worth it.
If you are hesitant to give up all your large plastic storage bins, one rule to follow for a healthier home is to only use these in the basement, garage and other areas, where most people do not spend a lot of time.
For your living quarters, cardboard boxes, wood crates, chests, old suitcases and/or metal storage boxes are good alternatives. A good place to find these types of storage containers are yard sales, the Container Store and online.
Searching online I found some unexpected plastic-free container bins, including “Newsprint Bins” made from old newsprint that has been woven. The Container Store also has fabric bins, eco-fabric open bins, and bamboo bins!
I also found metal bins and wire mesh bins at mass merchandisers such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, canvas storage bags, and wooden crates.