Why beeswax wraps?

Toby Toby Baughman

Last updated: May 25, 2019

“We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal.”
World Wildlife Fund International director general Jim Leape said.

hand wash

Could a product made completely from natural ingredients help to reduce the use of plastic for future generations?

A tough cookie to crack

Thinking about our planet’s future and trying to make a difference as an individual can sometimes be quite overwhelming. It feels like that there are lots of ways this can be accomplished but one ends up running into a wall.

For example simply trying to recycle plastic waste at home can be a challenging thing when you take into account the fact that there are 7 different types of plastics in New Zealand. Every different type has it’s own recycle label and variation of plastic products made from it and some have multiple types of plastics that can’t be recycled at all.

But here’s the tricky part, not every type can be put into the recycle bin, depending on what area you live in and what your local council or recyclers rule in or out. So even trying to use the existing concepts is made difficult. By all means it’s not rocket science but it could also be much easier trying to do good for our environment.

Most of the time it comes down to misinformation, being uninformed or frankly laziness.

We need to change our mindset

Are you using GladWrap, cling film, saran wrap or cling wrap on a regular basis? Don’t worry, we were once in the same boat and many people are still sailing that single-use plastic ship. It is these mentioned single-use plastics that are used in daily life for covering bowls, plates, sandwiches, fruits, etc. which need to be tackled.

One easy way to battle our plastic use and therefore reducing rubbish at home is to start using Beeswax Wraps.

The best way to describe beeswax wraps, they are the eco-glad wrap of our time. They are an alternative solution made from all natural ingredients which makes it reusable, washable and compostable.
As we all know for the most part our plastic wrap ends up in the landfill. Sadly the use of chemicals and resins that give the glad wrap it’s unique strengths can’t be removed and making it too complex plastic to recycle.

It is also possible for plastic wrap either to release unwanted hormone-disruptive phthalates when it comes into direct contact with your food or at higher temperatures releasing chemicals which can be harmful to your health.

hand wash

Are beeswax wraps safe?

For the most part beeswax wraps contain four main natural ingredients which together increase the overall effectiveness in durability, flexibility, food safety and lifespan: Cotton cloth, beeswax, oil and tree resin. The coated cloth sheet as a final product is then reusable, washable and later down the track compostable.

Beeswax as an ingredient is a natural byproduct in the honey production and is comparable with humans sweat just from the young honey bees. When stored correctly, it has an infinite shelf life and a wide range of applications. Beeswax has played a role throughout history for thousands of years used by the Egyptians, Vikings and Romans.

Beeswax also contains a natural resin harvested by the bees which acts antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial. In combination with the other natural ingredients in the wraps makes this perfect for wrapping food directly.

Next to the beeswax we are using almond oil (also commonly used is jojoba oil) which adds in additional antifungal and antibacterial properties. It also helps making the wraps more soft and moldable.

Last but not least, we add pine tree resin to the mixture. Besides helping with the stickiness of the wraps it also contributes in the abilities of being antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal.
Also worth mentioning is the lifespan of 6-12 months and even many more depending on frequency of use and how well they are taking care off.

All that glitters is not gold

Since we are using natural ingredients it also comes with some downsides which have to be mentioned. Like all good things in life it takes more effort and work to achieve them. Having to hand wash your shiny wraps or even just to brush of crumbs from your sandwiches can be a burden hard to overcome.

Further it is not recommended to cover raw meat or fish. Also avoid high temperatures as it can leave your wrap in a mess, that includes the oven, microwave or dishwasher. The same applies for covering leftover food, make sure it has cooled down enough so it doesn’t effect the wax from the wrap. In time, your wrap may show folds and stain depending on the food that you cover.

hand wash

Save the planet one wrap at a time

Overall the reason we are using any kind of wraps is to keep our food fresh and tasty. So if we can accomplish this while not contributing to our rubbish problem, especially plastic, and help to make the world healthier and better, beeswax wraps are a logical natural alternative.

So why use beeswax wraps?

  • - It’s 100% natural ingredients with no leakage of chemicals into your food
  • - It’s washable and reusable
  • - Allows food to breathe in doing so keeps food even fresher
  • - You can compost the wraps or use them as a fire kindling
  • - They are easy to use and come in marvelous designs
  • - No plastic is involved

Have you heard of?

The end of every post we want use for a shout out to other businesses and organisations which are doing their share for a zero waste lifestyle and sustainability.

The first time we came across Anthea Madill, from Remix Plastic Sustainability Education in Christchurch, we were reading a news article about an amazing recent project that is collecting bread tags to fund wheelchairs. “While recycling isn’t a long-term solution for plastic waste, it can be used to do good in the meantime.” Anthea Madill says. It’s a strong message about reducing the plastic use and also recycling the already produced products for a better world.

So if you want to get more informations about the products and workshops Remix Plastic has to offer, check out their website: www.remixplastic.com.