Beeswax wraps are certainly growing in popularity as an eco-friendly food wrap alternative.
Many people, like you and I, are becoming more conscious of our daily plastic use. This is why we see more and more single-use plastic alternatives launched every year.
Out of the many different green packaging alternatives available on the market, beeswax wraps stand out as one of the most promising new alternatives to the likes of plastic cling film and aluminium foil.
But how are these biodegradable beeswax wraps made and how do they compare to traditional cling film when it comes to durability and versatility?
Here’s all you need to know about beeswax wraps UK, so you can add a green essential to your kitchen with full confidence!
How are beeswax wraps made?
Let’s start from the very beginning – how are beeswax wraps made, exactly?
Contrary to popular belief, beeswax is not the main ingredient used to craft these convenient wraps. Who’d have thought it?
Beeswax wraps in the UK and worldwide are made by infusing fabric (most commonly organic cotton) with a mix of pine resin, plant oil (like jojoba or coconut oil) and food-grade beeswax.
After spraying the coating materials, the fabric is then ‘baked’ until all the ingredients are melted and can be spread evenly on the surface with a brush.
Coating the fabric with layers of beeswax, resin and oil is what makes beeswax wraps malleable and waxy. This allows them to be shaped around all sorts of food and items.
In fact, you make your very own beeswax wraps. It’s fairly straightforward and one of the easiest ways to cut down costs and make your wrapping even more sustainable.
What are beeswax wraps used for?
The humble beeswax wrap is adaptable and can be used for various situations.
Not only can a beeswax wrap replicate the convenient moulding properties of your classic sandwich film, but it can also double as an all-purpose film.
This means you can cover your leftovers without using any type of plastic lid or container! If I do use a container for leftover food, I prefer my stainless steel food containers for the job.
Beeswax wraps can be used for:
- Leftovers from a meal
- Food items
- Even presents and gifts
- Film over jars, bowls and containers
The versatility of beeswax wraps means they are a fantastic green alternative to plastic film and small plastic bags.
In fact, while most people only think of beeswax wraps as a type of kitchen film, they can actually be used to replace plastic packaging in different situations, like wrapping up a small gift or storing makeup.
As long as the wrap comes with a tie, the possibilities are endless!
When it comes to kitchen use, you can simply use the warmth of your hands to wrap the fabric around your packed lunch, wrap half an avocado or lemon.
You can also use the wrap to cover an open jar or container — it will keep your food fresh throughout.
Are beeswax wraps any good?
Does all this sound too good to be true?
There’s a reason why beeswax wraps have become so popular in recent years, and it has everything to do with their overall quality.
When it comes to versatility and ease of use, beeswax wraps are just as effective as cling film in keeping food fresh and safely packed away.
They are also just as durable as long as you are following the manufacturer’s instructions and washing them carefully between uses – more on washing below.
Most importantly, beeswax wraps are not only good in the kitchen, they are also incredibly good for the planet when you compare them to the unsustainable, single-use alternatives!
How long do the reusable wraps last?
Beeswax wraps are considered a reusable item, as they can be washed, air dried and folded away for later use many times over.
But how long is one wrap going to last?
Generally speaking, beeswax wraps can be reused for up to one year or even slightly longer depending on how well you are taking care of them.
Different beeswax wrap brands will have different instructions for care and share how long their product is going to last once used, so don’t be afraid to ask before you buy!
In terms of durability, the main issue with these reusable wraps comes down to the quality of the beeswax used. The more each wrap is washed and dried, the more the wax will lose its stickiness over time.
How do you wash beeswax wraps?
So how can you wash your beeswax wraps properly to make sure they can last as long as possible?
While you should make sure to always follow the brand’s instructions, there are a few helpful cleaning tips likely to work for all reusable wraps.
- Wash very gently with cold water and soap or eco washing up liquid – I like to wipe with a compostable cloth sponge
- Let it air dry away from heat sources
- Store away by spreading the wrap flat to prevent creasing
Heat sources like radiators, microwaves and even boiling water can melt the film’s wax over time, so you should always make sure to store your wraps somewhere cool to keep them tacky!
Are beeswax food wraps biodegradable?
Even more good news.
The main reason why beeswax wraps have become such a popular alternative to foil and cling film is that they are a 100% biodegradable and compostable option.
Once your reusable wraps reach the end of their lifespan, you’ll be able to dispose of them in your garden or compost heap, leaving no trace behind. That is proper sustainability!
A key point though – make sure the beeswax wrap you’re looking to compost is indeed made of 100% natural materials first!
All the materials used for proper beeswax wraps should be biodegradable and free from any added chemicals, which makes for a final product that is compostable.
To make the wraps’ natural degradation even more effective and quicker, manufacturers recommend cutting each wrap into small stripes — it won’t take longer than a couple of months for them to fully decompose!
Can you recycle beeswax wraps?
When it comes to recycling, on the other hand, beeswax wraps (UK regulations included) are unlikely to be accepted in your regular recycling bin.
As of now, in fact, beeswax wraps are not widely recycled anywhere in the country, so your best option for disposal is simply to bury them in your garden, add them to your garden compost bin, or if your local council is up on its green practices, put in your food waste and garden waste bin that will then go to an industrial composter.
If you want to do your part in reducing waste, just make sure you are making the most out of each wrap by caring for it properly — reusing is always the better option over recycling, after all!
Where to buy beeswax wraps UK?
With the popularity of beeswax wraps growing in the UK over the last few years, there are plenty of online eco shops where you can now buy them from.
Here are some of the best and sustainable places to get your beeswax wraps:
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I’m the Creator and Editor of Tiny Eco Home Life. I write and publish information about living a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life. Away from the laptop, I love spending time in nature and with my young family (plus Murphy the dog!). I write and send out the Eco Life Newsletter.