If I asked you about plastic waste, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
You have probably seen plastic bags, bottles, or maybe even straws lying on the beach. But what if I told you that there is another type of trash contributes to pollution too despite being much more inconspicuous? I’m talking about plastic wrap!
Plastic wrap, or otherwise known as cling foil, is made from plastics that cause large amounts of pollution. This is in the form of a highly toxic chemical called dioxin when they are burnt in landfills even when disposed of properly.
In Singapore Environment Council’s 2018 position paper, it was published that 1.76 billion plastic items are used each year, with 473 million being disposable items. Packaging waste also accounts for one-third of the total domestic waste produced here showing how much needs to be done to reduce the use of so much single-use plastics.
But plastic wraps are a very versatile tool in the kitchen that is not easily replaced. What then can we do to reduce the amount of it used?
What Is Beeswax Wrap?
The wrap is a piece of cloth coated with beeswax jojoba oil and tree resin.
Why is beeswax wrap so much more sustainable than plastic wraps? Here are some points!
1. Made from natural ingredients
2. Reusable – lasting 6 – 12 months
3. Mendable, eliminating the use of plastic wrap
4. Compostable – meaning that once it has been worn out, it can be broken down into non-toxic ingredients in a composting bin
5. It protects your food from bacteria due to the anti-bacterial properties of the resin
How to Use Beeswax Wrap?
Using the beeswax wrap is simple and similar to plastic wrap.
If you are wrapping food directly, place the food in the center of the wrap and then fold in the beeswax wrap tightly until It looks like a present.
If you are using it as a seal on a container or jar, place the wrap on the container before squeezing it down with your hands against the surface of the bowl until it sticks.
For both cases, you would want to do it slowly, using the warmth of your hands to make the wrap hold its shape. The wraps can also be cut to better fit what you are wrapping.
How to Care and Clean for Your Beeswax Wrap?
To clean your beeswax wrap, wipe it with a damp cloth, or rinse it with cool water. Let it air dry or dry with a towel, then it’s ready to go again!
Despite its versatility, beeswax wraps cannot be used with raw meats, seafood, or fish due to a large number of bacteria in those items. Do also avoid using it on hot liquids and food as it will melt the beeswax. Ensure that your hot foods are cooled before using the wrap, also do not use it in the microwave or oven.
If there are cracks that have formed in your wraps, lay it on a baking tray in the sun or in an oven at low heat to allow the wax to melt and seal itself.
How to Store Your Beeswax Wrap?
To store your beeswax wraps, simply keep them in your drawer or on the counter. However, be sure not to place it near open flames to prevent the wax from melting!
What to Do After Your Beeswax Wrap Cannot Be Used Anymore?
When your wrap is no longer sticky, that is a sign that it has been completely worn out.
Try the following to ensure that you get the most out of your wrap:
– re-purpose it by using it as a piece of cloth or fabric for mending clothes other uses
– compost it if you have a composting bin at home by cutting the wrap up into thin strips and adding it to your existing compost
– if the cloth is not too worn out, consider re-waxing them using our mending bars to extend the lifespan of your wrap
Mending Your Beeswax Wraps
1) Grate or chop mending bar into small pieces and sprinkle evenly over cotton fabrics
2) Line a baking tray with baking paper and pop into the oven at 80C to 100C for five minutes or until the wax has fully melted. Anything above 100C is not good for the wax.
3) Remove from oven (careful, it’s hot!). Quickly peel the fabric away from the baking paper. Wave the fabric around gently until the wax is cool and it’s ready to use.
4) If needed, sprinkle additional beeswax over any spots that are not yet coated. Pop it back into the oven.
Some concerns with using beeswax wrap that you may have included how good the wraps work in sealing the food. Rest assured that if you use it properly it works just as well as plastic ones do. Take a look at the image below of how well beeswax wrap preserves the banana even after 4 days!
Also, you might be concerned about the price that comes with the beeswax wrap compared to normal plastic wrap. However, beeswax wraps can last from 6-12 months even if used daily, which would far exceed the amount of use you will get from a normal roll of plastic wrap, making the long term savings you will incur much more than the initial cost.
5 Simple Ways to Use Beeswax Wrap
1. Use the Beeswax Wrap Instead of a Container When Taking Food Out
Wrap your sandwiches, fruits, and other packed food in beeswax wrap when bringing them out of the house. The wraps are much less bulky than a container and after eating the food, simply wash and keep it neatly.
2. Protect Your Food and Drinks When on a Picnic
Tired of pesky flies getting into your food or flying into your jugs? Use the beeswax wrap to prevent them from getting to your food before you!
3. Replace Plastic Bags When Ordering Foods
If your local bakery or fruit shop allows BYO to take away, use beeswax wraps to take your food home instead of taking a plastic bag. The wraps can protect your food at the same time reducing the use of single-use plastics.
4. Take It on Trips
Not only can beeswax wraps be used for foods, but also for carrying your other belongings to prevent them from spilling too. It’s perfect for wrapping bar soaps when you are taking them out of the house as the wrap seals it inside completely, protecting the rest of your bag from getting soapy.
5. Beeswax Wrap Origami
One interesting thing you can do if you are good at folding paper is to make bowls, boxes, or little pockets. These can be used to bring things around, hold snacks, and more!
Being such a versatile product, I am sure that you will be able to find a use for beeswax wrap in your life where it could replace single-use plastics. Whether it is plastic wraps, containers, or even straws, there are plenty of ways to help reduce the amount of plastic waste that you are generating today.So what are you waiting for? Start today and make the last plastic wrap you used your last one ever!