For those of us trying to reduce our plastic waste, cling film is a big NO NO. Don’t chuck it out if you already have some but once you’ve used it up… what next? I am not sure if I have actually chatted to you guys about this yet, but a really great option is beeswax wraps! I know it sounds a bit weird but hang on in there.
Let’s put this out there right off the bat, my absolute favourite brand and the ones I use myself are BEE Zero Waste. I am going to be chatting all through this post about them and will be offering you the chance to win some of their wraps for yourself (as well some other awesome products from companies I have been mentioning) in an upcoming competition so keep your eyes peeled.
What are beeswax wraps made of?
So the obvious part is bees wax but they also are made of cotton fabric which I genuinely only knew about from researching for this post. I have been using them for a little while now and I fully just thought that the people that make them were so clever and dyed the wax. Turns out that’s not the case and they melt the wax on the fabric.
How do they work, what are they for and why are they so great?
Once the wax has been melted over the fabric and its cooled, it leaves a surface that when gently warmed becomes sticky, but not like syrup spilt on the side kind of sticky, just enough to allow the wraps to cling together just like cling film. I actually prefer it to cling-film and it’s becoming one of my absolute favourite swaps because it doesn’t rip or get caught up like clingfilm does AND can be reused and composted!!
The beeswax wraps controversy… what’s the big deal?
Yesterday, I put out a poll on my Instagram account asking how you feel about the use of beeswax in products and there are some very mixed opinions. Why is this? I spoke to one of my lovely vegan friends to help me understand this more. Here is what she said:
“Vegans believe that we shouldn’t use animals as a commodity and treat them like they are here to serve us. However, the use of beeswax is far more sustainable than other options, such as plastic. As a vegan I feel that it’s important to go as far as it is practical for each of us to be sustainable.”
I hope that has cleared things up a little. Many people disagree with the practices of removing beeswax from bees and using it for our own benefit, thus making it unethical. It is important to note that this is just an opinion for which we are all entitled to and if you disagree that’s totally fine. Personally, I don’t have an issue with using beeswax. I am not a vegan as I have said before, and am careful to ensure that any beeswax I use is responsibly sourced. If a beekeeper is ethical, they will only remove the excess from the hives and will leave plenty for the bees to survive throughout the year.
With everything, there is not a perfect solution (sick of me saying that yet?) and many plant based alternatives have their own ethical dilemmas. From the poll I found out that around 75% of you are happy to use beeswax and the other 25% aren’t happy using animal products and that’s totally fine. As I said in a previous post, we all need to do what we feel comfortable with and there is no set way to be sustainable and ethical.
For the 25% of you who aren’t okay with using beeswax, then you’re in the right place! BEE zero waste, among others, have developed an awesome vegan food wrap! They are made of candelilla wax, other vegetable oils and natural cotton. They are usually priced the same as beeswax wraps but they are currently on sale, so it’s a great time to head over and check them out. The thing I would say here is that there are pros and cons of using beeswax and candelilla wax so do your research and decide what’s best for you. If you want to know more about that do let me know.
Some super cool ways you can use beeswax wraps
- Wrap sandwiches
- Make pouches for loose food
- Prove dough
- Uses a piping bag
- Cover leftovers
- Wrap cheese and other refrigerated products
- Wrap utensils or even toiletries when travelling
Why I love BEE Zero Waste
Not only are the products from BEE zero waste amazing, with beautiful randomly selected patterns in each package, they tick all the boxes I need them to in terms of products. (Pause for a whoop!). They locally source all of their ingredients and are based in Leicester, UK meaning I actually picked up my products myself. They produce everything handmade and are a small family run business, who you definitely need to support. (Although if you are members of my family do expect these as gifts from me in the future so maybe hold off on buying up their entire stock!). Another great thing about them is they truly believe in the products they sell and if you aren’t happy, they have a 30 day money back guarantee! If that doesn’t ooze confidence, I don’t know what does.
How about the big money question? How much do they cost?
Let’s take a couple who work five days a week at the office and take their own lunch with them. That’s roughly 48 weeks at work a year so 480 sandwiches in total. Assume you use a 30 x 30cm square (about 12 x 12 inches) of clingfilm for each sandwich. That’s 14,000m of clingfilm for a year. In ASDA 50m of cling film costs £1.10 so you would need around 29 rolls of clingfilm a year, costing £39.90. Alternatively, if you were to buy four XL beeswax wraps from BEE Zero Waste it would cost £14.95, which can last you over a year if you look after them. There are various sizes and shapes but this is just an example for direct comparison. Once again, this seems like a total no brainer to me. Imagine what you could do with the extra £25.
I have my beeswax wraps, how do I keep them clean?
First off, DO NOT put them in the dishwasher. It will melt them and there is simply no need. Beeswax is naturally antibacterial and antifungal so all you need to do is wipe them clean with cold water and mild dish soap! They also dry surprisingly quickly, as they are also naturally waterproof. If you do have an oops and melt them, there are plenty of hacks out there to fix them. If this happens to you, get in touch and I can share some of them with you.
I hope you have enjoyed todays post and check out BEE Zero Waste, I honestly can’t recommend them enough. Let me know down in the comments if you have used beeswax wraps or their vegan alternative before and make sure to let me know if you decide to pick some up. Make sure to check in again on Monday at 9am for my next post.