It’s no secret that the amount of waste we create as a population is VERY unsustainable. But it’s not all bad news: most of us are looking for ways to cut down on waste and make our homes more planet friendly. If that’s you – hooray! Amazing. If you’re not too sure where to start, that’s okay too! And we can help.
There are lots of small swaps and changes we can all make in the kitchen to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill and the damage this does to the planet. Lots of the big ones you might even already be doing, like recycling tins and plastics, using a food waste bin or compost heap and eating more seasonal and locally grown produce. But just like the big changes, the little things can also make the world of difference when thought about on a larger scale.
Take cling film, for example: more than 1.2 billion metres of cling film is used in the UK every year. As cling film isn’t recyclable, all of this ends up in landfill.
Luckily, it’s super easy to get around not using cling film in a home kitchen. Using Tupperware boxes instead of wrapping leftovers or semi-prepared food is a great option, but there’s also a whole world of reusable cling film alternatives.
Beeswax wraps are brilliant, reusable alternatives to clingfilm which help you cut down the amount of plastic going to landfill from your kitchen. Not only are they affordable, they’re also 100% compostable – so once they reach the end of their life, you don’t have to worry about them becoming waste!
From how they work to where to get them, scroll on for everything you need to know about beeswax wraps.
How do beeswax wraps work?
Beeswax wraps are made of squares of muslin or cotton fabric dipped in beeswax. Thanks to the wax, the wraps are super flexible and can be moulded to any shape. They’re also airtight and can be used to cover bowls, wrap sandwiches or entire loaves of bread and provide a casing for any halves of onion or pepper lurking in your salad drawer. Basically: if cling film can do it, a beeswax wrap probably can, too.
To mould the wrap to fit your bowl/food/plate/literally anything, just use your hands to scrunch the wrap. The warmth in your hands is enough to soften the wax slightly and will encourage the wrap to fold/crease/form accordingly. It’s literally that simple!
How do you wash beeswax wraps?
The only thing that separates beeswax wraps from clingfilm is beeswax wraps aren’t single-use, so you do need to wash them between uses. Luckily, it’s super easy and can be washed by hand with a little bit of dish soap and a sponge, no problem.
But before you go dunking them into your washing up bowl, you should know: beeswax wraps do NOT get along well with hot water. Wax famously liquifies when it gets hot, so RIP to a beeswax wrap that gets chucked in with the rest of the washing up in the sink or dishwasher. Gone but never forgotten.
Instead, use cool or lukewarm water to make sure your wrap stays crisp, cool, and solidly in one piece. We find it easiest to wash our wraps directly under the cold tap for maximum coldness.
How long do beeswax wraps last?
Most beeswax wraps are made from 100% natural ingredients. Obviously, this is GREAT and why we love them, but it does mean that over time, they soften and their parts come away, making them less effective. But hey, isn't that the case for us all?
The average lifespan of a beeswax wrap that’s used on the regular and looked after well is around one year. Have no fear though - you don't pop these babies in the bin, making the whole process of buying and using it redundant. When it’s officially at the end of its life, you can pop the whole thing in a compost bin or food waste caddy, though, so literally, nothing goes into landfill! It's a win-win.
Where to buy beeswax wraps?
You can also get them in a whole range of sizes and multipacks. If you’ve already got an idea of what sort of sizes you’ll use the most, you can make sure you stock up on what works best for your habits- whether you’ll be wrapping your sandwiches to take to work, or wrapping that whole loaf of sourdough you baked yourself (check you out…).
Either way, cling film wraps are definitely a worthwhile change to be making in the kitchen. And it might be because we're total food nerds, but we kind of feel like they would be a really cool present too? Just saying...
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.