When asked to choose between cling film and beeswax wrap, what are the things you look for to help you make that decision?
In this blog, we try and cover three things about both items:
- How is it made
- How is it used
- What happens at the end of its life
Plastic cling-film is a very versatile material used in the medical industry as well as our everyday food cover. Cling-film originally was made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), until recently a cheaper alternative is now being used called low-density polyethylene (LLPE). LLPE is treated with another chemical to give it that stretch like feel we all like and love.
Undoubtedly, cling film plays an essential role with regards to protection and preservation in food packaging; hence why it is still being used in most supermarkets today, otherwise the level of waste will sadly increase exponentially.
Cling-film, due to its low cost and convenience is widely used in the food industry; however, there are rising health concerns about the transfer of toxic chemicals from the plastic into food products. Aside from the health concerns, as we know, plastic is one of the significant contributors to climate change, as well as environmental pollution due to it being a single-use item.
End of Life
Typically, when we finish making use of cling-film, they are thrown straight into the bin. However, some single-use plastics are recyclable, but cling-film is very difficult to recycle due to the chemical additives used in the production process, which gives it its clinginess. These additives make cling-film a complex material to break down and recycle effectively.
The great thing about beeswax wrap is that it is reusable and made out of natural materials. WAFE beeswax wraps are made from GOTS (Global organic textile standard) certified cotton fabric, tree resin, jojoba oil and sustainably sourced beeswax.
Beeswax wraps are also a versatile product and can be used for other things apart from wrapping food. You can use them to make little small boxes to serve as a fruit container, create small pouches for travelling with snacks and also useful for wrapping up loose produce while out shopping.
Jojoba oil used in making beeswax wraps has anti-bacterial properties and in combination with the organic cotton fabric, allows the wraps to breathe, which in return helps to keep your food fresher for longer.
Tree resin can either be a demar resin or a pine tree resin, which gives the wraps its natural stickiness making sure your food is sealed. To get a more robust seal, the warmth of hands helps mould the wraps around your food or bowl.
As mentioned earlier, you can use the wraps over and over again as they are relatively easy to wash using cold water and a bit of mild soap. The average lifespan of reusable food wraps can be over a year if looked after correctly, and once they have reached the end of its life, you can place them in your compost bin as they are biodegradable.
To conclude, with regards to the environment, beeswax wrap are hands down better than single-use plastic cling film. The only thing reason why most businesses have not widely adopted it is due to its cost. However, over time especially for the food industry, we believe, new materials which can decompose under normal environmental conditions will be developed to replace cling film. As individuals, we can all play our part in being part of the solution and not the pollution.
The choice is yours; reusable beeswax wraps over single-use plastic cling film.