BY YASMIN MACDONNELL
We’ve all been there - balancing tomorrow’s sandwich in one hand, you struggle to find the elusive end of the clingfilm roll with the other. Your fingers scrabble despairingly at loose tatters of the clear, sticky sheet - perhaps you even cut your hand on that pesky metal edge. You give up and shout for your partner, asking them help tear you a piece. They tear off enough to wrap the sandwich ten times over and you blame them for the fact you have to buy another roll of the stuff every single week. In short, clingfilm is seriously hazardous, not to mention an enemy to our planet. Well here’s the time, money, planet and relationship-saving alternative we’re buzzing to tell you about: reusable beeswax wraps.
If the prospect of never having to wrestle with the see-through stuff again isn’t enough to convince you to make the swap, then let us tell you even more benefits of using reusable beeswax wraps.
Why should you switch to beeswax food wraps?
For one, it’s exactly that: reusable. Simply wipe your wrap with a damp cloth when you’re done with it and it can be used again and again, allowing you to cut back on waste as well as money.
Beeswax wraps are the eco-friendly (and stylish) alternative to tinfoil, clingflim and baking paper, which will jazz up your fridge. You can use them to take your sandwich to work, to cover that leftover bowl of bolognaise, or to pack up your kids’ fruit in their lunchbox.
"I use these for everything: the obvious half-eaten avocado-save, but also kid-takes-one-bite-of-an-apple and says, "nah" - no problem! Into the handbag it goes." Watch Georgia’s review of Honeybee Beeswax Wraps here.
Are you ready to make this sustainable swap? Do you get a buzz out of DIY projects? Are you bumbling around with nothing to do this weekend? If so, here’s our guide on how to make reusable beeswax wraps.
What materials do you need to make beeswax wraps?
- A piece of fabric. This can be any pattern of your choosing - here’s your chance to add a splash of personality to your food storage. This could be a good way to recycle old shirts, sheets, pillow cases or t-shirts.
- Beeswax (either in the form of pellets or a cube)
- An oven
- A baking tray
- A paint brush
- Optional: Pinking shears (to stop the edges of your fabric from fraying)
How to make beeswax food wraps
- Cut the fabric to size. You know how big you want this to be (are you looking to cover huge serving dishes, or to wrap up a small sandwich?). If you’re not sure, 25cm x 25cm is a good place to start and will work for most things in your lunchbox. This is where you can use your pinking shears to cut carefully around the edges of your fabric – this will stop it from fraying later.
- Lay out the fabric on your baking tray. Spread a piece of baking paper on the tray and lay the fabric on top, patterned side down.
- Scatter beeswax pellets over the fabric. If using a cube of beeswax then grate this over your fabric. There’s no set amount here, but we recommend adding generously. Try to space the wax evenly so that once it melts in the oven, your fabric will be completely covered.
- Put the tray in the oven on a medium to high heat. Pop the tray in for 5 minutes, but keep a close eye on the wax. Once it’s melted completely, grab a paintbrush and use it to spread the wax evenly. Note: It will be near impossible to get all of the wax off the brush afterwards so make sure it’s one you’re not too attached to.
- Use a fork to pry the edges of the wrap off the tray. Using tongs or your fingers, lift the edge of the cloth into the air. Waft it back and forward to help it cool and dry. After this, the beeswax should be set. Be careful with this step, the wax will be hot.
- Peg to your washing line or drape it over the back of a chair to fully set.
- Leave it for half an hour and you should now have a fully reusable beeswax wrap!
How to use beeswax wraps
So, you know how to make beeswax wraps – now how do you actually use this thing?
Let the warmth from your hands melt the wax so that it wraps snugly over the remnants of your dinner, or that last morsel of cake. But DON’T microwave your beeswax food wrap, or put it in the oven. Using heat on your wraps will ruin them, so make sure only to clean them by wiping them with a cold, wet cloth, using a little mild dish soap if needed.
If you’re interested in making the switch to beeswax wraps but are too much of a busy bee to be able to make your own, then check out these Beeswax and Vegan Wraps, or this set of four Beeswax Wraps, or the whole reusable wrap range here.
And what if you want to use a sustainable alternative to sandwich bags, but you’re a vegan so can’t use beeswax food wrap? Honey, we got you. These Wrappa reusable food wraps come in both beeswax based, and plant-based options. The plant-based wax will work just as well and is completely vegan!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yasmin MacDonnell is a recent Philosophy graduate, floral pattern enthusiast and breakfast tea devotee from the UK.