How to make reusable beeswax food wraps – plastic free living

For Christmas, my lovely friend Heather gave me a handmade card and a couple of beeswax food wraps that she had made! I was amazed and asked her to show me how. Heather assured me how quick and easy they are to make and they really are – it only takes about 5 minutes to make these reusable food wraps and will cut your dependence on cling  film and reduce your plastic waste!

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Cling film is great for wrapping leftovers but its very difficult to recycle and not easy to reuse. Cling film is made by melting nurdles, small plastic pellets, and mixing with additives. However nurdles are often mishandled by industry and end up in the sea. Nurdles are not only mistaken for prey and eaten by wildlife, but they attract and concentrate background pollutants such as DDT.

nurdles
Nurdles washed up on the shore of North Queensferry, Scotland. Source DC Tomson

The majority of cling film ends up on landfills where it takes hundreds of years to degrade, and may end up in our oceans where marine animals ingest it or it is broken down into microplastics. Microplastics are hard to detect and threaten wildlife further. “Biodegradable” cling film alternatives exist but many argue that these oxo-degradable plastics just break down into smaller and smaller fragments that still remain harmful to the environment.

However, beeswax food wraps offer a brilliant alternative to cling film and are easy to make and reuse. Beeswax is a great material due to it’s antibacterial properties and once warm is easily moulded.

All you need is:

  • An oven
  • An oven dish
  • Scissors
  • Cotton fabric – you could always use old clothes
  • Natural beeswax pellets or grated solid pure beeswax. We used this one
  1. Preheat your oven to it’s lowest setting
  2. Cut the fabric to the size you would like your food wrap to be – make sure it can fit in your oven dish though

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3. Put the fabric in your oven dish and scatter over the beeswax pellets.

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You only need a light covering, but make sure to get the edges.

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4. Put the dish in the oven for about 5 minutes or until all of the pellets have melted.

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5. Take out the dish…

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… and carefully take the cloth off.  Wave it around in your hands until the wax has hardened.

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And that’s it! Super quick and easy. Simply wrap them around food or cover the top of a bowl/plate and use the warmth of your hands to make it mould to its shape. Wash with soap and cold water. If the wraps start to loose their waxy top you can easily repeat the process above to add a new layer.

If you want the wraps to be more antibacterial you can add coconut oil to the beeswax too. I love this one. Alternatively you can sandwich your cotton and wax pellets between grease proof paper and run an iron over the top

Worthwhile?

Beeswax food wraps are a great alternative to using cling film and a brilliant way to reduce your plastic use. It’s much more cost effective to make your own beeswax wraps, with a bag of beeswax pellets easily making 50+ food wraps.

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