One of the best ways to encourage the masses to change habits around single-use plastic is to have easy, accessible and affordable alternatives. Replacing cling film in the kitchen with reusable beeswax or vegan wax food wraps is a great example of this. Sustainability in action.
I received a set of these nifty food wraps from a friend as a present a few years ago (great eco present idea btw) but, being a bit worn out now, I was due to replace them soon so I was lucky Bee Zero Waste got in touch, inviting me to try their vegan version.
Firstly, what are beeswax and vegan wax food wraps?
They are an eco-friendly, plastic-free and sustainable alternative to clingfilm, to keep food fresh and more longer lasting. Reusable over a hundred times they’re a brilliant solution to replacing single-use, throwaway plastic clingfilm.
With beeswax or vegan wax food wraps you can wrap sandwiches in a lunchbox, cover up leftover food in a plate, keep cut fruit and veg lasting for longer, create a seal around jars, wrap snacks, and so many other food-wrap uses. Natural, breathable and once they’ve been used to death after about six to 12 months, completely compostable and biodegradable. Genius.
And what are they made of?
Eco food wraps are made of cotton fabric, bees or plant waxes, natural resin and a plant or seed oil. 100% natural and eco, with a plant-based option too.
How do you use eco food wraps?
I must admit, when I received my very first pack from a friend a few years ago I was a bit unsure how to use them. But it’s super simple!
They are flat and a bit a stiff when brand new so you just soften with your hands and they fall into shape easily. No need to wet them in warm water.
Once you’ve wrapped your food or plate, fold the sides and the warmth of your hands will seal the waxy edges down. In the fridge the coolness will stiffen the wax and allow it to hold its shape. At room temperature the wraps soften again.
To store, I have mine folded up flat and stored along with the Tupperware boxes. To clean, I just wipe dry or wash it like a plate as cold water stiffens the wax so it’s easier to clean.
Meet Bee Zero Waste…
I decided to interview the founders of Bee Zero Waste to find out more about their products, how wraps are made and what inspired them to launch an eco food wrap business.
Q. How long have you had your business and who’s part of it?
Bee Zero Waste started in February 2019 with the thought of doing something for the planet. It is created by us, Monica and George, and we work hard to make sure we offer excellent products and customer service to our buyers, while spending enough time with our children.
Q. What inspired you to launch the business?
We decided to start selling beeswax food wraps and vegan wax food wraps because they have a strong impact on the environment and they are easy replacements for that awful single-use cling film.
I was working in the logistics industry while Monica was at home in the last couple of years taking care of our children. We had a strong zero waste approach – we used to make different household products for our own use.
Then we considered there might be a way to convince more people to start using cling film alternatives and plastic-free products.
One of our sets replaces around two to three rolls of cling film so we pride ourselves with preventing over 1 million metres of plastic wrap going to waste in just one year.
Q. How do you make the wraps?
We started making them for ourselves from tutorials and videos. Then we took the idea and blended the ingredients in our own unique formula to provide the highest quality beeswax wraps and vegan wax wraps on the market.
Our products are entirely handmade, from cutting the fabric, folding and waxing to packing the wraps in our unique envelopes.
Now our ingredients are available to buy (on our website beezerowaste.com and retailers) and there’s a DIY kit that includes fabrics, two blocks of our wax blends and step by step instructions on how to make your own beeswax food wraps.
Q. What do you use instead of beeswax for the vegan version?
We have replaced the beeswax with the candelilla wax, which has very similar characteristics as beeswax. We also add a very small percent of other plant-based waxes, natural pine resin and organic cold-pressed coconut oil.
Q. The designs are super cute – where do you get them from?
We have two main fabrics suppliers with a huge range of designs and we make sure to pick the brightest ones with various themes, to make sure our customers will love each one of them.
We use very high quality OEKO-TEX 100 certified fabrics (which means it’s free of harmful chemicals), many of them being designer fabrics, some of them with unique designs available in very limited quantity.
Q. What have you most enjoyed about having the business?
The happiest moments in this business are when we are read our reviews, when people email us to say that they are ‘converted’ to zero waste living, that they have received the best eco-friendly gift ever, and the list continues.
Q. What have been your biggest challenges?
As we are coming from a work environment, the biggest challenge was to actually start a business, having to learn everything by doing. We still remember when we have met our first customer face to face in a market.
Q. Has anything changed to your business since Covid-19?
Bee Zero Waste is still selling during the Covid19 outbreak and we have taken all the necessary safety measures. We have good stock to cover this period and we are supporting UK beekeepers by buying from them.
However as any other business, we are affected. Sales are lower that usual, but, the good thing is that we have noticed a large number of new customers, people who did not know that food will stay fresh for longer if it’s wrapped in a beeswax or a vegan food wrap. This can save you from going out for bread or vegetables too often.
Q. If you could have any wishes come true in life what would they be?
I would wish the world can manage to replace every single-use plastic product with a plastic-free alternative and to put an end to this plastic crisis.
Every single person needs to think twice before buying a plastic bottle, before accepting a plastic straw or wrapping their sandwich in cling film. They should realise that they will only use it once and then it will stay in the environment forever. Together we can clean our future. Happy wrapping.
Get 15% off Bee Zero Waste Eco Food Wraps
If you want to try food wraps for a greener kitchen and home, or you’re already a fan and want to top up with a few new designs, then you can get a 15% off Bee Zero Waste range of beeswax or vegan eco food wraps.
Simply visit beezerowaste.com via this link and sign up to the newsletter. You’ll then get a discount code sent to you to use at checkout. Any issues, let me know!
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