Beeswax wraps are the ultimate replacement for pesky Gladwrap (cling film) which is a single-use plastic nightmare (especially in Northland where access to soft-plastic recycling is extremely limited), therefore they can be one of the easiest first steps towards waste reduction in the home. They are easy to use and easy to care for, once you know how! In this post I will try to cover the many questions I get asked about beeswax wraps, as well as a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up along my own journey.
Wax wraps are simply clean cotton fabric that has been coated with food-grade wax to create a water resistant cloth that is malleable enough to wrap and cover around food. Only non-toxic, food-safe ingredients are used to make them, and they are naturally biodegradable/compostable at end of life (unlike cling film!). They can be re-used over and over and over again, making them far superior to single-use plastics. Let's get into it!
What’s in them?
The main ingredient is the food grade wax - beeswax is most popular as it is fairly easily accessible and contains anti-bacterial properties in the wax (bees are amazing!), or you can try candelilla wax for a vegan option. Because beeswax is solid at room temperature, this can mean that, especially in cooler weather, your wrap may be stiff and hard to mould around food, and also more prone to cracking & wear. To help combat this, a small amount of two other ingredients are often added - roisin and oil.
Rosin - this is essentially hard sap from a tree (plant resin), pine rosin is commonly available and also safe to use around food.
Oil - again must be food grade to be safe, so sunflower, olive and jojoba are popular choices.