4 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic Wrap
Every year in the U.S. we throw out enough plastic wrap to cover the entire state of Texas. Can you imagine how much we use throughout the world? What is especially silly about the use of plastic wrap is that there are so many sustainable alternatives out there to use instead that there really is no excuse to keep using it - besides convenience and habit. So take the pledge to get rid of plastic wrap for good! And let what's sitting in your kitchen be the last roll you ever purchase.
Re-use Plastic Wrap
If you already have plastic wrap in your kitchen, please don't take the entire box and through it out. Using up what you have left helps the planet by reducing the demand for another product. Plastic wrap can also be re-used if it's treated well. For many months my family kept a paper towel tube with plastic wrap rolled around it in the drawer for easy access. Just like you might wash a towel or beeswax wrap, just rinse off the plastic wrap and set it out to dry. Once it's no longer wet, wrap it around the paper tube for safe keeping! Given that it's not made out of a sturdy material, I doubt it'll last more than two or three uses. But in this way you can stretch the lifespan of each individual sheet for much longer than you would normally.
Once you use up the last of the plastic wrap, Tupperware is probably one of the simplest ways to avoid having to buy more. If you have a good set on hand, it's easy to pop your leftovers in a container and keep them from spoiling in the fridge. It can also be just as effective to use old yogurt container as Tupperware, saving you from spending money on buying new containers if you don't already have a set.
Cover with a Plate
Another simple fix is to use the plates you already own in your kitchen to cover the tops of open containers. Plates make perfect lids for soup and noddles and there's no need to transfer it from the pot to another container! You can also place half used avocados, apples, or other fruits face down on a plate to keep them from turning brown.
Invest in Bees Wax Wrap
The last option (and my favorite one!) is to invest in beeswax wraps as a direct replacement for plastic wraps. Bees Wax wraps are basically natures version of the plastic product. Manufacturers take cotton cloth and coat it in beeswax and tree resin to create a flexible, slightly sticky surface. You can then use each piece just like you would plastic wrap by placing it over a container and pressing down to create a seal. In order to reuse them, just gently rinse each wrap in lukewarm water and set it out to dry. Depending on the brand, the wraps can be used for six months to two years! Because beeswax wraps are made from only natural materials, they can be composted at the end of their life (once all the beeswax wears away). Or you can re-apply the beeswax at home too!
There are a variety of beeswax wraps available out there! I, personally though, have two favorite brands: LilyBee Wraps and Bee Eco Wraps. In total I have tried four different brands of beeswax wraps but these two were the best! Here's a brief description of each one so you can see which fits your style more.
LilyBee Wraps is based out of New Zealand and is a small family owned company. All of their beeswax sets are limited edition so the patterns change from month to month. They are absolutely beautiful in the kitchen! A set of three costs $25 + shipping. Check our their current collection here!
Bee Eco Wraps is based out of Australia and was the first type of beeswax wrap I tried. I still have one three years later that is going strong! They have a variety of sizes, sets, and patterns. There GOTS Certified Organic Cotton set of four costs $35 + shipping. Check out their current collection here!
I also want to point out that if you are purchasing these from the U.S., technically it is in international product and I usually recommend buying things as local as possible. That being said, the two other brands that I have tried were both U.S. brands and were not nearly as good as these two. They lasted only three months before the beeswax started peeling off and they were very stiff and hardly able to stick to anything. Even though buying local is super important, buying a quality product is also important and in this case, that means buying internationally for me. However, feel free to do your own research and let me know if there is a U.S. brand that you really support!
If you're looking for a vegan alternative to beeswax wraps, check out Etsy for some handmade options!
Which (if any) of the options above do you use? How long has your household been plastic wrap free?