I’m trying to reduce the amount of plastic in our home. Today, I want to talk about plastic wrap, also known as cling film and saran wrap. Over the last six months, nearly 80 million Americans have used at least one roll of plastic wrap. Like plastic bags, thin, flimsy saran wrap can’t be recycled because it clogs up recycling machinery. There is specialized equipment that could, in theory, recycle it, however, virgin materials would still be cheaper.
The History of Plastic Wrap
Wax paper was used decades before plastic wrap existed, which only became available for domestic use in 1953. PVC and PVDC are the main ingredients in plastic wrap and this type of plastic acts like a magnet for pollution, bacteria, and metals. These contaminated plastics are often consumed by marine life and they pass the plastic and its contaminants along the food chain. Although it’s an effective way to prevent food waste, once it’s been used, cling film will spend the next few hundred years in a landfill.
Introducing Reusable Wax Wraps
Lilybee wrap is a reusable alternative to plastic wrap. Each wrap is handmade from cotton, beeswax, coconut oil, and tree resin. You use the heat from your hands to warm the wax and this makes it malleable. Just as you’d use cling film, you can spread wax wraps to cover containers or wrap half an avocado for later. Lilybee’s work just as well as cling film, have the same “air-tightness” and can be composted once they’ve reached the end of their life.
I love that LilyBee Wraps is a woman-owned business, based in New Zealand and that their packaging is PEFC (Sustainable Forestry) certified. I have to admit that their cute designs are part of their appeal. You’ll find various patterns from polka dots, flamingos to floral designs. The pineapple print, of course, caught my eye. I’ve been using the snack bag and sandwich bag for school and the flat wraps at home.
Each Lilybee wrap should last a year. Unlike cling film, wax wraps can be rinsed and used again. You just wash them with cool/lukewarm soapy water and dry them flat or on a washing line. I usually drape mine over the kettle. The only downside I’ve found whilst using wax wraps is that you can’t use them in the microwave (the wax will melt off). Technically, you’re not encouraged to put saran wrap in a microwave. However, my husband does and it’s a sore-point in our marriage. In the process of trying to become a more sustainable household, I’m trying to find alternatives that work for both of us.
If you’re looking to reduce your single-plastic consumption or for a cute eco gift for someone, check out Lillybee’s website.
I’d like to say thank you to Lilybee Wraps for sponsoring this post and as always, all opinions are my own.