Traditional food wraps and containers are usually made from plastic of some sort. This is problematic for the environment, as much of it is not recyclable. In addition, health conscious consumers may be concerned at the claims of nasty chemicals being released by plastics into the food or drink come into contact with. The headlines in 2019 even told us about The World Health Organisation having to conduct an investigation as a study revealed 90% of bottled water contains microplastics.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, because there are some cool alternatives that are all-natural and much better for the environment, one of which is reusable beeswax wraps.
Beeswax wraps are eco-friendly alternatives to plastic wrap that can be reused. The pine resin makes the wrap cling to bowls, jojoba oil makes them more flexible and the beeswax is the part that ensures the wrap is airtight. You simply warm them with your hands to ‘activate’ their pliability. You can use them to wrap sandwiches, to top bowls of food, to protect platters – most things you’d usually use plastic wraps and tubs for.
Buying beeswax wraps can be quite expensive though, so why not DIY and make your own instead? It’s really easy, low-cost and actually quite fun too! Here’s how:
What You Need:
To make the wraps the tools you will need are:
- Scissors or pinking sheers
- A pastry or paint brush only for this use
- A cheese grater
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet or tray
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Somewhere to hang your wraps
You’ll also need the following ingredients:
- Organic beeswax pellets
- Food grade pine resin (also known as pine rosin)
- Organic jojoba oil
- Thin cotton fabric that is organic, in patterns of your choice
How To Make Your Beeswax Wraps
It is a good idea to leave about an afternoon to enjoy making your wraps using the method below. That leaves plenty of time to prepare the ingredients and tools, make the wraps and dry them ready for use.
- Heat up your oven to 107 degrees celcius
- Cut the cotton into the size of sheet you would like. 11 x 11 inches is a good starting point a medium piece of beeswax wrap.
- Place your parchment paper on your baking sheet, then put the cotton on top,sprinkling wax pellets, resin and jojoba oil over the top as evenly as you can
- For an 11 x 11 piece, you’ll need around 1.5 TBSP of beeswax, 1.5TBSP of resin and 1 TSP of jojoba oil
- Place in the oven until the entire mixture has melted
- Remove from the oven and use your brush to cover the mixture evenly across the cotton
- Place back in the oven if needed, and remove when the mixture has melted
- Lift the sheet with some oven tongs and waft to cool
- Once you can touch the cloth you can hang it on your line to set
- The wrap is dry once it is solid, with a slightly sticky surface
More Uses, And How Not To Use
You can easily turn your wrap into a food pouch or bags. The below video gives you a handy guide to turning a beeswax wrap into a food pouch:
Whether you use the squares as wraps or pouches it is important not to store raw meat with the wraps as they cannot be washed with hot water.
Storing anything too liquid or squashy like jelly or houmous is also not suitable for a beeswax food pouch, although you could store food like that in a container and then use your wrap to seal the top. Just be careful not to tip it over as the wraps are not airtight.
Care & Storage
To wash your wraps between uses, wash with cold water and alcohol-free, scent-free soap. You can gently wash the wrap which is quite stiff, but you can’t scrub it really hard without damaging it, so do take care. Rinse it off and hang to dry. Once dry, you can fold it and put it in the drawer with tea towels, stacked in a basket, or even rolled up in jars. They look really pretty so, why not make the most of them as cute kitchen decor?
If you care for your beeswax wraps well, they can last up to a year which is when they will need to be rewaxed. It’s so easy to create them and add them to your stores, and so great knowing that you’re being that little bit more eco-friendly with such an easy kitchen swap. Next time you have a rainy afternoon to fill, why not follow these tips and have a go at making gorgeous beeswax wraps?