You’ve probably seen beeswax wraps around and might have even considered investing in some as a way of reducing unnecessary plastic wrap in your kitchen. But where did they originate from and how do you actually use them?
“Beeswax wraps might hold the answer to some of our biggest plastic waste challenges, but they’re not a new concept,” says Freyja Tasci, founder of Australian beeswax wraps company Apiwraps. “They’ve been around for millennia, used to wrap Egyptian food for transport, medieval apothecary deliveries and even the contents of a drover’s lunchbox.”
Made from organic cotton and beeswax, the waxy cloth is quite tacky and warms into position with the heat of your hands as you seal it onto itself, onto a bowl, or onto the skin of a vegetable, Tasci explains.
“Generally, they last for around a year, and a quick rinse between uses will keep them clean,” she says. “Beeswax has natural preservative qualities, so not only do they remove the need for pesky plastics, but they’ll also help your food stay fresher for longer. Win-win.”
With a little bit of care, you can extend the life of your beeswax wraps. “If your beeswax wrap is looking a little tired, recondition it by laying it out in the sun for a half-hour, or giving it a blast with a hairdryer on high if it’s a cloudy day.”
Ahead, Tasci shares four ways to use beeswax wraps.
Wrap Sandwiches for School or Work
“Whether for school or work, beeswax wraps keep sandwiches tucked up nice and tight, so they won’t fall apart when a school bag is slung onto the ground, or a lunchbox is thrown into your work fridge.
“Even better, a single large beeswax wrap can replace a whole year’s worth of sandwich bags, plastic wrap or foil. That’s 250 plastic sandwich bags that won’t end up in landfill.”
Keep That Half-Eaten Fruit Fresh for Longer
“We’ve all been there, finding an avocado half which has been lurking in the fridge and turned a suspicious shade of brown. Wrap your avocado half in a beeswax wrap, and it will act exactly like a fruit skin, meaning the avocado can keep breathing (but not sweating).
“We’ve had people tell us a week later that their avocados are still fresh. Those bees really were onto something when they stored their food in wax.”
Stash Cut Veggies in the Fridge
“An extra-large beeswax wrap folded in half and made into a neat bag makes the perfect spot to store that half zucchini or cucumber, cut capsicum, half-onion and a few random mushrooms after making a stir fry or salad. Sealing them up ensures that they won’t dry out and go wrinkly, nor will they be forgotten in the bottom of the crisper.
“Next time you’re preparing a meal you’ll be able to pull everything that needs eating out in one go. It’s a top way to remember everything that needs to be used up from the veggie drawer.”
Dress Up Salads
“Not only do beeswax wraps help the planet, but they also look beautiful, too. Inspire your friends to make better choices for the earth by turning up with your salad bowl looking gorgeous, covered with an arty wrap designed by a talented Australian artist. It’ll look great, and your salad will be extra fresh, as beeswax wraps seal nicely onto wood and plastic.”