Wondering if beeswax wrap is environmentally friendly? We dive into how beewax paper is made, how to dispose of it, and whether it’s an environmentally friendly food storage option.
Beeswax wrap is an environmentally friendly alternative to other food storage wraps like plastic cling wrap or aluminum foil. Beeswax paper is made from biodegradable ingredients that break down in landfills, which make it a great zero waste wrap solution.
To make sure your beeswax paper use eco-friendly, first you should know about the types of beeswax wraps, how they’re made, and how to dispose of them at the end of their lifecycle.
Ready to learn about whether beeswax wrap is eco-friendly? Let’s do it!
❓ What is beeswax wrap?
Beeswax wrap is a natural food wrap paper product made from beeswax and cotton that is used for wrapping and storing food. It contains a beeswax coating and other naturally-occurring ingredients, which makes it a great environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic cling wrap.
The non-stick and water-resistant properties of beeswax paper are what make it a great eco-alternative to single-use plastic wraps. It can be cleaned easily and reused several times (some manufacturers say up to one year) before eventually disintegrating, due to its natural ingredients.
Beeswax papers and wraps are used by running it under warm (not hot!) water to make the wax pliable, and then molding it to the edge of bowls, pans, and containers to seal in food to keep it fresh.
👉 How beeswax paper and wraps are made
Beeswax is a natural product made by bees to build their hive. The bees use the wax to make the cells in the hive, and to cap the cells with beeswax when they are filled with honey or pollen. The beeswax is collected from the hives, and then melted and filtered to remove impurities.
Beeswax wrap is made from cotton, coated with food-grade beeswax, coconut or jojoba oil, and rosin. The result of this combination is a flexible and a little sticky material that is a great natural alternative to plastic wrap. Its flexibility easily wraps around bread, fruit, veggies, cheeses, deli foods, and other food items, keeping the air out and the food fresh.
Beeswax wrap, also known as beeswrap or bees cloth, is made by placing beeswax in between two pieces of fabric. The beeswax can come in blocks or pellets, which are placed onto the fabric and then melted using a hot iron to fuse the beeswax with the fabric. Once cooled, the beeswrap is ready to be used.
♻️ How to dispose of beeswax products
Though beeswax wraps and papers are made from all-natural ingredients that will break down over time, there are a few things to consider before throwing them out.
🔄 Reusing wax paper
The beauty of wrapping products made from beeswax are that they are reusable and replace single-use products like cling wrap, which is not a naturally product and cannot be composted like beeswax.
To reuse beeswax wrap, simply wash off the wrap with cold water and hang or lay flat to dry. Reuse again and again until the wrap no longer keeps its shape or starts to break down, then consider composting.
🌱 Composting beeswax wrap
Because beeswax wraps are typically made from all naturally-occurring ingredients like beeswax and cotton, it is biodegradable and can be thrown in your compost bin after cutting it into thin strips to help it break down faster.
However, if the cotton used in the paper or cloth is not organic or contains non-organic materials, it should not be composted. Also keep in mind that if the paper or cloth contains inorganic dyes, it should not be put into the compost bin.
🗑 Throw wax paper in the trash
As a last resort, you can throw used beeswax paper in the trash. It will end up in a landfill, but it is biodegradable and will eventually break down. This is not the most sustainable option, but it will break down over a short amount of time, unlike many plastic wrap alternatives.
♼ Is beeswax paper recyclable?
Unfortunately, beeswax paper can not be recycled due to its water-resistant wax coating. Instead of recycling, we recommend reusing or composting.
Where to buy
Beeswax cloths can be purchased at most natural grocery stores and their growing popularity means you can find them at more mainstream supermarkets as well. If you want to buy online, we suggest the below brands (affiliate links).
Buy Beeswax Wrap on EarthHero
EarthHero is a online sustainability store that features eco-friendly zero waste products. Use the code FORKINTHEROAD to get 10% off.
Buy on Amazon
You can find many kitchen items made of beeswax on Amazon, including one of our favorite brands Bee’s Wrap (picture in this post).
💚 More eco-friendly kitchen tips
Want more tips for going green in the kitchen? We’ve got you covered with these sustainable kitchen guides:
- Zero Waste Kitchen Start Guide
- Are Paper Bags Compostable?
- Can You Put Single-Use Tea Bags in Compost?
- Can You Compost Wax Paper?
- Can You Throw Paper Towels in the Compost Bin?
- Environmentally Friendly Food Storage Alternatives to Aluminum Foil
- Is Parchment Paper Environmentally Friendly?
♻️ Want more inspiration for going green in the kitchen? Join the Green Living Community for plant-based recipes, sustainable kitchen hacks, and get our FREE guide to meal planning to reduce food waste!