Last month, when I ran out of plastic wrap, I also accidentally encountered a slight existential crisis.
I was about to buy more cling wrap when I thought about my carbon footprint (which, just by eating dairy and occasionally indulging in air travel, is not exactly small) and the effect that repeatedly using — then throwing away — a product made of landfill-clogging PVC most likely has on it. (This effect, I assume, cannot be good for the earth or any of its inhabitants over the next few decades.) So, after a relatively quick, albeit panicked, few minutes spent Googling “plastic wrap alternatives,” I landed upon something called beeswax wrap.
Beeswax wraps, as the name implies, are cotton cloths covered with a light coating of beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. They are grippable, moldable, and slightly tacky (though not exactly sticky), so they can cover and preserve anything that might otherwise require plastic wrap, with the added bonus of feeling as though the product you have chosen carries a private karmic reward for you and anyone else who has chosen it. The wraps work well without any props, but also respond well to some help from a rubber band, string, or some twine, to keep the wrapping tight.
Hive 5 Beeswax Food Wrap
I use (and personally endorse) the Hive&Co brand, which offers a pack of three different-sized wraps, each with a pleasantly varied vintage-looking color and pattern, for $15.97. Other suitable options (at least, judging by their favorable Amazon reviews) are Bee’s Wrap (a set of three, with various patterns available, usually sells for $18 or $19), pataBee (set of four for $20.95), or Bee’s Knees (set of four for $18.99).
Bee’s Knees Wax Wrap 4 Pack
If you buy them, you may use them just as I do — for wrapping up half-eaten sandwiches and pieces of fruit, using as a replacement for long-lost Tupperware and Mason jar lids, and alleviating your general, unshakeable sense of guilt for being a person who has unconsciously used up more plastic than out ancestors likely ever saw for the entirety of their lives.
Once you’re done, simply rinse it off and let it dry. You can do this until the wrap loses its grip, which usually happens after about a year.
So, next time you’re in the market for plastic wrap, you could consider trying beeswax wrap instead. It can’t absolve all the guilt for being a person who lives in the world you may have built up at this point in your life, but it’s not a bad start.
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