There are so many things you can do at home to reduce plastic use, like switching from bottled shampoo to bars. Lots of sustainable swaps can be made in the kitchen too, ditching plastic cling wrap for reusable food wraps is an easy and low-cost alternative, but when it comes to reusable food wraps, it's important to know how to use beeswax wraps. I've rounded up my top 6 picks for the best reusable food wraps. So excited to share the buzz with you! 🙂
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What Are Beeswax Wraps?
Beeswax wraps are used in place of plastic wrap to cover and wrap foods like cheese, fruits, veggies and sandwiches. They are typically made from material like cotton (preferably organic) that is infused with either beeswax or plant-based (vegan) waxes like Candelilla wax or Carnauba wax, plus oils like coconut or jojoba and resin (tree sap) that give the wraps that tacky sticky feel. Beeswax wraps can be moulded to fit different foods and storage containers and are super grippable.
They are sustainable because you can use them over and over again, helping to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in our landfills. Once you are done with them, they can be composted and let's face they look way cuter than plastic. They are the perfect zero-waste option.
How to use Beeswax wraps?
It's so easy! All you need is your little fingers. With just the warmth of your hands, you simply press the wrap around bowls, jars, dishes, or food like cheese, vegetables, greens, bread, fruit, fresh herbs, and baked goods. They mould so easily and are super simple to use.
Step 1 - unfold it.
Step 2 - I like to crumple mine just very gently, I find this helps to soften some that can feel a little hard when you first open them.
They come in a variety of sizes from ones you can use to cover a small mason jar to giant sheets that can cover a whole melon. I normally use the larger sheets of beeswax wrap to cover bowls and the smaller sheets to preserve half a lemon or avocado. They are perfect for packing lunches or snacks too.
Never use them in the microwave or dishwasher. Let dishes and foods cool down to room temperature before wrapping. Do not use on hot foods or raw meats or fish. Cooked meats and deli meats are fine. They can go either in the fridge or freezer.
The 6 BEST Reusable Food Wraps!
Earthology is a female-owned small business based in Ontario Canada. All of their reusable wraps are handcrafted with care and made using sustainable and organic ingredients making the transition to a zero-waste life easy and beautiful. Going all organic was something that meant so much to the makers, after learning about the harmful effects of the textile industry on both workers and the environment, opting for organic material was a no-brainer.
"We have a responsibility to the wildlife we are working to preserve, the environment we impact and the people who make the ingredients we use"- Earthology
One of the things I love most about this brand's reusable wraps is the smell. It's simply divine and there's a reason for it. They use the MOST ethically sourced beeswax partnering with a local and sustainable beekeeper who owns a small farm. When it comes to bees we need to ensure that the wax that is being harvested is done so in a way with minimal impact on the bees. In this particular case, the bees are allowed to winter, they are not artificially awake outside of their natural cycle, and they only harvest the excess to "allow the bees to flourish". The wax is filtred in-house and is as pure as it can be!
The cotton itself is 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Their Vegan reusable wraps are made with organic jojoba oil and coniferous tree resin.
How to use beeswax wraps from Earthology, it's so easy! With just a little warmth from your hands. Simply press the wrap around bowls, jars and dishes! They offer an XXL size that can wrap artisan bread, I love this so much, I could never find a wrap to fit. You can take it to the farmer's market and have them wrap it for you right there. These are also great for casseroles and even half a watermelon! I mean come on! It's really the little things that get me going. LOL. Wash with cold water, and a gentle eco-friendly soap when needed. Lay flat to dry. Never wring out your food wrap.
Choose from a wide range of patterns (love and want them all) and sizes. If you are just getting started I suggest you try the variety pack which comes with 2 small (7" by 7"), 2 medium (10" by 10"), and 1 large (13" by 13").
If you mistakenly wash your wrap in hot water you can purchase their DIY re-waxing kit. BRILLIANT! Each kit contains enough wax to freshen up 3 packs. The wax is their special formula and is designed to be used with their products.
Founded by Kristi MacDonald and made in Canada BeesBAGZ is the first plastic-free beeswax wrap baggie developed to make kids' lunches healthy and at the same time be a part of the solution to the global crisis of plastic.
Their beeswax is 100% pure Canadian beeswax that is FDA certified and sourced from an Ontario cooperative, where they buy from local beekeepers, who treat their hives like part of the family.
I love the fact that BeeBAGZ offers an alternative to wraps by being designed in a bag format. They are super easy to use and provide convenience and functionality.
I have used beeswax wraps in the past that did not maintain their stickiness and have left food exposed to air, drying it out and making it go bad earlier than it should, that will not happen with these bagz, it's genius. These reusable beeswax bags will keep your food fresher longer, helping to reduce food waste. They are water-resistant and made with 100% cotton and a patent-pending seam. Your food will taste better compared to storage in plastic zipper locked baggies, plastic wraps or other plastic food storage containers.
Like beeswax wraps, they offer a selection of sizes to meet your needs. If you have used wraps before I suggest starting with the family pack. These packs include 3 small (6.5" x 4.5"), 2 medium (6.5" x 8.5") and 1 large (14" x 11") and are available in blue, green, grey, orange and a random selection. If you are new to reusable wraps or bagz, I'd give the starter pack a go.
The starter packs include 1 small (wrap half of a lemon, the end of a cucumber, half of an onion, half of an avocado, carrot sticks, crackers, cheese or other snack items, 1 medium (perfect to store a sandwich, baked good, cheese, or half of a cabbage or cantaloupe) and 1 large (store lettuce or kale in the fridge. Freshly baked bread lasts for days ). I really love their patterns, and they are designed by an artist named Scarlette Soleil. So fun and so whimsical perfect for any kitchen.
Looking for a great way to freeze food without plastic? You can use BeeBAGZ in the freezer, this has been a game-changer for me.
These Bagz are so easy to use, load your favourite food, fold top-down and seal shut with the pinch of your fingers. Your food becomes sealed in seconds.
Kinsfolk is one of my fav eco shops in Canada. If you are looking for well-curated zero waste alternatives for your home, this is the place. Oh and all of their shipping is carbon neutral and plastic-free! They sell a wide range of ethically made, and sustainably sourced kitchen, bath, and self-care goods. Their BEE NICE beeswax wraps are simply the cutest. I adore all of the patterns so much. You can choose patterns with doughnuts and tacos or how about pretzels and food trucks. My fav is the Sprinkle pattern, pictured. I mean if you are Canadian is a no-brainer, So cute right?
These reusable wraps are made in North Bay, Ontario using local wax, tress resin and 100% cotton. The wax comes from a little farm named Board's Honey Farm which is snuggled on a hillside overlooking Commanda Lake seconds near the village of Restoule. All of their gardens are dedicated to the industrious bees, they've planted special flowers and foliage that they like, which they have been dong since 1974.
They have over 300 colonies that are "situated in the scenic pristine and unpolluted countryside of Northern Ontario’s Almaguin/Nipissing Region. The bees pollinate old farming fields, cattle fields and non-industrial farming areas that are known for not using pesticides"
For sizes, its pretty simple:
Small: 6” x 9" - Perfect to wrap small fruit like avocados, apples and cheese as well as small bowls.
Medium: 10” x 10" - Perfect for medium bowls, larger fruit or veg like melon, cabbage.
Large: 11” x 14" - Great for larger bowls, plates, leftovers.
Extra Large: 14" x 17" Perfect for casserole dishes, lasagna, loaves of bread.
I suggest giving the three-pack a go. How to use beeswax wraps from Kinsfolk: again it's pretty simple, use the warmth of your hands to mold and shape your beeswax wraps and to help make them stick. These reusable wraps can last from 6 months to a year depending on how frequently you use them and how you wash them.
Is an online zero-waste retail shop based in Canada that strives for ecological responsibility? All of the items they sell are either reusable or biodegradable completely eliminating the need for single-use plastics.
EcoFreax beeswax wraps come in a roll, which lets you decide how much of the wrap you need for your food storage. Cut as big or as little pieces as you like. I freaking LOVE this so much. It's ingenious especially if you have weird-shaped plates and bowls or want to wrap something tiny or super big!
I also find this is a really good option for people who love using a plastic wrap that comes in roll form. I find if you can give people eco alternatives that look and work in the same way that their conventional items do, they will be more likely to make the switch and stick with it. It's easy to store, taking up little space.
For this post, it was very important for me to ask the brands about where the wax is sourced and of course how the bees are treated.
EcoFreax Beeswax is being sourced from local honey farmers in China where they forage naturally. Cleanliness and good housekeeping practices are being kept at the workplace and regularly inspected by the manufacturer of their beeswax wraps, only the highest quality (cleanest) honeycombs are being used.
They have been on several video calls and sent pictures of the production facility (where the beeswax wraps are being manufactured) assuring that all employees are being fairly treated, working in clean and safe facilities and paid a fair wage. They always keep in touch with their manufactures, sharing family photos or stories, this helps to build better relationships, gain trust and assures they get high-quality, sustainably sourced products.
How to use beeswax wraps or in this case rolls from EcoFreax: Easy peasy! Cut as big or as little pieces you like and wrap your food using the warmth of your hands to make it stick. Cut into as many beeswax wraps sheets as you need and reuse them as many times as you like. Make it your sandwich wrap, your bowl cover or your snack bag.
Simply wash them in cold water and soap (eco-friendly, gentle ones with low alcohol content are best). They should last about a year, then like all the others you can compost them! The roll is 13"x78.5" in size. And if you are looking for wholesale opportunities, they offer wholesale on all the coupleDots and EcoFreax products too!
Nature Bee was founded in 2018 by Vancouver Island local and Queen Bee, Katie Gamble. What began as a final project at the end of her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Victoria quickly turned into something much more. Now it's a full-fledged, local, woman-owned business that's transparent with its employees.
Made from 100% cotton, Vancouver Island sourced beeswax, pine tree resin, and jojoba oil, each wrap is handcrafted, folded and packaged right on the island. Which I am in desperate need to visit one day!
I LOVE the fact that all of the ingredients used to make Nature Bee's reusable wraps are all-natural and hand-picked to ensure the best quality but also meet their sustainability standards and safety standards.
Their beeswax is sourced a few minutes away from their production facility at a local family-run farm which cuts down their carbon footprint by sourcing it locally. The bees are free to roam the surrounding landscapes and are raised in a seaside mountain meadow where they can produce pure, healthy and rich beeswax. There are no cheap wax substitutes and the wax is not treated with chemicals.
I’ve mentioned pine resin a few times in this blog post. It comes from a pine tree and sourced from the USA “where the resin is extracted from the trees using methods that respect the resin's regeneration time (including the use of fallen branches) and it is done in a way that provides a constant supply, with future yields unaffected by current methods.”
They use ethically sourced jojoba oil and cotton too. When you purchase these wraps you are helping remove 900 to 3,600 pieces of plastic wrap from our oceans and landfills each year.
Let’s talk about their prints. They are so colourful and will be a fabulous addition to any home. They work with local artists to bring limited-edition collections to choose from, you will want them all. I can see how easy it would be to quickly become a collector.
If you are just making the switch, I recommend the "Nature Bee Lovers Variety Set", inspired by all the amazing things that bees do for us. You get one small (20" x 20), one medium (24' x 25") and one large (35" x 35"). If you need a jumbo wrap, they’ve got you covered with one that is 45cm x 60cm. Great to wrap large pans casseroles and even baking equipment.
If you are already a convert, I’d go with the “I want to try it all" pack, you’ll get one jumbo, two large, 3 medium, 4 small, all random patterns, which I kind of LOVE!
Nature Bee also offers custom beeswax wraps which are brilliant if you are a small company and want to give something that’s unique and sustainable. Contact them directly for details.
I've been using Abeego in my home for almost 10 years. They were actually one of the first eco-swaps that I made. I just went for it. I bought one in each size and have never looked back. I actually think I still have one from their original branding. Toni Desrosiers is the Queen Bee behind the brand and was a real pioneer in this space, being the OG of beeswax wraps.
Desrosiers founded Abeego on two principles: Firstly, it’s logical. It breathes. "If living food needed to be wrapped in airtight wrap the rind, peel or skin would be airtight. It’s not. Secondly, it’s inspirational. It looks good, feels good, smells good and fosters a healthier relationship with food", says Toni.
Abeego is made with a formula of beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, all infused into hemp or organic cotton cloth. I am totally addicted to the smell and feel of these wraps. They source their beeswax from small local apiaries across the Canadian prairies who are sustainable, third-generation beekeepers whose practices they trust.
Toni is a major advocate for keeping food fresh and learning to store your food properly is the key to keeping it fresh and reducing food waste. Abeego has actually conducted experiments that have shown that "naked" food kept in the fridge will cause it to lose 30% of its natural moisture in three days. Shopping for naked food reduces your kitchen waste but when you get it home you need to cover those foods to ensure freshness. That's where beeswax warps come in, as Toni puts it "keep food alive".
Abeego wastes nothing, whatever is left over is turned into something else. They created their own version of the twist tie! GENIUS, I use these to tie cat food bag, chip bags and more, anything else that is left over they press into little bricks to be sold as fire starters.
These are beautifully packaged and branded. For the newbie, try the variety pack which comes with one small (7” x 7”), one medium (10” x 10”) and one large (13” x 13”). They also have a giant size for a French loaf. Ooh la la!
How to use beeswax wraps from Abeego, squeeze the wrap around anything and everything. It’s like a handshake–the firmer, the better. Wash as required (less is more). If it’s not soiled–fold and put away. The website site says it lasts up to a year. I've been able to have them for at least three years. It’s biodegradable and compostable, or it can be used as fire starters for campfires, BBQs or wood stoves.
Common Questions About Beeswax Wraps:
Are beeswax wraps hygienic?
Yes, 100% beeswax wraps are hygienic. Beeswax is naturally antibacterial, helping to keep the wraps clean and preventing the spread of common bacterial organisms. They are also effective at repelling smells and odours. Make sure you are not using raw meat or fish. Once you wash your wraps, make sure they are completely dry before you store them.
How long do beeswax wraps last?
Most brands say between 6 and 12 months, I've had ones that have lasted way longer than that. It will really depend on how well you care for them and how often you use them. I like to have extras so I am not using the same one or two over and over again. I recommend having at least 4 to start.
How do I care for my wrap after each use?
Each brand has specific instructions, but you can follow these simple steps. After you use it, wash your Beeswax Wrap with natural dishwashing liquid in cool water, and then let it hang to dry. Warm and hot water will melt the wax and ruin your wraps. There are times when I don't wash my wraps. If I wrap a piece of bread, I will just wipe off the crumbs using a cloth. They can’t be cleaned in the dishwasher or used on the stovetop. Here's a 5 step guide on How To Clean Beeswax Wraps.
How should I store my reusable wraps?
We've chatted quite a bit about how to use Beeszwaz wraps, but storing them correctly is also key. Beeswax wraps can be stored folded in a drawer. If you have enough space you can lay them flat, so no crease forms. I keep a few gently rolled in a container on my kitchen counter, so they are easily accessible. Keep away from direct sunlight and away from sources of heat.
Pros and Cons of Beeswax Wraps:
Reduce food waste:
Aside from keeping plastic out of your environment, beeswax wraps help to reduce food waste but you have to understand how to store your food properly in order to achieve success.
Nature is pretty amazing, all of its "wraps" are breathable (think peel, skin and rind), whereas plastic is airtight and does not allow food to breathe. If you've ever bought herbs in those little plastic containers you know they get "wet" in the fridge thanks to the condensation that forms on them due to natural gas they omit, that condemnation then collects on the herbs making them spoil faster. Because reusable wraps are breathable it helps to prevent this from happening. It protects food from air and moisture while letting it breathe, much the way a lemon peel, onion skin or cheese rind works.
If you think this is a modern-day invention, think again. The Egyptians were the first to use beeswax-coated fabric to preserve food, providing a versatile open for clay and glass vessels.
In other cultures, they've used hide covered in beeswax to bury meat in the ground over winter. Historically we can see that there have been many successful ways of storing food before the invention of plastic in the 1950s.
We've all seen the terrible images of wildlife trapped or entangled in plastic waste that litters our environment. Opting to reduce plastic use helps to keep it out of our lakes, rivers, oceans and parks, protecting wildlife at the same time. #winning
Natural and Biodegradable
Unlike plastic, which takes hundreds of years to break down, beeswax wraps are biodegradable, which means "the ability of things to get disintegrated (decomposed) by the action of micro-organisms such as bacteria or fungi biological (with or without oxygen) while getting assimilated into the natural environment. There's no ecological harm during the process." And as a result, they can be composted!
There are a few things that my readers always address when I talk about beeswax wraps. They are not accessible to everyone. We are seeing more shops and grocers carry them, but it's still an item you have to find either online or in a specialty store. Yes, they are more expensive and that also makes them inaccessible to people who are on a budget. But it's an upfront cost that will save you money in the long run. This applies to most eco-friendly products.
The other complaint I get is a beeswax wraps can retain certain smells, hello onions! Yes, this can happen, but I find that if you wash them a couple of times and give them a few days to air out the smell does go away. For smelly foods, you can wrap the onion half so the wrap isn’t touching the cut side of the onion using a pouch or dumpling-style fold. I have two older wraps that use for onion and garlic.
The pros far out weigh the cons! Don't you agree!
How To Use Beeswax Wraps in Different Ways
I've outlined all the ways you can use reusable wraps for all different kinds of food. But there are other FUN ways I use wraps in my home: In a jam for a funnel, roll up a small size to create a funnel, works like a charm to fill jars and containers;
Giving flowers as a gift? Instead of using plastic bring an extra-long sheet to the florist and have them use it instead. What a great gift to give.
In the summer I use them to cover the top of bottles to keep the bees away;
Got a tight lid on a jar? Use a beeswax wrap;
Make your own twist ties by cutting up worn out wraps into strips;
Got a tight lid on a jar? Use a beeswax wrap. It's amazing. Give it a try;
When I travel (pre-covid) I used to wrap my shampoo bars.
The Botton Line on How to Use Beeswax Wraps
Using beeswax wraps is an easy thing to do in the home to curtail the amount of waste you personally generate. Our kitchens are one of the biggest producers of waste but there are so many things you can do in the kitchen to reduce that, one of them is opting for more eco-friendly food storage solutions, which will have you well on your way to making your fridge plastic-free.
Have you ever tried beeswax wraps? How do you use them in your home? Share your journey in the comment section.
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