Saving leftovers or unused ingredients in cooking is not only cost-effective, but it also reduces food waste and efficiently uses food products. Plastic wrap and aluminum foil have been widely used since the early 20th century to preserve food all around the world. However, decades of usage has led to a buildup of non-biodegradable substances in landfills and dumps. Producing these packaging materials can also be environmentally costly; a ton of aluminum ingots requires 170 million Btu of energy and produces 12 tons of carbon dioxide. About 29.5 percent of municipal waste in the United States is made up of containers and plastic packaging. Although plastic wrap companies have recently switched from PVC to its safer alternative LDPE, there are still concerns about toxicity and carcinogenic emissions from its processing.
Created by Vermont farmer Sarah Kaeck, Bee’s Wrap is a biodegradable, nontoxic, organic alternative to disposable plastic wrap. Bee’s Wrap is made from organic cotton muslin and infused with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin, which have natural antibacterial properties and make the wrap easily reusable. Using the wrap is also simple; the warmth of pressing the wrap closed seals it, protecting food and holding liquids securely. The wrap is air- and watertight and can be used hundreds of times after being cleaned with cold water and soap. Kaeck suggests cutting the wrap into pieces after its year-long term of use for fire starter strips. In its production, use, and disposal, Bee’s Wrap is friendly to the environment and made of only natural ingredients.
Kaeck has recently expanded her production to include a variety of wrap sizes and is shipping the product worldwide. Kaeck hopes Bee’s Wrap will encourage home cooks to reconsider how they are using materials and get them thinking about recycling. According to Kaeck, “Bee’s Wrap is such a simple application of natural ingredients with such amazing capabilities for food storage that it intrigues skeptics, willing them to give it a try. It is not a new concept but rather old, simple, and so easy to use.”