Cling wrap is a very popular product that has been used for a very long time, since 1949 in fact, due to its convenience and efficiency in preserving our food. However, despite its benefits it is a plastic, a single-use plastic that is, and so it is not very environmentally friendly.
To help reduce our plastic use, finding a cling wrap alternative is a great start. Fortunately, there are numerous ways we can do this.
Before we do, I would like to touch on the topic of ‘misleading marketing’. I was pretty mislead the other day when I found a degradable version of cling wrap found at Woolworths and Coles.
I assumed the cling wrap was made from a plant-based material and was able to degrade once disposed of. What I found out, only recently was that degradable means the product can degrade without the use of micro-organisms or bacteria, rather it degrades into micro-plastics. Micro-plastics are very small fragments of plastic that have been broken down. This is not environmentally sustainable as these plastic fragments can still be harmful to the environment and animals, as they can enter the food chain due to their small size and can still contaminate soil and waterways.
Biodegradable is also a term that can be misleading, because everything biodegrades eventually. In the US, they prohibit the term ‘biodegradable’ to be used on any product unless it can break down into natural elements with the help of micro-organisms, within 5 years. However in Australia, we do not have such legislation and so companies are able to label their plastic bags as biodegradable which is very misleading to the consumer.
Compostable is the phrase we are looking for, as they leave no micro-plastics or toxic residues behind and can be put into a compost bin or organics recycling bin to decompose. The products that are compostable are usually made from plant sources such as sugar cane or vegetable fibers.
Image Source: https://biobagworld.com.au/misleading-labelling/misleading-degradable-and-biodegradable-plastic-bags
Now! Back to finding cling wrap alternatives…
Tip Number 1: TUPPERWARE
Tupperware is a great alternative to cling wrap. Though tupperware is made of plastic, it can be re-used, many, many times, rather then used once and immediately thrown away. When you are finished using the tupperware, it can still be recycled.
Tip Number 2: BEESWAX WRAPS
Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to cling wrap as they are reusable for up to 8-12 months! Make sure you wash them after use, and that is all is needed! They are made from beeswax, tree resin, and jojoba oil to create a flexible, slightly sticky wrap perfect for storing food.
To get yours, click here
Tip Number 3: REUSABLE SANDWICH BAGS
This has a very similar concept to the first two options. It is a reusable product that is used to store food, not only for sandwiches, but anything that will fit in it!
To get yours, click here
Overall, I think you can see the pattern here.
Plastic is so harmful to our environment because it is used very commonly as a single-use product and because it does not degrade naturally, it accumulates to dangerous levels in our environment.
In order to reduce your plastic use, finding options that are REUSABLE is the key!