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Wax Wraps: Are They Worth It?


No matter where you are in your zero waste journey, you’ve surely heard about wax wraps to replace plastic containers for keeping your food fresh. While the dream of being completely plastic free may be alluring, it’s important to keep practicality in mind.

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Before tossing every piece of plastic you own, give yourself a moment or two to really think this through.

First question you’ll want to ask yourself: would you really use these wraps? Sure they may fit the aesthetic of the life you want to achieve, but would you be buying them just for the sake of saying you have them, or because you’ll actually end up using them?

They may keep your fruits and veggies fresh by sealing off the cut ends, but what about your leftover spaghetti? If you throw out all your plastic containers, you’ll have to find some other receptacle to put your leftover dinners in. Unless you plan on storing your spaghetti loose in the wrap?

Most of the wraps I’ve seen come in bundles of 3 or 5, which might work if you’re only planning to use them for your fruit and veggies, but they’re also pretty expensive. And, are you really going to go to the trouble of buying, shipping and having something manufactured because you only want 3? That seems more wasteful to me than just… keeping the plastic containers you already have.

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That’s not even mentioning what kind of wax wraps you’ll get. Most wraps on the market are made with beeswax. And as we all know, beeswax comes from you guessed it, bees, that means these wraps aren’t suitable for vegans. Maybe you’re not vegan, in which case, it doesn’t matter what kind you get. But if you are, are you willing to bend your morals just so you can buy a new product that you really don’t even need?

Or, perhaps you think you’ll just make your own wraps out of candilla wax. If you’re planning on doing that though, you’ll have to buy the raw materials: the wax, fabric, essential oils and an iron, if you don’t already have those products on hand. Then there’s the measuring, cutting, using melted hot wax, and you’ll have to put them somewhere while they dry.

I know it may sound like I’m trying to talk you out of buying these wraps, and I kind of am. But not for the reason you think!

I’m not saying they suck or think wax wraps are bad. I actually bought myself the raw materials so I could make my own vegan wraps a few years ago. Do you want to know what happened?

Absolutely nothing.

I was all set to make them one day, and I got distracted and didn’t end up doing them. Then life got in the way, and I ended up shoving all the materials into a drawer and honestly? I haven’t touched them since.

Because I don’t need to!

I have plenty of plastic containers that are doing the job just fine for now. I was also gifted some silicone resealable food bags last Christmas that I haven’t put to the test yet, either.

Reusable products are amazing inventions, and I absolutely love how much more accessible they’ve become. But, it’s hard not to get caught up in the newness and fanciness of it all.

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I wish my kitchen was all glass storage containers, silicone bags and wax wraps, but guess what? That’s just not practical! One day in the future, once all my single-use-turned-reusable plastic containers die (or get lent to friends and never returned), then I can start incorporating my reusable swaps.

But as it stands now, my kitchen is full of products that I need to use first. I’m sure a lot of your kitchens look the same way, and that’s perfectly fine! Maybe if you were starting from scratch, you could have a more zero waste kitchen – like if you were first moving out to live on your own – but the fact is we bought (or were gifted) items long before we ever thought about going zero waste, and we’ll need to use those items instead of trashing them because they no longer fit our aesthetic.

Remember: the most zero waste item that exists is the one you already own.

Plastic lives forever, which everyone originally thought was great, and I understand the urge to purge it all from your life now that you’ve learned the dark side to that, but unfortunately, that’s just not practical or the most zero waste way to change your life.

As much as you may hate it, you have to use your plastic containers until they’re unusable, then you can get yourself some more aesthetically pleasing products. Just think of this time as your transition period between how you used to live, and that dream life you’re envisioning.

Dreams take time to get to, so don’t try to rush.

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