Feeling the guilts over the amount of plastic you go through every week?
With single-use plastics on the way out (Starbucks are ditching plastic straws, this Cork company invented the first paper-free, compostable coffee cup) it seems we are finally waking up to the realities that our obsession with packaging is wreaking havoc on the environment.
If you’ve switched to a keep-cup for your morning latte and you know the difference between the brown bin and the green bin, there’s another easy thing you can do to keep even more plastic out of the landfill.
In a sentence? Stop using cling film.
Cling film is what’s known as a soft plastic – it can’t be recycled. Every piece you use will eventually end up in landfill where it takes decades to break down.
On top of that, there are some seriously scary studies that suggest the chemicals in clingfilm may leach into your food when it’s heated. *shudder*
Happily, there’s a brilliant alternative and it’s made right here in Cork.
Hanna Backmo, a Swede who has lived here for 17 years, keeps bees in Little Island.
Her hives, in apiaries in East Cork, produce delicious honey and she uses the beeswax to make a clever food wrap that has been selling out all over town.
Hanna’s Bee Wraps work harder than cling film, but they’re natural, re-usable and infinitely better for the environment.
I’ll admit; I was dubious at first.
Made using 100% cotton, beeswax from Hanna’s hives, organic jojoba oil and pine resin, the Bee-Wrap packaging says it folds around fruit, vegetables, cheese, sandwiches, bowls and containers.
But would it really seal everything in as tightly as cling film?
Eh, yes. Yes it does. It worked a treat on the first go – you just press it gently with your hands to seal the edges.
Afterwards, you rinse your wrap in warm water and hang it out to dry.
You can use them in kid’s lunchboxes, wrap one around an open bottle of wine, use one to keep half an avocado fresh – the possibilities are endless.
If you’re shallow, like me, you’ll also note they look a lot cuter in your fridge.
They last for more than a year and they can be refreshed in the oven every few months and eventually re-waxed or placed in the compost bin.
They’re even cost effective; Hanna’s Bee Wraps start at just €5 for one or €18 for the large pack.
Hanna’s Bee-Wraps are available directly from her Facebook page, at the Quay Co-Op on Sullivan’s Quay, Ballincollig and Carrigaline, The Good Food Shop in the English Market and Natural Choice in Paul Street Shopping Centre.