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What is a beeswax wrap, and do you need one?

Beeswax Wraps, zero wasteNaomi SzwedComment

Cling wrap, Glad Wrap, plastic film, shrink wrap…. Whatever you call it, for years we have been wrapping our bowls, containers and food in this sticky plastic wrap. The industry in Australia alone is estimated to be worth 51 Million a year, thats a lot of cling wrap! When you consider that it was developed accidentally by a chemical company and was produced to spray on aircraft to protect them, it seems crazy that we are using it in such high quantities to cover our food.

What are the potential health risks associated with using plastic on our food?

Chemicals like Polyvinyl Chloride and Bisphenol A, have been used in the production of plastic wrap, these are the same chemicals that have been associated with birth defects, cancer, and skin disorders. We are also now starting to realize the heightened risks associated with heating cling wrap and other plastics in the microwave, and the potential for these harmful chemicals to leach into our foods.

What are the environmental risks?

Environmentally, plastic lasts forever and we know that plastic sitting in landfill will leach toxins into the earth beneath it and sometimes into water supply. It has also been recently discovered that decomposing plastics in landfill have the potential to be releasing further C02 into the atmosphere, due to the oil in its chemical composition.

The other issue is the single-use nature of the film, after it’s use, it is rarely ever reused.

So what can you do?

The great news is, there are many alternatives to using cling wrap. One of them being Beeswax Wraps.

A Beeswax Wrap is essentially a piece of organic cotton infused with beeswax, and sometimes a special tree resin and jojoba oil. The use of this method of food preservation actually dates back to the early 1900’s to Egypt. Not only do the wraps form an airtight seal for you containers and foods, but at the end of its life can be disposed off in your organics to break down naturally. The wrap sticks to itself by using the heat from your hands to soften, and can be used for sandwiches, half used fruit and vegetables. My favourite use being around my block of cheese. No more dry daggy bits in the bin.

Wraps are very easy to care for by just wiping them down with a damp cloth, and you can expect to get approximately 12 months of use from each wrap with proper care.

TIP: Roll rather than fold your wrap when storing, to protect the wax distribution on the wrap.

Head over to the Package me Free shop page to grab a pack to start your collection

Let’s go Package Free Together

Litter thy enemy

History, LitterNaomi SzwedComment

When i was growing up in primary school, it was common to see children in the school yard during recess and lunch picking up litter. If you had acted out a little in class, spoke too much, or been too cheeky, then litter duty was the teachers weapon to bring you back in line.

Armed with a plastic bag, you could not enjoy what was left of your break until you had returned with it full. So kids raced around to the litter hotspots to fill that bag as quick as you could. Most of the time that bag was difficult to fill, so sometimes if you could get away with it, you would have to sneak some items out of the bin or you would miss out on some play time with your mates.

I have heard these days, that litter duty has been banned from schools, as it is deemed ‘degrading’ to the student picking up rubbish. I find that very sad, as it was during these litter picking up moments, that I began to develop my knowledge and understanding of waste and my understanding of litter as an issue. I found the process of taking a messy and unclean area and cleaning it up as strangely rewarding, relaxing and almost enjoyable.

It was during this time, that the entrepreneur in me first emerged, where I took this enjoyment of picking up litter and offered my litter picking up services to the naughty kids in exchange for some money to spend on lollies in the canteen.

Who knew that 30 years on, I would still be trying to turn my passion for the environment and litter reduction into a career? That my friends, is how it all began.

Welcome to Package me Free

Naomi SzwedComment

Thank you for joining me on this journey toward minimizing waste. Whether you are in the first steps of exploring Zero Waste, or you are a seasoned guru, I hope that you find some useful tips and products, as we launch our new blog and website.