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Karen waxes lyrical…about wax wraps!

In her ongoing attempts to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, our Contracts and Operations Officer Karen has been trying to cut down on plastic cling film and replace it with wax wraps. Read below to see how she got on…

Following on from my efforts to reduce waste, I noticed that while I was reducing as much food waste as possible (well that’s what I tell myself!) I was using large amounts of cling film to wrap left overs or unused food such as salads, cheese, sandwiches etc.

Once used, this wrapping is then disposed of as general non recycling waste. Glass storage containers weren’t always the most convenient option due to space or size required.

Then I came across the food wax wraps, I was a bit sceptical at first but decided to give it a go and bought some at a food and drink festival.

I was amazed at how easy they were to use, how well they sealed everything and they were easy to clean and reuse (and each piece can last up to 18 months).

So rather than buy the ready made wraps again, I bought a kit to see how easy they were to make at home.

The kit came with everything I needed to make 3 different size wraps.

The instructions were easy to follow and didn’t take very long. There were two methods – one was to put the fabric in the oven or the other to use an iron.

I chose the ironing method. All I had to do was cover the ironing board, grate the ready made wax block onto the fabric, cover with greaseproof paper, melt the wax with the iron then use the paint brush to ensure all the fabric was covered with the melted wax and then leave to dry.

Et Voila! The heat of your hands softens the wax and this enables you to mould it around what you are wrapping. It then dries hard and forms a perfect seal. No leaks, no odours!

The only sticking point (literally) was the wax to the grater- was a bit of a nightmare to get the wax off it or clean it afterwards- so next time I will try freezing the wax before I grate it.

Also, you need to cover the ironing board with cloth to prevent any wax getting onto the ironing board. I used a tea towel but that got covered in wax, so again, next time I will use something else.


  • They are not only good for wrapping food (by the way, if you want to cover raw meat, you would need to put this in a bowl or something and cover the container, its nor recommended to cover raw meat directly with the wraps as you can only wash them in warm water, otherwise you would melt the wax!)
  • They can also be used as funnels as they are completely waterproof
  • I use them to wrap things like soap or shampoo bars when going away.
  • They can be moulded into a bowl – really handy for picnics etc.
  • I’ve used them to cover jars (especially when someone decides to use the stabbing the lid with a knife to break the seal method of opening- which then leaves the lid unusable!)
  • When they are no longer useful as wraps- they can be used for firelighters
  • They are compostable and biodegradable

I have now found a recipe to make my own wax rather than buy ready made in kit form. There are only three ingredients, beeswax, jojoba oil and pine resin, and of course the cotton material. Old cotton shirts – (well washed of course)- can be used, which will help reduce waste- but shops that sell fabrics sell off roll ends which are really cheap, again avoiding reducing the potential for this to become waste. Win win!  And just thinking- I could go all seasonal and have special Christmas themed wraps (or is that just my excuse to cut up all of Patricks embarrassing Christmas shirts??) Now that is definitely a win win!

I’m still learning about how much wax to use for different sizes of material, and at the moment it’s very much a case of trial and error, but I will get there and hopefully Chez Martin’s could become a cling film free zone!

Our thanks to Karen for telling us about her efforts with wax wrapping and trying to adopt a zero waste lifestyle. Any external links in the article are not officially endorsed by MRWA and are for reference and information purposes only. Any opinions expressed are that of individuals not of MRWA.