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  • August 03, 2023 6 min read

    An Objective Overview of Beeswax Food Wraps: Benefits, Pitfalls, and Myth Busting

    As consumers have continued to scrutinise their sustainable choices, particularly in their households, food wraps have recently begun to form a hot topic in relation to what type of wrap is most sustainable.

    Beeswax food wraps have been a noteworthy contributor in recent years in the sustainability community. However, are they actually the optimal sustainable solution that we seek? Is their effectiveness an eco-friendly myth?

    This blog looks at recent studies. Some claim that, although beeswax wraps are the least commonly used, they have garnered some of the highest satisfaction ratings. In addition to this, we will also delve into the benefits, pitfalls, and myths surrounding beeswax food wraps.

    So, let’s explore some more thought-provoking realities - hopefully, ones that may challenge our pre-existing perceptions and drive us in our pursuit of more environmentally-conscious choices.

    The purpose of this blog isn’t to convey that beeswax is the perfect alternative to plastic food wraps. Rather it is to highlight some common misconceptions and outline some imperfections. 

    TL;DR: Currently beeswax food wraps will set you back 8.3 cents per use, and plastic wraps will set you back 2.7 cents per use. Consumers are paying a premium for a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic wraps, however, this may not be the case for long - for reasons we explore throughout the rest of this blog.

    Perceptions of Commonly Used Food Wraps

    A recent 2022 study looked at consumer buying behaviours towards reusable beeswax wraps, factors that motivated and demotivated the purchasing of beeswax wraps, factors of demand, and satisfaction levels towards the wraps people use (Saini, 2022). 

    This study looked into common food wraps used by consumers including; plastic cling wraps, tissue paper, beeswax wraps, aluminium foil, and parchment paper. What was observed was that people were least satisfied with aluminium foil at a 60.22% satisfaction level, although that was the most commonly used wrap (Saini, 2022). Contrastingly, beeswax food wraps had a higher satisfaction level of 76.92% despite being the least commonly used wrap (Saini, 2022). 

    Do Beeswax Food Wraps Help With the Preservation of Food?

    For food storage, beeswax food wraps have been found to be more effective than their plastic wrap counterparts. However, they tended to be less effective than traditional reusable sandwich bags (Skiver, 2023). This is because beeswax wraps are breathable, allowing food to stay fresh while preventing moisture from building up (Saini, 2022).

    It has been noted that beeswax food wraps are often marketed and associated with having antibacterial properties, but the evidence to support this claim is limited at this stage (Skiver, 2023). It may also be the case that the efficacy of beeswax food wraps is reduced as the number of times they have been cleaned increases - due to the moisture barriers deteriorating as beeswax food wraps dry out (Skiver, 2023).

    What are Some Hazards of Traditional Plastic Food Wraps?

    A survey on 404 Australian SMEs found that plastic wrap was the third biggest contributor to the waste they were sending to landfill (Redmond, 2014). Data collected on different cities around the world and the composition of the waste being sent to landfill found that cling wrap consistently ranked high as a product being sent to landfill (Ueta & Koizumi, 2001). This reached as high as 5% of the total volume of household waste in Neyagawa (Ueta & Koizumi, 2001). As a result of plastic wrap being one of the main items being sent to landfill, changing from plastic wrap to a more environmentally sustainable food wrap, such as beeswax wraps, is a way we can reduce waste to a significant degree.

    Plastic wrap has a long-term resistance to biodegradation. This means plastic wrap is accumulating in the environment and affecting organisms of all ecosystems on earth by getting into waterways and harming the digestive systems of wildlife when they are consumed. In addition to this, the production of non-degradable plastics, which ranges from 350 million to 400 million tons each year, uses fossil fuels, giving it a large carbon footprint estimated to be around 56 gigatons of carbon between 2019 and 2050 (Joyce, 2019).

    Many look toward recycling as a solution for how to dispose of these plastics. However, only around 9 per cent of plastic waste has been recycled (A Whopping 91 Percent of Plastic Isn't Recycled, 2018). Incineration of plastics is another solution. However, although Incineration reduces the number of plastics that directly pollute the environment, it releases harmful air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, contributing towards pollution (Dey et al., 2020).

    A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Beeswax Food Wraps and Common Alternatives

    It is not a controversial notion that consumers are often value-driven, often taking into consideration and measuring the benefits and associated utility they will gain from buying a particular product (Saini, 2022). 

    As of July 2023, there is little research into the cost-benefit of using beeswax food wraps over common alternatives. We decided to undertake an in-house analysis of the cost of plastic wraps in contrast to beeswax wraps found on our store, and some cheaper beeswax wraps from other stores on the market.

    We had a list of products and assumptions associated with our ad-hoc analysis and they are listed below as follows:

    • Plastic Wrap

    For our plastic wrap we looked at a fairly standard 30 metre cling wrap from Coles which can be found at:

    • Beeswax Food Wrap 1

    For our first beeswax wrap we used one made by My Humble Earth and can be found on our website here:

    • Beeswax Food Wrap 2

    For our second beeswax wrap, we used an alternative in the beeswax wrap space, which can be found here: 

    • Assumption 1

    For plastic wraps, we assumed that on average one would use 25cm per wrap. For a 30-metre roll, this would give us 120 wraps in total, and an approximate cost of $0.027 per wrap, given that the cost of a 30-metre roll is $3.25 at Coles.

    • Assumption 2

    For Beeswax Food Wrap 1, each pack comes with 3 wraps - and we have assumed that each wrap can be used at least 100 times, for a total of 300 uses. This is based on a suggestion that the efficacy of beeswax food wraps remains persistent for up to 100 uses (Saini, 2022). Dividing the cost of $25.00 by 300 uses gives us a figure of $0.083 per use.

    • Assumption 3

    For Beeswax Food Wrap 2, the most cost-efficient way to purchase it is by the metre at $40/m. Using our assumption of 25cm per wrap, this gives four beeswax wraps each with 100 uses, totalling 400 uses. Dividing the cost of $40 by 400 uses gives us a figure of $0.10 per use.

    Overall, you are paying approximately $0.027 per wrap of a plastic cling wrap roll, as opposed to $0.083 per use of a beeswax wrap roll. At an equivalent of 300 uses, it would cost you $25.00 for the beeswax food wraps, whereas it would cost $8.10 worth of plastic cling wrap.


    Beeswax wraps are a popular alternative to other methods of wrapping food. It is clear why this is the case. Beeswax wraps are a way consumers can genuinely make a difference and reduce the amount of waste they produce.

    The key difference is that beeswax wraps are biodegradable. There is currently no way to use, recycle or reuse plastic wraps to make them biodegradable or environmentally friendly. Therefore, this is a big advantage beeswax wraps have over other wraps.

    At this stage, consumers will pay a premium to use the more sustainable method of wrapping their food with beeswax wraps. However, as production improves for beeswax wraps, we can see a world where beeswax wraps become the same price (if not cheaper) than their plastic counterparts and their usage will be more widespread. Beeswax wraps are and will continue to play a significant role in how we can live more sustainable lives.


    • Saini, Y., Gandhi, H., Garg, S., & Joshi, K. “Consumer Behaviour Analysis: Sustainable Food Wrapping With Beeswax.” EPRA International Journal of Research and Development (IJRD), 7(9) (2022).65-71.
    • Skiver, Sarah, "Beeswax Wraps as an Alternative to Single-Use Plastics" (2023). Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects. 1697.
    • Redmond, J, E.A Walker, C.M Parker, and M Simpson. “Australian SMEs Waste to Landfill.” Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 21, no. 3 (2014): 297–310. <>
    • Ueta, Kazuhiro, and Harumi Koizumi. “Reducing Household Waste: Japan Learns from Germany.” Environment : Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 43, no. 9 <(2001): 20–32.