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Like many of us, quarantine has given me the opportunity to reevaluate several facets of my life, especially the ones that seem so routine and organic—like buying plastic wrap. Plastic wrap, tin foil, and sandwich bags have been staples on my grocery lists for years and I have never questioned their role in my kitchen. But despite all this, I always felt a hint of shame and regret whenever it came time to throw them out knowing just how bad they are for the environment.
I used to think that these disposable food storage products were irreplaceable, but reusable products like Bees Wrap have been helping me kick my single-use plastic habits—as Beyoncé eloquently once said—to the left, to the left. Providing a solution towards eliminating plastics from kitchens around the world, Bees Wrap offers a sustainable alternative to traditional food storage products while also encouraging consumers to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic altogether.
Each piece starts with a cloth that is made with organic cotton and coated with sustainably-sourced beeswax to create its clinging effect while also improving its durability so it can mold effortlessly around produce, bread, cheese, cookies, Tupperware containers, and more. To ensure that everyone’s kitchen needs are met, Bees Wrap is available in a variety of sizes, ranging from small (7” x 8”), medium (10” x 11”), and large (13” x 14”) and retail for $6, $6.60, and $7.20, respectively. Each size is also available in bundles of three for those looking to purchase more than one sheet at a time. You can even buy an Assorted 3 Pack of the three varying sizes or try the Bees Wrap Lunch Pack, which includes a sandwich wrap and two medium sheets for $21.
How Does It Work?
Just like your average sheet of plastic wrap or tin foil, Bees Wrap is malleable, which means it can be manipulated into whatever shape is needed to securely seal your food in place. The warmth from your hands actually helps activate the natural sealant properties of the beeswax, so it’s best to really get in there and get those corners tight. It’s important to note that while Bees Wrap can handle any food storage scenario you throw at it, it cannot withstand heat and it’s not recommended to stick in the microwave, oven, or dishwasher. Raw meat and fish are also on the no-no list.
The cloths are washable and can be reused for up to one year; all you need to do is rinse it in cool or lukewarm water after usage, scrub any dirty spots, and let it air-dry. You’ll know that the Bees Wrap is ready to be tossed when it has lost its thickness and isn’t sticking to itself anymore. When those 365 days are up, the folks at Bees Wrap suggest cutting it into strips and adding it to your compost pile. If you’re not a composter yet, Bees Wrap can also be used as a natural fire starter as well.
My First Impressions
Eager to dip my toes into the Bees Wrap pool, I decided to test out the Assorted 3 Pack and Lunch Pack, to get a sense of how each product performs. Not only was I thrilled about investing in a more sustainable food storage alternative, but I was also delighted by the colorful prints that you can choose from and to add some color to my fridge. Sticking true to its mission, Bees Wrap’s prints and patterns each pay homage to nature and, of course, the bees that help make it all possible.
My first impressions of the Bees Wrap singles were that they were thicker than I was expecting. They also have a slight coarseness to them as well, but this only made me more confident in their efficacy. I noticed that the pack had a faint smell to it, which came courtesy of the beeswax, but I wasn’t bothered by it. The small sheet that came in the Assorted 3 Pack was smaller than I envisioned, but I figured it would be great for little snacks and other tiny fixes. The medium, on the other hand, was the perfect size. It’s the most versatile of the trio and can be matched up with a variety of items and containers. The large, however, was much bigger than I was expecting and it was kind of tricky to figure out what to use it for.
Moving over to the Lunch Pack, I love the sandwich wrap’s little button-string closure, which made me feel super earthy and eco-friendly. This bag also gave me an excuse to go to the deli and have a sandwich for lunch. Since deli sandwiches can get real messy real fast, I was curious to see how the Bees Wrap sandwich wrap performed, especially since I wasn’t sure how to fold the open sheet to securely fit the sandwich. The wrap also comes accompanied by two medium sheets, which I decided would be great for snacks.
Testing Them Out
I was really impressed with the durability of the sheets. Still unsure what to pair the small one with, I figured it could work around a jar of salsa that had lost its lid after a recent family barbecue. It was the perfect size for the job and it stayed in place. Wanting to see how Bees Wrap performs with unconventional shapes, I used the medium sheet to hold three clementines that I had handy. I was able to mold the sheet around the crevices and curves of the fruit and am happy to report that they didn’t budge. When it came time for the large sheet, I decided to use it to cover a large glass Tupperware that was filled to the brim with messy quinoa and lots of chopped veggies. It was a little too big for the container, but I found that the extra room helped give me some additional grip around the rim. To see if it was really mess-proof, I timidly tipped the container over and the Bees Wrap didn’t let me down.
I don’t know if it was just because I was being really gentle with the Bees Wrap at first, but I found that each piece required a little more effort to completely seal compared to cling wrap and tin foil; you have to really warm it up to enforce the shape you want. Also, let me just say that it was really upsetting to bend in the crisp, fresh-from-the-box sheet. Thankfully, the products are flexible and the creases didn’t alter their effectiveness. But despite my best efforts, I will say it was hard to get the Bees Wrap to stick to itself against the glass containers, which made me worried about the quinoa and salsa losing their freshness. I think the product works best when you’re using them to wrap something whole instead of as a lid, but maybe I just need more practice.
In honor of the Lunch Pack, I decided to pack myself a work-from-home lunch to see how each piece fared when put inside of my lunch box. Kicking things off with the sandwich wrap, which is officially my favorite of the trio, I wrapped my super-stuffed deli sandwich with care and found that it was actually incredibly easy to execute. Had I made the sandwich myself, I would have definitely could have used the opened sheet as a placemat and then wrapped it up once it was done. The button and waxed string really helped secure everything in place and eased my nerves about the sandwich deconstructing. For the medium sheets, I decided to raise the stakes a little and load them up with items that were a little messier: Crackers and a travel-sized container of hummus. As expected, the sheets fit comfortably over both and kept them secure.
With everything packed and ready to go, I then performed the “lunch box test,” which was basically me just shaking my packed lunch box around to see if any of the Bees Wraps came undone or if the food got crumbled. Much to my surprise, everything remained intact for the most part—even the crackers! Let the record show that Bees Wrap also makes for an excellent sandwich bag replacement as well. All that shaking around resulted in some crumbs and minor sandwich spillage, which gave me the opportunity to try cleaning the Bees Wrap. Following the brand’s rinse-scrub-dry method, I was extra careful with the water temperature and only used a dime-sized amount of dish soap, but I was being more cautious than I needed to be. Everything cleaned off nicely for the most part, but it was hard to completely get rid of the crumbs that were left behind from the crackers; they got stuck to the wax.
Bees Wrap definitely deserves real estate in your cabinets. While it will take some time to totally reverse my single-use plastic food storage habits, I can definitely see myself replacing them with Bees Wrap over time. For something so innovative and carefully-crafted, I’m surprised by how affordable they are and think their price tag will encourage me to stock up on a few more medium sheets and sandwich wraps. Regardless of the type you buy, I think that you will be able to find a use for it in your kitchen—heck, maybe even in your bathroom, bedroom, etc. Plus, you’ll also feel better about how much kinder you’re being to the environment, I know I do!