A brief intro:
Single use plastic has recently become the enemy, with more and more people saying ‘no’ to unwanted packaging, what plastic free alternatives are readily available out there? Here are a few changes that are already in place in many people’s day to day lives:
- Choosing loose fruit & vegetable in supermarkets/grocery stores
- Re-usable coffee cups (money off your coffee with BYO cups)
- BYO containers for loose ingredients: lentils, beans, even meat & fish
- Edible or wooden plates &cutlery in take-out cafes/restaurants
- Swapping coffee pods for fresh beans to grind
- Re-usable shopping bags: the rise of the tote bag!
- Saying NO to plastic drinks straws
Companies have started listening, with large supermarkets such as Marks & Spencer taking ‘cauliflower steaks’ using excessive packaging, off the shelves. The UK’s micro-bead ban earlier on in the year, is a definite step in the right direction. Many towns here in Devon have become officially ‘plastic free’ with local companies exchanging various single use plastic (such as coffee lids) for ‘veg-ware’, and replacing bottled water for ‘refilling stations’.
After following the #plasticfreejuly in the social media last month, it’s getting more abundant that people want change not only in the food industry, but everything consumer based. So, what can we do?
A few ideas from us
You may have noticed some of our #makeitmondays were plastic free related, which has lead on nicely to this blog. We’ve investigated what ingredients we have got here at TSK that showcase some plastic free alternatives you can make yourself. Here’s what we came up with.
Get rid of those nasty plastic plug in air fresheners. Not only are these handmade reed diffusers more aesthetically pleasing for your home, but you can refill the glass bottle with fragrance (even change the scent to keep things fresh…excuse the pun!) If you’d like to make your own click here for our #makeitmonday recipe.
Our coconut and aloe recipe is available from last month’s #makeitmonday so scrap the plastic bottle and say hello to your new shampoo bar in the shower. It’s easy to make, smells great and works wonders on your hair.
This one, we’re quite over the moon with; the humble soap bar is taking on the shower gel bottle, for that extra squeaky-clean feel, reach for the bar! With all the resources available now, small soap companies are making the soap bar trendy again.
Cling film will soon be a thing of the past with this eco-friendly alternative, the beeswax wrap. A re-usable cloth to cover bowls or directly wrap leftover food. The warmth of your hand slightly melts the beeswax, which moulds the cloth snugly around the bowl/food.
We received a message from one of our customers asking if we stocked food safe pine rosin, which is the ingredient that gives the beeswax wrap their tackiness, sadly, ours wasn’t food safe. So, after some research, it sounds like you can make them without the rosin, so we had to test out this theory.
Beeswax wrap recipe:
When choosing your fabric, you’ll need to look out for a few things
- 100% cotton
- lightweight, tightly woven with no stretch
- A nice pattern that will help disguise any drip marks from the wax
- A colour that won’t clash with the wax, something dark usually works well
- Ensure the fabric is clean and dry
- An old clothes hanger
Ingredients to make approx 4 or 5 x 25cm square pieces:
- Set oven to a low temperature anything around 100C
- Place fabric on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
- Using an old paintbrush, thinly apply the jojoba oil randomly over the fabric (only a few strokes needed)
- Sprinkle over a handful of the beeswax, fairly evenly covering the whole piece
- Put the tray in the oven, then check it after about 4 or 5 minutes.
- You can lift the edge of the fabric to check the underside, but it’s pretty obvious when it has melted through.
- Either using some tongs (or careful fingers) lift the fabric and place it over the hanger to dry. (this will dry extremely quickly)
- The joy of this method is it’s very forgiving (unlike soap making) If the fabric doesn’t feel right (too much or not enough beeswax) you can simply place it back in the oven with another piece of fabric to absorb the excess wax, or add a few more sprinkles.
- Repeat, until all your fabric has been used up.
Now you’re ready to wrap!
- Use warm soapy water to clean (not hot)
- Do not put in washing machine
- Do not use to cover raw meat
- Coating will last approx. 6-12 months
- If it loses tackiness, you can re-distribute the wax in the oven on a tray
- Do not throw away the fabric, it can be fully re-coated
If you didn’t want to use beeswax why not try our Vegan beeswax alternative and let us know how you get along.
If you have had a go at any of these plastic free alternatives we would love to see them, please send in photos to firstname.lastname@example.org tag us in Instagram @thesoapkitchenuk or simply comment below. Equally, if you have any suggestions of plastic free alternatives that you have discovered, we’d love to know, share the knowledge!