Plastic wrap was first discovered in the 1933, but did not really become a widely used household item until the early 60’s.

In the 1960’s companies like GLAD and others starting pumping out plastic wrap for general consumption and it is now one of the most commonly used plastic items in the kitchen.

In 2020, nearly 80 million people in the U.S. used at least 1 roll a year, that 80 million rolls, and 5 million people used 10 rolls or more, that’s an additional 50 million rolls.

That’s a lot of plastic wrap contributing to plastic pollution. The wrap is made from polyethylene which is mixed with other chemicals to make the wrap more flexible and transparent. The wrap used to be made with phthalates, which contain carcinogens, but now contain DEHA instead. Unfortunately, the effects on human health of DEHA are not clear. So, in addition to the plastic pollution, there may be health effects.

Plastic wrap is rarely recycled as it is thin and clogs up machinery.  Incineration is the most common disposal method of plastic wrap, releasing toxic chemical into the air, soil and water.

There are inexpensive, healthy and reusable alternatives.

My favorite is beeswax wrap.  It is durable, able to be cleaned and reused for a very long time. I have beeswax wraps from years ago and they are still going strong. If you are crafty you can even make your own. I have a link below for a 5 minute tutorial on making beeswax wraps, or you can purchase them online, or from local stores like MOM’s or TRACE etc.  They come in various sizes or in a roll that you can cut to your needs.

Another alternative for wrapping sandwiches is a reusable sandwich wrap made from fabric with Velcro closers. Again, if you are handy you can make them yourself or you can buy them. Some come with plastic liners, but they are washable and able to be used for years as well.

If you really need a disposal wrap, try unbleached wax paper.  Although not reusable, it is at least not made from plastic.

These alternatives are better for the environment and your health and are cheaper in the long run as they are reusable and last for years.  A win/win situation.

Hope you will give it a try and ditch the plastic wrap.

Here is the link for the tutorial on making beeswax wraps.


Helene Shore