Are Beeswax Wraps Vegan?

Replacing plastic products with sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives can be much harder than you first find. Especially if you want to shop locally or are vegan.

Beeswax wraps are one of the most popular substitutes for plastic food wraps because of how easy they are to use and how eco-friendly these wraps are.

Beeswax is a natural wax made by honey bees secreted from their glands and used to build honeycomb. It helps store all of the honey in the beehive. Veganism involves abstaining from the exploitation of and cruelty towards animals.

Harvesting beeswax comes at the risk of disrupting or damaging a hive, and can also cause accidental bee death if not done properly. Because of this, beeswax is not a vegan ingredient, so beeswax wraps are not vegan products. There are substitutes for beeswax to create eco-friendly wraps to pick from though!

Is beeswax suitable for vegans?

There are two primary types of veganism split between ethical vegans and dietary vegans. While neither type of vegan would consume beeswax, some vegans do not see insect products the same as animal products and may be comfortable with using beeswax in their products.

If you’re an ethical vegan, producing beeswax involves the exploitation of bees and can be harmful to hives, especially when companies put profit over environmental values.

Beeswax wraps are a much better alternative to plastic food wraps, so if your choice is between single-use plastic wraps and beeswax wraps it might be worth weighing up what works for you. Plastic is much more harmful to the environment and animals overall, but if you’re not comfortable with beeswax wraps you might just have to do a bit more to find vegan alternatives.

What is a vegan alternative to beeswax wraps?

Some companies have vegan beeswax wraps using plant-based waxes. You might have to do more research to check that the product really is vegan though.

While there are no legal regulations on labeling a product vegan, there are organizations that confirm a brand’s credentials, such as The Vegan Society and Leaping Bunny Program.

Products with The Vegan Society logo are checked to ensure that a product’s vegan claim is valid, while the Leaping Bunny logo guarantees that no animal tests were carried out during a product’s development.

It’s also possible to create your own beeswax wraps by buying local beeswax and following DIY instructions, which guarantees that you will cause less harm to bees and the environment by sourcing your own ingredients at the cost of some of your time. You may find local beekeepers only take surplus honey and beeswax, which is far better than commercialized beekeeping.

How to make vegan beeswax wraps

Mountain Rose Herbs has tried multiple ways of creating beeswax wraps, and their recipe uses sustainably sourced pine resin, beeswax pastilles, organic jojoba oil, and organic cotton.

They also include a recipe for a beeless vegan food wrap using organic carnauba wax as a beeswax alternative. Other people find candelilla wax a suitable vegan substitute for beeswax.

To make your own vegan beeswax wraps, here are the main steps YumUniverse advises:

  • Choose organic, tightly woven cotton and cut to size.
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  • Sprinkle candelilla wax over one side of the cotton.
  • Place in the oven for 5 minutes until the wax infuses with the fabric.
  • Dry the wrap before folding and storing it away.

Check out different vegan beeswax wrap recipes until you find one that works for you. If you can’t make it yourself, you can always support eco-friendly businesses instead!

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