Updated: Mar 11, 2020
The problem with cling film and is that it is a single use plastic that may harbour harmful toxins, as well as being bad for the environment. Cling film cannot be recycled, and ends up in landfill where it stays for hundreds of years. You see, plastics never fully break down. The particles just get smaller and smaller, but it never goes away. That’s why even microscopic lifeforms have been found to contain plastic particles that have been ingested as some kind of food. Imagine the effect that has along the food chain! And petroleum waste, the byproduct of plastic manufacture, also takes a few decades to degrade
Tin foil is no better. In fact, it's not even tin but aluminium. It used to be tin, until it got discovered that aluminium is much cheaper to work with, but the name stuck. You may be thinking that by wrapping up your leftovers in aluminium foil you're helping the environment by making sure all of the water and energy that went into producing your food to waste. The only thing is, you've chosen pretty much the worst container to save it in. What exactly makes aluminum foil so bad? It is actually even more wasteful than plastic wrap by nearly every metric, including fossil fuel consumption, aquatic toxicity, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Basically, it comes down to two things: what it takes to make the stuff, and what it takes to break it down. The actual production process is where most of the waste happens.
the making of tin, or aluminium, foil has a huge effect on the environment. To get tin foil, the earth has to be mined for bauxite rock, which is smelted to produce aluminium. This destroys land, plants and habitat, not to mention the knock on effects that the waste products from this process causes. It's also very long-lasting, taking as much as 400 years to break down after it's discarded. That's why recycling is so important but you would need to put the effort into cleaning it for it to be recyclable.
And what about using it in the oven? When you heat tin foil it leeches microscopic amounts of aluminium onto your food. The amount is minute and were are being told it is within safe limits but who wants an alien chemical entering their body in any amount? Aluminium is a neurotoxin, meaning that it affects the brain and also has a weakening effect on the bones, preventing calcium from being deposited.
Luckily there are plenty of alternatives. For cooking you could use lidded cookware or silicone covers. For food storage the options are countless. You can simply cover a bowl with a plate. But if you need an airtight option, save glass jars and use them to store food in the fridge or freezer. You can invest in silicone covers or pouches which will last good 300-400 times longer than plastic bags. Our pure cotton bowl covers are perfect for covering anything that you wish to put in the fridge or leave on your table, in the same way you would use cling film. Or you can opt for our bees wax wraps which is an excellent alternative to cling film for wrapping cold foods. The thin layer of wax on each side make it moisture resistant and non-stick, they're perfect for cheese, sandwiches, vegetables, baked goods and pretty much anything else you would use cling film or tin foil (only you shouldn't use it with hot food or in the oven, of course). We stock some pretty cute wax wraps that let your food breathe while keeping it fresher for longer. Both these options are incredibly versatile and make a great gift.