Last updated: 16/10/2022

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We live in a consumer society. We also buy food as often and as much as we want. But in most households there is a portion left over after cooking. In the best case, the leftovers are eaten at a later date, because a day or two in the fridge is usually no problem.

For most people, cling film or aluminium foil is then used, producing additional waste. But there is another way. We have compared different wax paper products and you will find out what you should look for when buying and how you can finally find the right product for you.




Summary

  • Wax paper is an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to store food and keep it fresh longer. Wax paper is reusable and therefore avoids additional waste from plastic and aluminium foils.
  • Wax paper consists of thin cotton fabric and a coating of beeswax. Vegan versions with vegetable wax or resin are also available.
  • Proper care and cleaning are important to keep wax paper durable. Waxed paper is not washable, but should always be rinsed by hand with lukewarm water and a little washing-up liquid.

The Best Wax Paper: Our Picks

In this section we have compiled our favourites for you to help you with your buying decision. There will be a wax paper to suit every need.

Buying and evaluation criteria for wax paper

To make it easier for you to choose your wax paper, we have summarised the most important criteria so that you can find the best wax paper for you. The criteria are as follows:

We will now explain to you what you need to consider in these criteria so that you are well informed and can make the right decision.

Material

Waxed paper is usually made of tissue paper or thin cotton fabric coated with a thin layer of beeswax. Haptically, it therefore feels very smooth and firm. This combination gives wax paper similar properties to plastic film.

It may also contain additional materials such as jojoba oil, argan oil, coconut oil and tree resin. The substances in waxed paper are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. But there are differences here too. The good thing is that wax paper can be reused several times.

Cleaning

Good wax paper can always be cleaned with a little washing-up liquid, a damp kitchen dishcloth and cold or at most lukewarm water. Depending on how dirty it is, it is usually sufficient to rinse the wax paper with lukewarm water. If it is very dirty, you can also use a sponge or a soft brush.

Beeswax paper in particular must not be exposed to excessive heat and is therefore not suitable for the dishwasher or washing machine. This could damage the wax layer and the wax paper would no longer serve its purpose well.

Use

The wax paper can be used for wrapping or covering. If you put leftovers in a bowl or on a plate in the fridge, you can put the wax paper over them to cover them. For example, you can wrap vegetables in the wax paper to preserve them.

Waxed paper is not suitable for storing raw meat or fish. Since you can only rinse the waxed paper by hand in lukewarm water, bacteria can form here and get stuck in the waxed paper.

Production

When buying waxed paper, you should also pay attention to how it is made. After all, the aim is to have an alternative to plastic and aluminium foil and thus be more environmentally friendly. Waxed paper that is made in Germany also meets German quality standards. The beeswax used should also come from Germany and be a sustainable raw material.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about wax paper answered in detail

In this section, we explain the most frequently asked questions about wax paper so that you are sufficiently informed when you want to buy wax paper.

What is waxed paper?

Waxed paper is the sustainable solution for packaging and storing food in the home. It is washable and reusable, helping to reduce waste in the form of plastic film and aluminium foil.

Wax paper is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic and aluminium foil for storing food and keeping it fresh. (Image source: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash)

Wax paper maintains the freshness and shelf life of food without drying it out or letting liquid or grease through. With proper care, wax paper can be used for 1-2 years. However, raw meat and fish should not be stored in it due to the risk of salmonella.

What types of waxed paper are there?

Waxed paper can differ in the way it is made and the ingredients used. As a rule, waxed paper for kitchen use is made from thin cotton fabric and beeswax. Attention should be paid to the sustainable origin of the beeswax.

A vegan variant is also possible by using vegetable wax or resin for the coating. If you want to be absolutely sure that the ingredients are pure and organic, you can also make your own wax paper. There are numerous instructions and tips online.

How do I dispose of wax paper?

When the wax paper has had its day and needs to be disposed of, make sure that there is no food residue stuck to it. Waxed paper is not conventional paper and does not belong in the paper bin.

Waxed paper is considered light packaging or composite packaging because the components cannot be separated from each other. Therefore, you should dispose of wax paper in the yellow bin or the yellow bag.

Conclusion

The use of wax paper in the household is a first step towards sustainability in everyday life. Unnecessary waste of plastic and aluminium foil can be almost completely avoided. That’s why it makes sense to spend a little more on it a few times a year and stop thinking about plastic film.

The only important thing is that you care for and clean the wax paper properly so that mould does not form and the product really is as durable as it promises. When deciding which product to buy, both the price and the production process play an important role. If you really want to act sustainably, you should rather buy higher-priced wax paper.

(Cover photo: tunedin123 / 123rf)

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