Cling film and tin foil are the most convenient materials that we use in households everyday that are wasted. Foil and cling film are practical and the most versatile thing that we use in our kitchens; it can be used to cover during prep and for left-overs and also to travel food. These easily affordable materials have an impact on the environment. There are many factors that are overlooked such as the energy that goes into making these materials and the amount of waste it produces.
Aluminum foil can take 400 years to decompose...
Foil is an everyday item that is used all over the world. It provides many uses in cooking to storing food to save for later. What is considerably overlooked is the amount of energy that it takes into making aluminium foil. The amount of energy and heat that goes into the process is unsustainable for the environment.
Each year the average UK household uses 144m kitchen foil and 182 foil containers. It is estimated that only about a fifth (20%) is recycled, whilst the remainder is unnecessarily going to landfill. You can start to reduce the amount of waste by rinsing the foil and reusing it or scrunching it into a ball into the recycling. Recycling aluminium also saves up to 95% of the energy it takes to make aluminium from raw materials and thus it’s much more energy efficient than producing from virgin materials, according to the Co-op.
It is important to recycle this material as it’s one of the longest to decompose materials. When it isn’t reused it can take up to 400 years to break down. When recycling be careful to remove all remaining food and grease as it can contaminate the rest of the recyclable materials. Foil can be endlessly recycled.
Although recycled aluminium foil costs much less energy to make, aluminum foil made from virgin materials is actually far worse for the environment than cling film.
To make the foil you have to use fossil fuels. There are a number of other impacts to take into consideration such as water pollution, human health impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions. Processing the raw material in aluminum, bauxite, consumes a lot of energy. In comparison, making one ton of cling film uses 83% less energy and 88% less greenhouse gas emissions than the same amount of aluminum foil.
Plastic wrap (cling film)
British households use so much cling film,
it could wrap the earth’s circumference 30 times over
Cling film is one of the sought after kitchen products that’s been in demand since 1949. Did you know that more than 1.2 billion metres of single-use cling film is used daily by British households every year, this is the same amount to cover the circumference of the earth 30 x times over!
Cling film is damaging to the environment as it is hard to be recycled . This results in it ending up in landfills and sadly our oceans . Not only is it polluting our world, it is extremely harmful to sea life as the fishes and other sea animals can mistake it for food, a very poisonous food for the poor fish, which may in turn be consumed by us!
Cling film contains both PVC and PVDC, which releases dioxin, a highly toxic chemical that ends up releasing in landfills for years.
Cling film is generally not recyclable (yet).
This product has been used traditionally to serve many purposes in the everyday household, from covering plates to securing food. This outdated method is simply convenient and can be easily replaced by Eco-friendlier items. You can start by using containers to store food and purchasing, bee-wax or fabric washable wraps to store food.
Wraps as a popular food covering alternative
Beeswax wraps are a good Eco-friendly alternative to cling film, and can be used to cover food bowls, wrap sandwiches and other food items. It has a pliable cloth that can be folded and moulded over anything you want to cover.
When covering perishable foods, you could choose washable fabric covers for hygiene purposes as well as longeivity.
At Edibee we provide a number of versatile styles of wraps from the original wraps style to easily fitted food covers and pocket wraps.
Containers to store food
When space is not an issue, containers are another popular option to store food rather than wrapping up food in cling film. Especially for on the go, it gives you a sturdy protection. At Edibee we provide lunch boxes that come with 3 separate compartments to eliminate the use of wrapping each item in cling film. Education secretary Damian Hinds said that he wants schools to phase out plastic; schools have been told to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2022.