How Long Does It Take For Cling Wrap To Decompose?

Posted on April 08 2022

Cling wrap, also known as plastic wrap in other parts of the world, is a thin plastic fabric that clings to itself or other smooth surfaces, allowing it to cover food without any additional devices or fasteners. Unfortunately, the convenience they provide pales in comparison to the environmental harm that cling wrap causes. 

Why is cling wrap such a threat to the environment? Plastic pollutes the environment, and even when recycled, it is more expensive than using virgin resources. According to The World Health Organization, both PVC and PVDC can release a very dangerous chemical called dioxin when they wind up in landfills or incinerators.

So, how many years does it take for cling wrap to decompose?

Many types of garbage, particularly plastic waste, take far too long to decompose. Some plastic goods can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills. On the other hand, ordinary plastic bags take 10-20 years to disintegrate, whereas plastic bottles take 450 years. Cling wrap is no different to most plastics and can take anywhere from 10 yeas or hundreds of years to decompose. 

Here at urban ethos, we recommend making a change today as there are many other choices you can go with instead of cling wrap. We stock compostable cling wrap made from corn-based PLA that is 100% compostable that will break down in 12-24 weeks which is a huge improvement against regular cling wrap’s lifespan. 

Some other alternatives to cling wrap include:

Beeswax Wrap

Do you have any leftover lunch, a half-eaten block of cheese, or a homemade dip that you'd like to save? Beeswax food wrapping takes care of everything (literally). Organic cotton and naturally flexible beeswax are used to make this reusable, plastic-free cling wrap. Beeswax wrap is extremely versatile and keeps food fresh. The downside is that’s it’s not as easy to use as cling wrap and doesn’t always cover food properly. 

Glass Containers

Glass jars are a must-have in any zero-waste toolset. They can be washed, reused, and recycled. The material's resilience makes it a popular choice for health-friendly, endlessly recyclable containers. 

Reusable glass containers are becoming more widespread in retail food packaging, and some of them may require a modest deposit that is refunded when the container is returned empty. For eco-conscious shoppers, this is a considerable gain.

You can also use your own reusable containers in the bulk bins at several health food stores. If you don't have the correct shaped jars, a number of glass and metal food storage containers are available commercially. Just keep in mind to record the tare weight of your containers before filling them.

Cloth Wrapping

Make your own elastic and cloth bowl coverings, or wrap your food in Furoshiki, a Japanese fabric wrapping technique. You can use Furoshiki wrapping techniques with Furoshiki wrapping cloth or any square or rectangle fabric. 

Cloth wraps can be washed and reused multiple times. There are many different flat cloths that can be used including napkins, tablecloths, and picnic blankets, while reusable bowl coverings make a simple, snug-fitting transition from cling wrap.

Soy Wax Paper

Traditional wax paper contains paraffin wax, which has been related to a variety of health issues, including poor circulation and diabetes. It also isn't recyclable. 

Soy wax paper is a better choice for the environment. It is biodegradable, non-toxic, and typically produced from sustainable resources. You can preserve food using soy wax or parchment paper, which is both safe and environmentally friendly.

Baked goods, fruit, and deli items all benefit from soy wax paper wrapping. You can find soy wax paper a most grocery stores to check in your local health food store.

Whatever you choose, non-toxic, compostable, and organically derived food wraps are the most appropriate way to keep your meals and cooking supplies fresh.

Find an alternative to cling wrap

Cling wrap covers and protect food very quickly and easily but the convenience it provides is hardly an appropriate exchange for the toll these plastics have on the environment. When there are alternatives that do the same thing, the choice is very easy. 

Here at Urban Ethos, we offer a great alternative to plastic cling wrap, head here to check out our kitchen range for all your food plastic replacement needs.

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