Mind your beeswax! Offaly company tackling plastics with unique product
An Offaly business is selling a brilliant natural product in a bid to offer sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic food wrapping.
Millbee Studios is at the cutting edge of making sustainability practical and affordable for Irish households with its food packaging made of the natural ingredient, beeswax.
As the Irish government sets out its plans to address climate change, this Offaly business is offering a simple and effective solution to help households drastically reduce their environmental impact.
Millbee Studio is based near Tullamore and was established in 2019 by local entrepreneur, Jennifer Doyle. Millbee Studio makes Beeswax Food Wraps - a natural alternative to clingfilm that can be washed, reused and composted.
Jennifer is making beeswax food wraps as an environmentally sustainable means for households to store and preserve food.
"Ireland is disproportionately responsible for the proliferation of plastic packaging waste. While the average EU citizen creates 31kg of plastic waste per year, in Ireland the figure is almost double; 61kg of packaging thrown away by the average Irish person annually," Jennifer explained.
"About 50% of the plastic we use on a day-to-day basis is discarded after a single use. Although Irish households are conscientious about recycling, much plastic food wrapping is not practically recyclable - either due to lack of facilities or the fact that it is food-contaminated. Unrecycled plastic food wrapping becomes landfill or pollution."
Plastic takes a very long time to degrade (500-1,000 years) and as it does so, it breaks into microparticles which contaminate waterways, animals & human bodies. This has far-reaching consequences for our eco-systems, human health and well-being, and the future of the planet.
Jennifer cites her children as one of her key motivators in setting up a sustainable business.
“Like many parents, I’ve been growing increasingly aware of the impact our practices have on our kids’ futures. I’ve become more conscious of how much plastic we actually use and how we can change this," she told us.
She is passionate about making available cost-effective and user-friendly alternatives to facilitate the shift away from plastic dependency.
“Sometimes, the scale of the challenge can seem overwhelming and we just don't know where to start. But I was amazed when I realised how one simple step has the potential to make such a significant difference. If every Irish household and food business switched from clingfilm to reusable, non-plastic food wrapping, we would significantly reduce both food waste and plastic waste.”
The recent announcement of an imminent All of Government Plan on Climate Disruption indicates that single-use plastic packaging will eventually be outlawed. A draft of the plan proposes to ban single-use convenience polystyrene food and drinks containers.
In the meantime, innovative Irish enterprises such as Millbee Studio are providing practical, sustainable alternatives.
Millbee Studio’s beeswax food wraps are available to buy online at www.millbee.com and at Tullamore Food Fayre on the first Saturday of every month.