In this week’s blog we thought we’d look in to the history of cling film and how it is made.
Clingfilm, then called Saran, was first developed in 1933 and used as a waterproof sheeting for military planes in the second world war. It was then cleaned up a little, the smell and the colour removed, and then began to be used for covering food. It was originally made from PVDC however because of health concerns to do with presence of chlorine, it was reformulated.
Cling film is most often made from PVC, although there are some other options available to manufacturers. It protects food, and can help reduce waste by allowing consumers to store unwanted food in the fridge and reuse it. However there are a number of health concerns to do with the use of clingfilm, mainly connected with the transfer of chemicals from the plastic to the food. There has been some research on the matter however the Health Authorities around the world have decided that it does not pose a significant danger to public health.
More significantly, there are environmental concerns about single-use plastics. Before it breaks down there are very real dangers to wildlife from cling film. It can get wrapped around airways, or be ingested. It can also trap animals who become unable to fend for themselves. Also when it gets in to the oceans some marine animals mistake it for food. Cling film never fully degrades. It just gets smaller and smaller, eventually turning in to microplastics which contribute to huge slicks in the oceans.
At Finlay Bee we recognise that cling film is widely used, however we are proud that we’re providing a choice for people who want to find a more environmentally friendly alternative to single use plastics, by producing Beeswax Food Wraps. We don’t want to nag or guilt you in to changing, however we want to encourage you to do your bit. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about doing your bit.