Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Remembering waxed paper

waxed paper
Originally uploaded by bonbayel.
I just received an email from a reader, Ben, who had read my article Candy Wrappers. Ben wrote:
I've been making raw chocolate for a while, and am thinking of selling & marketing it soon. Have you heard of raw chocolate before? If not I can send you some info...
If I do start selling a product, I don't want to contribute to the enviromentally dangerous waste that gets sent to the landfills (or dropped on the floor).
The most important factors for me are complete degradability, and from a sustainable resource. It is not so important for me if the packaging is recycled or recyclable, although this is a consideration.
If you can help, I'm sure I could send you samples of my product when finished!
I started thinking about how a lot of the good chocolate (not Hershey's) is package in paper with a foil liner. I suppose foil decomposes with time - at least faster than plastic.

But then I thought that maybe he could package in (recycled) paper with an unbleached waxed paper liner. I bought some unbleached waxed paper sandwich bags at a local store (see picture,) which sure brought back memories. (Note that the packaging says "natural" not "recycled". I suppose there might be issues with traces of toxic inks in recycled paper?)

Mom always put our lunch sandwiches in (bleached) waxed paper sandwich bags when we were kids (the 50's). When we were taking hamburgers to the beach to grill, we made row after row of them in waxed paper. Picnic eggs were also rolled individually in waxed paper, with the ends twisted like salt water taffy (which was also sold in waxed paper!)

A Google search produced a number of sources for recycled waxed paper. One of them was this blog The Great Plastic Challenge, Week #3, where Cynematic, who evidently lives somewhat close to me in the LA area, was trying to find replacements for ziplock bags - which are admittedly a fantastically usable product!

I wish Ben luck. I've gone over to only buying candy wrapped in paper, which sort of limits my selection. I'm looking forward to buying Ben's bars (and hope that my suggestions are enough to be eligible for a free sample!)


Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Thanks for the link! Just wanted to add that I'm trying to get folks to ask the Clorox company (Burt's Bees parent corporation) to make truly biodegradable unbleached bees waxed paper. (Soy wax would also work; I simply targeted Burt's/Clorox because they must have access to large supplies of beeswax.)

Hope you can help out with this effort!


bonbayel said...

Hi Cynematic,
I think it's a great idea.
I was woering, however, if the problem with the disappearing bees will affectthe supply of beeswax.

With soy we of course have the problem that it has to be organic - don't want gmo soy as a "natural" product!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for adding your voice to the Burt's Bees Blog!

I've followed the mysterious disappearing bees story a little bit; very puzzling as to the cause. But I do think it's worth exploring as it could make for a great fair traded export to our shores (and support economies in less developed countries, for example), or perhaps be something that's collected domestically.

And yes, I'm all for the organic non-GMO soy option too!