Beeswax is a wonderful natural substance with many uses. From making candle wax to lip balm, including plastic-free food wraps. But is beeswax biodegradable?
The shortest answer is yes. Beeswax comes from the honeybee’s honeycomb, meaning it’s an all-natural substance given by Mother Nature.
Therefore, it can biodegrade naturally without emitting toxins in your home or environment when disposed of.
This article will explain everything you want to know about beeswax’s biodegradability.
What is Beeswax?
Beeswax is a natural substance made by female honeybees using unique glands in their abdomens.
These worker bees change sugar from honey to a waxy material which they deposit in beehives as flakes for other bees to collect and consume.
The remaining wax helps make the honeycomb in which the bees store honey, pollen and nurture their offspring.
You can find beeswax in many stores sold as an ingredient. It’s often made by:
- Extracting honeycomb from beehives
- Draining the honey
- Washing honeycomb
- Melting it in a double boiler
- Rinsing it using cheesecloth to take out debris
- Pouring the molten honeycomb into a block mold
Beeswax is technically waxy but edible. It’s brittle, smooth, and boasts a sweet honey aroma.
Is Beeswax Biodegradable?
Beeswax is a natural and organic material, meaning it’s biodegradable. Living organisms like bacteria and fungi can get broken down naturally, including other environmental factors, to form humus.
When properly disposed of, beeswax can biodegrade in less than two months.
This makes it environmentally safe as its biodegradation doesn’t cause any pollution to the planet. In fact, beeswax can quickly decompose when not stored well.
The news about the biodegradability of beeswax is more encouraging. A certain study reveals that beeswax can break down completely in the environment in a month.
The study further provides the various types of waxes like synthetic and petroleum waxes, which all decompose in 28 days.
However, the chemical composition of each beeswax type influences its overall biodegradability.
As we continue to know our implications for the environment, we tend to question everything.
Besides, most of us dive into plenty of research and exploration to ensure every waste we generate goes back to the environment without causing any damage.
Our packaging waste is a common thing that continues to raise concerns about its long-term effect on the environment.
However, beeswax wraps are incredible innovations and food packaging alternatives to plastic wraps. That’s because they are reusable for up to a year.
Beeswax wrap comes from natural materials like beeswax, jojoba oil, natural cotton fibers, and tree polish.
As a result, they are reusable and biodegradable, and you can comfortably use them for a long time without feeling guilty about increasing environmental concerns.
Is Beeswax Ecofriendly?
Beeswax is a substance we shouldn’t overlook. It allows bees to store honey and is entirely natural.
So it can decompose naturally in the environment within two months without causing toxic emissions, thus eco-friendly.
Beeswax wraps are also durable, recyclable, and compostable, making them environmentally friendly.
Plus, its production is a clean and safe process for the environment. It’s a byproduct of the bees’ work routine in their hives.
When bees go out to fetch nectar, they leave behind beeswax in the hive. The wax helps enable bees to build a honeycomb for their honey.
Unlike most crops, you can harvest beeswax in safe and eco-friendly ways.
Is beeswax sustainable?
Yes, beeswax is sustainable – unless bees cease to exist, which is impossible.
It’s a natural and organic byproduct made by bees. Besides, it is biodegradable and doesn’t threaten the environment and its organisms.
In fact, beeswax is usually a suitable option for many non-sustainable products on the market. For example, plastic wraps were typical for keeping food fresh.
However, plastic is not good for the environment. Beeswax wraps or paper are now an excellent alternative as they’re safe for the environment and organisms.
Even after harvesting beeswax, the bees will continue making it – as it’s part of their life cycle.
What Are The Uses Of Beeswax?
- Waterproofing: Since beeswax is resistant to water, it serves as a waterproofing agent. Applying it to a surface and heating, it makes the surface water-resistant.
- Making food wrappers: It’s an excellent non-carcinogenic food wrapper due to its plastic-like nature. According to British Broadcasting Corporation, beeswax is an excellent alternative to single-use plastic packs. That’s because of their biodegradability.
- Making of candles: Beeswax is also a great resource for making scented candles, which are environmentally friendly.
- Skin moisturizer: The wax gets mixed with other ingredients to make skin moisturizers.
- Making of antifungal: Beeswax contains antifungal properties, making it great for making antifungals.
How Can You Dispose of Beeswax?
Depending on its initial use, you can get rid of beeswax waste through various methods.
Regardless of the technique used, beeswax won’t cause any significant damage to the environment.
Here are some of the ways through which you can dispose of beeswax:
Since beeswax is biodegradable, composting it can be an excellent way to dispose of it.
You can make a simple compost bin in which bacteria and fungi will act on it. These micro-organisms will break it down into smaller particles without causing environmental pollution.
Beeswax candles make great air purifiers. Beeswax burns to produce negative ions, which attract positive ions like dust and pollen in the atmosphere, thus cleaning the air.
Therefore, burning beeswax is a safe disposal method.
Since beeswax is biodegradable, recycling it is also practical. Collecting the waste or disposable wax and making it into a new product is also an efficient method of disposing of the beeswax.
So is beeswax biodegradable? Yes, beeswax is biodegradable as it can decompose naturally in the environment by the action of microbes. It is also all-natural and organic, meaning it can quickly biodegrade, hence eco-friendly.
Beeswax is also reusable and recyclable, making it safe to dispose of in the environment.
Most importantly, this material is sustainable as its production is a daily routine for bees.
And its harvesting encourages bees to continue making it as they also need a new and excellent place to store honey and raise their offspring.