Product Review: Multix Greener Cling Wrap
Updated: Jul 15
I recently came across this product on the supermarket shelves and was instantly intrigued. It's no secret that consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and companies are responding. This is progress but it can get tricky as some companies may exploit this desire. This is called 'greenwashing' and it's where a company will use elements that give the impression of being better for the environment to gain preference without doing anything.
For example, anyone remember Coke Cola Life! Coke created a cola with less sugar, added in some Stevia (a natural sweetener) and coloured it green. Magically it appeared not only better for you but also better for the environment. Luckily us Aussies are a clever bunch and we saw straight through it and the product failed. It also eventually failed in other countries.
So is this product just another example of greenwashing? The packaging is brown, there is a lot of green and the product is called 'Greener' with images of trees and butterflies. Well yes and no. I think it's a good example of a company moving in the right direction but it might not be as green as you think and may encourage us to use clingwrap guilt free. Let me explain a bit more.
The product claims:
Made with 45% plant based materials
Made from a resource from the sugarcane industry
Sugarcane absorbs CO2 from air as it grows, contributing to reduction of greenhouse effect
Helps to reduce the demand for petroleum derived plastics
The box is recyclable
Tube is recyclable
What is plant based plastic
The plastic wrap is made from a 'sugarcane resource' and when I read this I get visions of the end result not being entirely plastic. However it is still a plastic, 100% plastic. This plastic wrap will have the same end result as other clingwraps. Either ending in landfill, waterways or somewhere else it's not meant to be forever as it won't breakdown. Or you could add it to your soft plastic collection for REDcycle, if you live in Australia, to be recycled. So if you're goal is to be plastic free - this is not the product for you.
I was concerned that being made from plant resources, this plastic wouldn't be suitable for REDcycle but I reached out them and they said that it can be recycled. So a small win.
The Problem with Sugarcane
Essentially this plastic is made from ethanol that has been produced from sugarcane, or at least 45% of it is. Other clingwraps you could then assume are made from petroleum which is a non-renewable fossil fuel which omits CO2 in it's production. Using less petroleum is of course a good thing. But is sugarcane much better?
Sugarcane is more sustainable as it grows quickly and is therefore renewable. And as the product claims, it will absorb CO2 as it grows, also a win. However, the catch is that sugarcane as a crop can also have a negative impact on the environment.
According to the WWF, the problem with sugarcane is:
It requires a lot of water to grow
Vast amounts of land have been cleared to grow it commercially to keep up with a growing demand
The fertilisers used to grow it have been found in the waterways including the Great Barrier Reef.
WWF do have a certification for sugarcane that is grown to protect the environment and those who grow it, called Bunsucro. I've asked Multix where they source their sugarcane and they confirmed it was from Brazil but they are unsure if it certified with BonSucro. This is a shame and a bit of a missed opportunity.
How does it perform
As for how it works, perfectly. As you can see from the image below it even held water in my glass. It has a tight cling and keeps food fresh. I only really use clingwrap to keep left over bananas and avocados fresh as I find I need something that locks out the air and my reusable containers don't offer this. Also I find beeswax wraps don't do well with liquid or moist foods. Ideally I'd not use it at all, but this is a good example of being imperfect. I just try to keep it's use to a minimum.
As with anything eco-friendly the hierarchy is to 1. Reduce 2. Reuse 3. Recycle. So if you can avoid plastic wraps, including this one, then that is the most environmentally option.
Good alternatives to plastic wraps are re-purposed glass jars, reusable containers or bees wax wraps to keep food fresh. But if you have to resort to plastic wrap then this is a 'better' option than traditional plastic wraps.
It's a bit of a two steps forward, one step back with this product and certainly not a green light to use plastic wrap liberally. Just remember when you're finished with it add it to your REDcycle collection.
I give this product 2/5 green thumbs