It is not difficult to find companies that advocate for green and environmentally friendly materials and use appropriate ethical methods. Unfortunately, there is a discrepancy between the corporation’s claims to their stakeholders and the manufacturing practices they employ behind closed doors.
According to Jabil, 68% of companies have publicly announced their aim to uphold sustainability. However, only 36% contained clear commitments on sustainable packaging.
Although the ideals of sustainability are appealing because of how they can positively impact our environment, companies also face challenges, including a lack of internal expertise and changing regulations.
Why Use Sustainable Packaging?
Nowadays, consumers base their purchasing decisions on their eco-conscious ideals. To attract customers and achieve success, companies must adopt eco-friendly packaging that appeals to consumers’ lifestyles.
A recent survey has shown that out of 80,000 customers worldwide, approximately 50% desire 100% recycled packaging, and 40% desire a biodegradable alternative.
These values demonstrate the need for companies to transition to sustainable packaging; not only will it mitigate the environmental damage caused by plastic buildup and improper waste management, but it can also potentially boost revenue. Moreover, eco-friendly packaging is continuously making its way into the mainstream and our homes.
Key Trends in Sustainable Food Packaging
Compostable or Biodegradable Food Service Containers
Compostable or biodegradable packaging has several benefits, making it one of the best options as companies shift to a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach.
Biodegradable or compostable packaging permits reusability. It can be used as organic matter for gardening. It also aids in reducing carbon footprint and is safe to use. Some compostable or biodegradable packagings available include plant-based packaging, paper, cardboard, glass, and metal.
Edible packaging is one of the next big breakthroughs in the food service packaging industry.
Edible packaging is natural, biodegradable packaging manufactured from plant-based materials. Compared to other packing solutions, edible packaging is also a viable alternative to lessen the use of plastics and decrease waste buildup in our environment.
Below are some of the most popular edible packaging alternatives worth considering:
Edible water balls, also known as Oohoo, are a creative replacement for conventional plastic bottles that reduce container contamination. The process involves moulding the water in a fine, spherical, and edible plant-based membrane. The Ooho balls are suitable for occasions like marathons as they last for a few days. This innovative solution reduces carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional plastic bottles.
Edible Beer Cups
Edible beer cups are a potato-based food packaging alternative baked under high heat and pressure to increase their durability and water resistance, making them an excellent choice for storing beer and iced coffee. Once people have consumed their beverage, they can begin nibbling on the container. It has three different sizes and four flavour variants, including plain, chocolate, shrimp, and almonds.
These edible wrappers are made of potato starch that can serve as wrappers or napkins. They contain no plasticisers or toxins, which means they are biodegradable and compostable.
Potato-based wrappers are disposable and can be thrown in household composting bins. They are also as robust as their plastic equivalent.
Edible and Water-Soluble Straws
Straws are among the top ten pollutants in the beach and waterways, making them the leading choice to replace with a sustainable alternative. Edible and water-soluble straws are made from rice and tapioca and are harmless to animals, especially sea creatures. They are compostable at home and will biodegrade within a month. Even without preservatives, these edible straws can last up to two years.
Plastic utensils are also one of the top environmental pollutants. Everyday, there are over 100 million plastic utensils used and discarded. Chewable spoons are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable cutlery. They have savoury and sweet variants, making them appetising during consumption.
Refillable packaging is based on this straightforward principle: the store offers products in bulk, and the consumers bring their empty refillable containers to be refilled. The use of refillable containers advocates for zero-waste projects. This packaging option is popularly used in cleaning and personal care products.
One of the advantages of adopting this kind of packaging system is it decreases shipping and production costs. However, it comes with the following drawbacks:
Higher supply chain costs
Availability of containers
The general public’s interest towards this kind of packaging system
Carbon labelling is a new trend that will increase in prevalence over the next few years as more brands commit to achieving sustainability goals. Labels tell consumers about the environmental impact of the products they purchase. This informs consumers of the effects of every purchasing decision they make.
Reusable packaging solutions follow the principle of shifting from singular to multiple uses to counter the rise of single-use packaging. Instead of being discarded after reaching the consumers, reusable packaging is returned and reused.
Transitioning to reusable packaging can relieve the environmental strain caused by single-use packaging by decreasing reliance on virgin resources for material production, reducing plastic waste, and mitigating pollution.
Combining Sustainability with Quality
The combination of technological advancement and sustainability encourages companies to take their environmental advocacy to the next level. It allows them to interweave creativity, design, sustainability, and quality.
Moreover, this approach requires companies under corporate social responsibility to be objective and environmentally conscious as they continue developing their product lines. This has become a significant draw for modern consumers who want to do business with companies that care about their environment as much as their products.
If you are looking for sustainable and premium-quality packaging solutions for your food products, K & W Eco Plus is your best partner in making greener choices and helping the world become a better place. Visit our website today.