5 Sustainable Food Packaging Ideas

09.27.16 // Heritage Paper

Many people may see packaging as a necessary evil, particularly when it comes to food products. The appropriate packaging is required in order to keep certain foods safe and fresh. However, there are many food packaging solutions that are simply excessive and wasteful – wrapping fruits and vegetables in plastic, for example, or individually wrapping certain products before packaging the wrappers yet again. In an effort to reduce costs and contribute to a greener future, many food companies are finding more environmentally-friendly ways to package their products. Below, find five sustainable food packaging ideas.

  1. Recycled PET: Many plastic materials are harmful to the environment, ending up in landfills for years after disposal. ConAgra uses recycled PET (RPET) in their frozen meal packaging, such as Healthy Choice, Marie Callender’s and other well-known brands. By using RPET, which is made from recycled soda and water bottles, the company helps to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
  2. Reusable Containers: KFC’s reusable containers for side dishes help to reduce excess waste, allowing customers to use the container safely for future use. The containers are safe for the microwave and dishwasher, prolonging the package’s life, and are also easily recycled after disposal.
  3. Plastic Alternatives: Harmful plastic is certainly not the only option when it comes to packaging foods. The company Cascades developed a package for its mushroom products that is made from 100% recyclable materials, such as old newspapers and phonebooks. As a result of sustainable production, 1.5 tons of recycled paper is saved from landfills per day.
  4. Renewable and Compostable: With its renewable, compostable baked goods packaging, Whole Foods has eliminated the need for metal trays often used in bakeries, which are then disposed of before transferring to a second package for the shelves. Baked products now remain in the same packaging from production to consumers’ hands, and are then compostable at the end of life.
  5. Buy in Bulk: Consumers can have more control over their food and waste by buying products in bulk. Many supermarkets carry food products in bulk bins, allowing customers to take exactly how much they want. This also reduces packaging waste, as customers can buy more product in one trip rather than purchase multiple packages.

For more information on sustainable packaging solutions for any industry, contact Heritage Paper today.

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