Five Sustainable Packaging Innovations Transforming the Food and Beverage Industry
Consumer preferences for eco-friendly products and the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry’s commitment to minimizing carbon footprint act as significant catalysts for driving sustainable packaging innovations. These developments not only contribute to waste reduction and resource conservation but also offer companies a competitive edge in a market where sustainability is becoming an increasingly essential factor. Here are five commercially available sustainable packaging innovations that have the potential to revolutionize the industry.
- Developer: Evocative
- Product: Mushroom® Packaging
- Product Description: The innovative material comprises two natural ingredients—hemp hurd and mycelium. Hemp hurd is a byproduct of the fiber hemp industry, while mycelium is grown on agricultural and forestry waste. It is upcycled into food and structure for mycelium, which branches throughout and in between every crease and gap, binding it together into a solid composite material.
- Features: Plastic-free, natural, home-compostable, water resistant, flame resistant, and custom design.
- Technology: MycoComposite™
- Application: Packaging of alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks.
- Sustainability Impact: Compared to plastic packaging, Mushroom® Packaging employs only a tenth of the energy during production while emitting only one-eighth of the total GHGs. It has the potential to fully replace plastic foam, thereby saving 1.45 million metric tonnes of petroleum.
- Product: MATER-BI
- Product Description: It is a family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics obtained by pioneering proprietary technologies using starches, cellulose, vegetable oils, and their combinations. The high content of renewable raw materials (at least 40%) makes the product optimal for organic waste management with reduced environmental impact.
- Features: Biodegradable, compostable, heat resistant, odorless, and suitable for microwaving.
- Technology: Processed by the most common conversion technologies: blowing, casting, extrusion/thermoforming, and injection molding machines for traditional plastics.
- Application: Food contact packaging – tableware (knives, forks, spoons, straws, hot and cold cups, and even reusable dishes).
- Sustainability Impact: According to a study conducted by the laboratories of Novamont, using compostable tableware for serving 1000 meals in a school canteen can save 90 kg of CO2. In addition, it can also save 555 kWh of renewable energy when compared to the same sample served with traditional disposable plastic tableware.
- Developer: Loliware
- Product: Blue Carbon straw
- Product Description: It is composed of seawood blend, shell powder, and mineral color.
- Features: Home compostable, plastic-free, ocean-safe, and bio-based
- Technology: SEA Technology (Seaweed-derived, Emission-avoiding, Alternative to plastic) – Universally compatible with existing plastic-manufacturing equipment and facilities worldwide.
- Application: Straws
- Sustainability Impact: Seaweed sequesters 5 to 20 times more carbon per unit area than land-based forests, permanently storing some of it at the deep ocean floors. It has the potential to consume as much as 200 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
- Developer: Lactips
- Product: CareTips
- Product Description: It is a 100% renewable, bio-based, and edible material fabricated from milk protein and plant-based materials.
- Features: Home compostable, plastic-free, ocean-safe, and bio-based.
- Technology: Existing processes (extrusion, blow molding, injection molding, and vertical & horizontal flow packing).
- Application: Food packaging
- Sustainability Impact: Soluble plastic with zero environmental traces.
- Developer: Biopak
- Product: BioCane
- Product Description: Bagasse, or sugarcane pulp, is a plant fiber waste product left from sugarcane processing.
- Features: Suitable for microwaving, compostable, biodegradable, and plastic-free.
- Technology: Extrusion and molding.
- Application: Plates, bowls, containers, cups, trays, noodle boxes, and sandwich & wrap wedges.
- Sustainability Impact: It has the potential to save 380,000 hectares of deforestation annually and reduce 10% of total heat-trapping emissions.
The F&B industry will continue exploring and implementing various sustainable packaging materials and technologies to reduce environmental impacts and address the global issue of plastic pollution. The industry will increasingly adopt a circular economy approach to minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency. Companies that embrace sustainable packaging early on may gain a competitive advantage while contributing to a more environmentally sustainable future. Write to us at email@example.com and allow our expertise to guide you to the solutions you need.
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