Companies rethinking packaging
The United States generates almost 80 million tons of packaging waste each year, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. When landfilled or incinerated, this waste pollutes the environment and poses health risks (PDF) to humans and wildlife. Packaging is also the main source of the plastic pollution that is clogging the ocean and expected to exceed the weight of all fish by 2050 at current rates. The food industry is largely responsible for this growing packaging problem.
About half of the packaging waste in the United States comes from food and beverage products. Studies suggest that large food corporations such as Nestlé and Unilever generate most of the plastic waste.
Recognizing this issue, and under pressure from consumers, several of these corporations recently have pledged to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging. Many smaller companies in the food and beverage and industry are doing the same, and some have been on the forefront of packaging innovations for years. Food Tank highlights 16 food and beverage companies to exhibit the industry’s various approaches to sustainable packaging.
Alter Eco set out a decade ago to find sustainable alternatives to the non-recyclable flexible plastic used for its chocolate truffle wrappers and stand-up pouch packaging. After several years of research and development, Alter Eco released the first laminated stand-up pouch made of plant-based compostable materials for their quinoa products. For the truffles, Alter Eco partners with Natureflex to make a compostable wrapper made of eucalyptus and birch trees with microscopic aluminum layers that maintain freshness. The packaging will compost industrial facilities and will biodegrade in the ocean. Alter Eco also uses non-toxic ink on all their packaging. For chocolate bar packaging, Alter Eco uses Forest Steward Council (FSC) certified paperboard that comes from sustainably managed forests.
BOSS Food’s vegan superfood bars use compostable wrappers made by TIPA. TIPA’s propriety bio-based blend has all the properties of normal plastic but is certified for industrial and home composting. TIPA conducts shelf-life tests with each brand it works with to ensure the same shelf life as conventional packaging.https://www.greenbiz.com/article/16-companies-rethinking-packaging