Part of the reasons we love food so much is that it's one of the few things that bring people together. But what do you do when the food you're eating isn't as sustainable as it could be? The answer lies in sustainable packaging solutions, which are more than just environmentally friendly—they also help reduce waste and cut down on business costs. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of today's top sustainable packaging options and how they can be used effectively by your company or brand.
Cardboard bubble wrap
Cardboard bubble wrap is made from recycled paper, so it's a great eco-friendly solution. In addition, you can reuse them to protect fragile items and cushion them during shipping or storage. You can also use it as padding at home or work to prevent the breakage of your belongings. If you need to dispose of cardboard bubble wrap, try recycling it instead of throwing it in the trash!
Bio-plastics from Corn & Cassava
Biodegradable plastics from corn and cassava are another option to consider. These bioplastics are made from a renewable resource, so they're more sustainable than petroleum-based plastics. You can use them in the same way that polylactic acid (PLA) is used, but some can also be compostible.
Corn starch and cassava starch are raw materials for creating bioplastics because they're easy to obtain and inexpensive to process into plastic form. These starches get processed through an extrusion process that turns them into pellets for pelletizing machines; this pelletized form makes it easier for manufacturers to melt them down into sheets or other shapes before being molded into packaging or other products.
Seaweed is a sustainable and renewable resource used for centuries as a food source. It's also the basis for our favorite foods, including sushi, miso soup, and cookies, etc. Seaweed packaging is biodegradable, edible, and a good source of protein. Plus, they're packed with iodine—an essential nutrient missing from many diets (especially in the United States).
Perhaps the most obvious advantage of returnable containers is that they reduce waste. Instead of throwing away packaging and plastic bags, you can bring them back to the supermarket for reuse. This means less trash in landfills, which also reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by food waste decomposition.
Returnable containers are also good for your health and safety! Unlike disposable plastic containers, they're made from materials like glass or stainless steel, which don't leach chemicals into your food when heated or washed in the dishwasher (unless they're damaged). They don't absorb odors either, so they won't make your leftovers taste weird after a few days in the fridge!
Kraft Paper Bags
Kraft paper bags are made from recycled paper and are 100 % biodegradable. They're also recyclable, inexpensive, lightweight, and durable. Different sizes are also available—from small to large—to fit the products you want to carry home from the grocery store or farmer's market.
Edible Food Packaging
Edible food packaging is made from raw materials that are edible and safe for the body. The structure of these materials is often based on gelatin, which is a protein derived from collagen, a good source of protein and amino acids. Gelatin is used as an ingredient for making other products with certain qualities (such as gummy candy) and as a carrier for food items such as cheese or ice cream.
Other materials in edible packaging include vegetable oils like canola oil and peanut butter; fruits like apples, cherries, strawberries; nuts such as almonds; seeds such as sunflower seeds; herbs like parsley; spices such as cinnamon sticks; legumes like chickpeas or black beans.
Organic fabrics are made from sustainable materials and are compostable, biodegradable, or both. Organic fabrics are good for the environment because they can be composted in a home bin or commercial composting facility.
Organic fabrics also benefit human health by reducing exposure to harmful chemicals used during production and disposal. When organic materials break down, they release carbon dioxide (CO2), which helps plants grow. This is better for the environment than releasing methane gas into the atmosphere like non-organic plastics do when they break down.
Grocery bags made from recycled water bottles
If you're concerned about being a responsible consumer, one way to reduce waste is to get your reusable grocery bags. These can come in many shapes, sizes, and materials—from plastic totes to cloth totes. One option that might be new to you is using grocery bags made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles.
PET is a polymer used in food and beverage packaging because of its ability to maintain strength at low temperatures while being clear enough so that consumers can see what they're buying (or drinking). It's widely recycled—each year, Americans recycle 15 million pounds of PET plastic bottles—but only about 30 % gets turned into new products like clothing or carpeting; the rest ends up in landfills.
The most sustainable option for packaging is a wax-based, biodegradable material made from renewable resources. While wax has served as a food wrapping material in the past, it was hardly an alternative to plastic because of its high melting temperature and tendency to stick together.
Today's technology allows us to produce more sustainable wax packaging products with lower melting points and less sticky surfaces that are easier to open and close.
Wax is also highly recyclable and can be reused many times before being replaced by new materials like plants or trees.
Fully Compostable Clamshell Hinged Takeout Containers
Clamshell-hinged takeout containers comprise of plant-based PLA plastic that is 100% compostable and biodegradable. They are durable enough to hold hot food, and they can be used repeatedly, making them more economical than their single-use counterparts. Plus, they're better for the environment because they don't use any packaging materials that cannot be recycled or composted.
Clamshells are becoming increasingly common as an alternative to foam containers, which are infamous for leaching chemicals into heat-sensitive foods such as soup. They're also gaining popularity with consumers who prefer eco-friendly options over traditional plastics or Styrofoam containers with plastic lids (which cannot be recycled).
Finally, clamshells make it easier for customers at home to recycle their food waste properly by providing easy access for separating materials into recycling bins—with no need for bags or special bins!
So, what do you think? Are there any eco-friendly packaging ideas that aren't included here? We hope so! The best thing about these packaging solutions is that they can be individually adapted by any business or consumer. You don't have to be an international company with thousands of locations and billions in revenue—anyone can start making small changes in their daily lives that will make a big difference over time.