America generates virtually 80 million tons of packaging waste every year, in keeping with the US Environmental Safety Company. When landfilled or incinerated, this waste pollutes the surroundings and poses well being dangers (PDF) to people and wildlife. Packaging can also be the primary supply of the plastic air pollution that’s clogging the ocean and anticipated to exceed the burden of all fish by 2050 at present charges. The meals trade is essentially chargeable for this rising packaging downside.
About half of the packaging waste in the US comes from meals and beverage merchandise. Research counsel that enormous meals companies reminiscent of Nestlé and Unilever generate a lot of the plastic waste.
Recognizing this concern, and underneath strain from shoppers, a number of of those companies lately have pledged to cut back the environmental influence of their packaging. Many smaller corporations within the meals and beverage and trade are doing the identical, and a few have been on the forefront of packaging improvements for years. Meals Tank highlights 16 meals and beverage corporations to exhibit the trade’s varied approaches to sustainable packaging.
Alter Eco set out a decade in the past to search out sustainable options to the non-recyclable versatile plastic used for its chocolate truffle wrappers and stand-up pouch packaging. After a number of years of analysis and improvement, Alter Eco launched the primary laminated stand-up pouch made from plant-based compostable supplies for his or her quinoa merchandise. For the truffles, Alter Eco companions with Natureflex to make a compostable wrapper made from eucalyptus and birch timber with microscopic aluminum layers that keep freshness. The packaging will compost industrial amenities and can biodegrade within the ocean. Alter Eco additionally makes use of non-toxic ink on all their packaging. For chocolate bar packaging, Alter Eco makes use of Forest Steward Council (FSC) licensed paperboard that comes from sustainably managed forests.
BOSS Meals’s vegan superfood bars use compostable wrappers made by TIPA. TIPA’s propriety bio-based mix has all of the properties of regular plastic however is licensed for industrial and residential composting. TIPA conducts shelf-life checks with every model it really works with to make sure the identical shelf life as typical packaging.
Boxed Water is Higher
Reusable bottles are essentially the most sustainable approach to haul round water. However when that’s not an possibility, Boxed Water is Higher gives a extra environmentally pleasant various to plastic bottles. The 100 % recyclable field is 75 % paper. The cap is made from plastic, and the remaining is aluminum lining. The packaging is freed from BPAs and phthalates. The paper comes from well-managed forests, and Boxed Water is Higher makes use of a few of its income for planting timber in areas affected by deforestation and fires. The containers flatten for transport to regional filling areas, decreasing the businesses carbon footprint through the use of one truck for each 26 vehicles wanted for transport plastic bottles.
Some corporations want to use extra sustainable packaging however really feel the character of their product makes it troublesome or not possible with accessible choices. Recycling amenities can’t settle for the versatile plastic pouches Buddy Fruits makes use of for its small-batch recent fruit purees. Sustainability is a crucial a part of its model, however the extremely perishable product must be as hermetic as potential. Whereas trying to find a extra sustainable and equally safe various, BuddyFruits has partnered with TerraCycle. Terracycle collects and recycles laborious to recycle merchandise and makes new supplies and merchandise. Buddy Fruits clients can request an envelope from TerraCycle to ship-in their empty pouches. Many different meals and beverage corporations, reminiscent of White Leaf Provisions, accomplice with TerraCycle for a similar causes as Buddy Fruits.
Celestial Tea doesn’t use strings, staples or particular person wrappers for its tea baggage. The corporate says these practices stop three.5 million kilos of landfill materials a 12 months. Celestial’s tea baggage are compostable, and its outer containers are made with 100 % recycled paperboard.
Don Maslow Espresso
A number of corporations promote espresso in baggage that declare to be compostable however should not really licensed for composting. These baggage use non-compostable plastic components to maintain them hermetic. Absolutely compostable baggage with out these components are additionally accessible, however they’ll’t hold the espresso recent for as lengthy. A pair years in the past, Elevate Packaging launched the primary espresso bag with compostable zippers and valves. Now Don Maslow Espresso is without doubt one of the first to promote merchandise in these licensed compostable baggage.
Prompt meals are handy in as we speak’s busy society, however they use a number of packaging. GF Harvest gives sustainable to-go possibility with its GoPack oatmeal bowls. The recyclable bowls are produced from the IntegraFlex collapsible cup, with a inflexible outer carton and an inside liner. The packaging comes flat to avoid wasting area. When the client is able to eat, they prop up the outer layer right into a bowl and add scorching water. GoPacks include a wrapped paper spoon that’s partially produced from FSC licensed paper and is recyclable wherever espresso cups are recyclable.
This sustainability-focused yerba mate firm is continually looking for to cut back its packaging’s environmental influence. It has been a troublesome ongoing course of — it identifies packaging as the most important contributor to its general GHG emissions. Nearly all of Guyaki’s packaging is recyclable bottles and cans, and it sells unfastened leaf yerba mate in compostable Natureflex baggage. It lately diminished its annual packaging use by 44,000 kilos by eliminating the overwrap and tea string from its single-use mate baggage. A big portion of its cans are made from half beforehand recycled aluminum and use 95 % much less power than typical aluminum cans.
Trustworthy Tea has Cradle to Cradle certification on its glass bottles. The certification signifies excessive marks in a number of sustainable indicators: use of reused supplies, water stewardship, materials security and use of renewable power. Trustworthy Tea can also be within the strategy of rolling out new Tetra Pak packaging for its line of youngsters juices. Tetra Pak is 75 % FSC licensed carton, and the remaining is a combination of plastic polymers and aluminum. Quite a few research (computerized PDF obtain) have discovered that the life-cycle GHG emissions of Tetra Pak is mostly the bottom of packaging sorts. However not all recycling packages settle for combined materials cartons reminiscent of Tetra Pak, and a few that do find yourself sending the cartons to the dump or incinerator.
Love the Wild
After a 12 months of improvement and testing, Loving the Wild lately launched a compostable tray for its line of ready-to-cook sustainable seafood meals. The tray is licensed compostable and produced from plant-based plastic. Loving the Wild will come out with a microwaveable model later this 12 months.
Loving Earth’s chocolate bar and superfood bar packaging is made with Econic, a compostable movie derived from FSC licensed wooden pulp and non-GMO corn. Its chocolate containers and line of boxed cereals are made from 100 % recycled wooden fibers. The inside bag of the cereal containers is produced from Econic. All of Loving Earth’s merchandise use non-toxic vegetable-based printing ink to forestall contamination of water provides and compost piles. Loving Earth additionally has taken a sustainable packaging method to virtually all of its wide selection of different merchandise.
Aware Inc packages its natural tea strains in Tetra Pak with a plant-based cap. Tetra Pak gives this cover as an choice to corporations utilizing its expertise. The cap is made from plastic derived from sugar cane, and its manufacturing course of has a smaller GHG footprint than typical plastic caps.
No Evil Meals
No Evil Meals’ vegetarian meat options are available in compostable packaging made by Kraftpak and are printed with plant-based ink. Beforehand, No Evil Meals used butcher paper with a non-biodegradable sticker, making it troublesome to compost the butcher paper. Kraftpak is a biodegradable unbleached carton board that seals with water-soluble adhesives. The packaging unfolds like origami to imitate the unfolding of butcher paper. Kraftpak can also be licensed for recycling.
Numi Natural Teas
“Eco-responsible packaging” is a part of Numi’s environmentally and socially aware enterprise mannequin. Its efforts embody choosing biodegradable non-GMO filter-paper tea baggage as a substitute of nylon baggage, utilizing containers made from 85 % recycled paper merchandise and utilizing soy-based inks. Numi is working with 30 different corporations to develop the primary home-compostable, plant-based, non-GMO materials overwrap for tea baggage. Additionally, Numi sells reward containers made from bamboo, a extra sustainable various to slower rising timber. In its final annual sustainability audit, Numi calculated its packaging decisions conserved 5,000 timber, 659,000 kilos of GHG emissions, four million gallons of water and 317,000 kilos of waste.
The six-pack rings on this brewery’s beers are 100 % biodegradable and edible. Saltwater is one among a handful of breweries utilizing Eco Six Pack Rings expertise. Saltwater makes the rings from barley and wheat ribbons left over from brewing. The rings compost inside a couple of days. On open land and within the ocean, the rings decompose in a couple of weeks. The rings should not advisable for consumption, however animals can safely eat them. But when left to decompose in an open space, the rings probably can entrap marine life and different animals.
Strauss Household Creamery
For 25 years, Strauss Household Creamery has packaged natural milk in reusable glass bottles made with as much as 30 % recycled glass. Prospects can rinse their bottles and return them to the shop the place bought to get again a $2 deposit. Strauss then takes the bottles again to its amenities to reuse the bottles a mean of 5 occasions earlier than recycling them. The corporate has an 80 % return charge on bottles, conserving about 500,000 kilos of milk containers and plastic out of landfills every year.