Alternatives to disposable food packaging
The way that food is packaged plays an important role when it comes to marketing the brand, but the materials used can be detrimental to the planet. Plastic is one of the main culprits – it’s present in almost every type of food packaging, but it’s one of the main causes of pollution and climate change. This is why alternative packaging is becoming more popular. Whether it’s sandwich containers, noodle boxes, napkins, or cutlery, there is soon to be a variety of alternatives to help reduce our plastic consumption. Times are changing, which means disposable packaging is too. Read on as we take a closer look at some of the alternatives we’re likely to see in the future.
Why is it important to make changes?
Have you ever thought about how the packaging that our food comes in can affect the planet? Most disposable packaging is made of some kind of plastic – whether that’s in the form of film, plastic bottles, or carrier bags. When these items are made, the plastic that is used produces a huge amount of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere when it’s manufactured, damaging the planet, and contributing to climate change. When this packaging is disposed of, it ends up in a landfill site. These sites are also some of the biggest contributors to dangerous gas emissions – they can have an impact on the atmosphere, as well as the soil and earth around us. This is why it’s essential that food vendors and manufacturers come up with alternative solutions to food packaging that is more sustainable, and eco-friendly. Here are a few examples of alternatives that we may start seeing more frequently as a replacement for traditional disposable packaging.
As advancements are made in the world of packaging, we are likely to see plant-based alternatives making their way to the shelves. An example of this is corn starch packaging. This comes from unwanted food waste and can be used to produce a material that acts just like plastic would, but without all of the consequences for the planet. Corn starch is both a sustainable and raw material that is easy for manufacturers to get their hands on. Bagasse is also a great alternative to plastic packaging that is all-natural and comes from the sugar cane stalk. These plant-based alternatives won’t cause any type of pollution when they’re disposed of correctly and don’t contain any nasty chemicals.
One of the major issues that come with using plastic-based packaging is that it cannot degrade back into the soil when it’s disposed of, leading to chemicals seeping out into the earth, and putting both animals and their habitats at risk. More modern types of packaging like paper, corn starch and water-soluble materials are all bio-degradable, meaning they can be disposed of responsibly and simply break down into the earth. These types of alternative materials are becoming more accessible for brands and making the switch to these versatile materials means high-quality packaging, whilst also helping the planet.
Of course, one of the best ways to reduce your use of packaging is to give customers the chance to reuse rather than dispose of it. For example, more supermarkets are offering tote bag alternatives to flimsy, plastic carriers that we’re all familiar with, to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic. This type of plastic can end up polluting the environment, rivers, and oceans. Offering reusable options automatically reduces waste and means there is less demand for plastic – which will, as a result, benefit the plant in the long run.
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