Creative Sustainable Packaging Ideas Made From What?
Packaging goes hand in hand with consumption. When it comes to foods, packaging serves crucial and important functions including protection, preservation, distribution, and advertising.
The most common food packaging materials are plastic, glass, aluminum, steel, paper, biodegradables, wood, and composites.
Researchers estimate that in more economically developed nations, food packaging accounts for over 66% of total packaging in circulation.
Meanwhile, land, water, and air pollution are listed as the biggest negative environmental impact caused by packaging.
While land and water pollution are primarily associated with litter by consumers or lack of adequate disposal methods, air pollution is a direct result of emissions from the manufacturing and transportation of packaging.
Therefore, the sustainability of any given packaging cannot simply be measured questions of biodegradability. All resources that go into development (ex. the distance its weight must travel) should be factored into these equations.
When it comes to environmental damage, plastic remains one of the biggest crooks.
An estimated 583 billion plastic bottles were produced in 2021. That is 100 billion more than were produced just five years ago! (According to EarthDay's website)
Don't be discouraged, you can do your part in helping by discovering companies that package their products in a more sustainable way - Here are some creative sustainable packaging ideas from around the world!
This Austrain corporation prides itself in being one of the world’s leaders in the development and production of plastic packaging solutions, which include systems, bottles, closures, and molded parts. ALPLA is committed to recycling plastics. Their ultimate goal is resource-efficient production without any loss of water and materials, with the help of renewable energies and with sustainable recyclable materials.
Based in Berlin, this sustainable start-up developed an exciting line of natural packaging solutions made from sun-dried areca palm leaves. Their 100% natural snack boxes are not only ideal as a pleasant presentation but can also be used by consumers as plates for picnics! The material is 100% biodegradable and free from chemicals. Arekapak's production requires little water or energy and supports local communities. The packaging is stable, resistant to heat and cold and has a natural, water-repellent surface making it an aesthetic, versatile and sustainable alternative to conventional packaging.
"Packaging that puts the planet first, packaging that doesn't cost the earth"
BioPack developed eco-friendly alternatives to tree-based paper and fossil-fuel based plastic in the food industry. Their exciting line of cups and containers is made from rapidly renewable resources and plastics made from plants!
Bio Futura is committed to developing and expanding its range of compostable packaging material and sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic disposable tableware. From takeaway boxes made from sugarcane to 100% recycled aluminum sheets, Bio Futura is changing the game in sustainable packaging!
Seaweed packaging at its finest! Yep, you read that right! The idea for NotPla was born in 2013 when Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier teamed up to co-found Skipping Rocks lab while studying Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. Their first product, Ooho - a 100% natural, biodegradable and edible membrane that encapsulates liquids and is made from seaweed - was a huge success!
Using brown seaweed, sustainable algae with a rapid growth rate, allows NotPla to disappear naturally within a matter of weeks. Today, NotPla is combating plastic waste with its variety of cups, bottles, and sachets.
This Scotland based developer of food and nutrition products and home compostable bio-packaging materials placed its trust in seaweed as well! The social impact business was founded by brand specialist, Karen Sofield and biochemist, Dr Charlie Bavington and is based at the European Marine Science Park in beautiful Oban, Scotland.
Oceanium collaborates closely with seaweed farmers to sustainably source only the highest quality seaweeds. Their proprietary water-based processing technology enables clean and effective extraction to produce in-demand functional products.
Repaq (located in Hamburg and Berlin) is part of a biological cycle - this cycle does not produce waste, but valuable materials - because they are not lost during composting. Microorganisms, fungi, and insects decompose the material within a very short time to water and carbon dioxide - on land and in water!
Repaq specializes in recyclable product developments and focuses on compostable packaging solutions that close the biological cycle.
Its innovative film composite is made up of 90% cellulose, 5% water, 4% glycerin and 1% binders and printed with water-based inks. Repaq’s preservative and softener-free product range includes pouches, stick packs, and flow packs a wide mix of and is suitable for food packaging.
Vegware is made from plants using renewable, lower carbon, recycled or reclaimed materials, and designed to be commercially compostable with food waste. Compostables are a practical solution for single-use food-contaminated disposals - allowing foodservice to achieve their sustainability goals!