Sustainable packaging is increasingly essential for businesses. The shift towards eco-friendly packaging reflects changing consumer preferences driven by environmental consciousness. Research shows that more consumers now favour brands focused on sustainability.
Sustainable food packaging is designed for minimal environmental impact throughout its lifecycle, from production to disposal – using eco-friendly materials and processes. It’s intended for recycling, reuse, or biodegradation, composting at the end of its life, aligning with evolving consumer values.
Sustainable packaging can be achieved in a few simple steps:
1. Choose eco-friendly materials
Achieving sustainable packaging starts with choosing eco-friendly materials. While there might be doubts about the durability of eco-friendly packaging in comparison to single-use plastic products, here are some alternatives that not only benefit the planet but also offer the strength and durability to fit your business’s packaging needs:
Made of bagasse (sugarcane pulp), the remaining waste from refining sugar. Besides having the benefit of repurposing waste, these containers are also made leakproof and sturdy due to sugarcane fibre’s resilient properties, mainly cellulose and lignin. Hence, these containers are perfect for packing dry, greasy, and saucy food. They are also 100% food safe and microwavable.
Find out more about biodegradable sugarcane food container.
Home compostable bio straws
As sipping with a straw is still the preferred experience, these straws have received reviews for being the perfect substitute for single-use straws with the sturdiness that does not get soggy in liquid. On top of that, it does not provide an unpleasant aftertaste that affects the drinks.
These straws are certified as home compostable, made from plant fibres, bagasse, or coffee grounds. They can decompose in the natural environment within 3 months without producing harmful particles to the environment. Instead of using edible materials that can be used as food for living things, repurposing waste from the sugar refining industry and coffee brewing process are the best alternatives, contributing to the circular economy.
Read more about biodegradable straws.
Paper bags are the most recognisable eco-friendly solution, having gained popularity in the fight against the environmental issues caused by plastic bags.
Indeed, paper bags have become a symbol of eco-conscious packaging, but their true worth lies in their environmental friendliness and quality. How do we determine the quality or value of a paper bag? Here are some tips for considering several key factors, each influencing its durability, functionality, and overall value:
Material and fibre
Many may perceive the thickness of the paper as the primary determinant of paper quality. However, it’s essential to learn that the main factor contributing to tear resistance and weight bearing is the presence of long and robust fibres in the paper. Unlike traditional paper, which often relies on shorter fibres, these long and robust fibres are sourced from selected tree species that naturally yield longer and stronger strands.
Construction, finish and coating
After determining the raw materials, the foundation of resilience and durability relies significantly on the excellence of manufacturing techniques.Good quality construction ensures the bag can withstand frequent use without unravelling or tearing. Reinforced handles and securely attached bases make the bag durable and versatile for reusing without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.
Certification and standards
Look for paper bags that adhere to industry standards and certifications, such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification, which signifies responsible sourcing from sustainably managed forests and manufacturing practices.
2. Implement closed-loop recycling systems
A closed-loop recycling system, where packaging materials are collected and recycled, can help reduce waste and promote a more circular economy.
Collection and sorting bin
Set up collection points for used packaging materials within your business premises. Clearly label and strategically place recycling bins for employees or patrons to easily separate recyclables from other waste. Consider separate bins for different types of materials (e.g., paper, plastic, glass, food waste).
Education and Training
Provide training to your staff about the importance of recycling, proper waste separation, and the closed-loop recycling system. Raise awareness through workshops, seminars, or informational posters to ensure everyone understands their role.
Partnerships with Recycling Facilities
Collaborate with local recycling facilities or third-party recycling partners that can process and recycle the collected materials. Ensure the materials are sent to facilities that are equipped to handle the specific types of materials you’re recycling.
3. Promote sustainability to customers.
Finally, businesses can promote sustainability by educating them about sustainable packaging options and the environmental benefits of choosing eco-friendly products. There are several effective and brand-enhancing strategies:
- Educational campaigns
- Transparent communication through social media and product labelling
- Collaborations and partnerships to engage with customers
- Encouraging customer feedback and suggestions can foster a sense of ownership and community.
- Integrating sustainability as part of your brand story.
By implementing these strategies, businesses can achieve sustainable packaging and reduce their environmental impact. While sustainable packaging aims to minimise waste generation and promote a circular economy, it benefits the planet and helps businesses meet the growing demand for eco-friendly products and differentiate themselves in a crowded market.
Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your milestones and achievements and highlight your business’s sustainability efforts through social media, internal communications and other marketing channels to showcase your commitment to environmental responsibility.
Do you have any more questions about sustainable food packaging, or are you searching for a food packaging supplier in Malaysia?
We look forward to hearing from you! You can book an appointment with PXL via our Contact Us page, email, or WhatsApp.