Packaging protects food between its processing and usage by the consumers. After usage, food packaging must be removed or recycled in an environmentally responsible manner. Therefore, food packaging technology must balance the protection of food with other issues, including material and energy costs, as well as strict regulations on disposal of municipal waste. Accordingly, eco-friendly packaging for food plays an important role in the preservation of the environment.
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The principal role of environment-friendly packaging for food is to minimize environmental impact while protecting food products from distribution damage and various outside influences. On the other hand, packaging design plays a significant role in the shelf life of a food product. Eco food and drink packaging are designed to use resources sustainably.
As far as for packaging materials, it is very important to make the right selection. The most common materials for food packaging are: glass, metals (foils and laminates, aluminum, and tin-free steel), paper, cardboard, and plastics. Also, many of today’s food packages combine several materials in order to exploit each material’s properties. However, many of these materials have a negative impact on the environment.
Eco-friendly food (and drink) packaging must be made from materials that are biodegradable, compostable, sustainable, reusable and recyclable. In one word, they must be natural. Instead of traditional plastics, eco packaging uses bio-plastic that is made from parts of plants such as corn, and similar. Easy to re-grow plants offer a great renewable resource. In contrast, normal plastics are made from such oil, which is finite. In addition to bio-plastic, recycled paper is another good option.
There are a wide range of different eco-friendly food packaging products on the market, but they all can be divided into 6 main categories:
- Cold drinks cups – They include sustainable cups for cold drinks, made from recyclable rPET or compostable PLA.
- Hot drinks cups – Single or double walled recyclable hot drinks cups, bio cups, recycled clutches, ripple cups, etc. These cups come in a variety of materials that can be composted or recycled.
- Hot food package – These food takeaway containers are the perfect eco friendly solution for a hot and leak free (preventing spillages) meal on the go. Merchants offer a broad selection of eco-friendly hot food packaging – from bagasse takeaway boxes, grease resistant bags, noodle boxes, to insulated soup pots, and bagasse food pots.
- Cold food package – They are ideal for sandwiches, cold deli foods, pastas and salads. Just to mention some of them, such as bio salad boxes, recycled salad containers, sustain compostable deli pots, and paper souffle cups.
- Eco-friendly disposable plates & bowls – Palm leaf products, sugar bagasse plates and bowls (made from sugarcane juice extraction), and so on.
- Environmentally friendly bakery packages – From muffin wraps to cake boxes, made from bio-plastic film sheets, sustainable forest paper, and more.
Environment-friendly packaging for food and drink is perfect for all those delis, caterers, coffee shops and restaurants who want to demonstrate their real commitment to the environment. Moreover, this packaging is both practical and nice-looking.