Modern day food production, along with its packaging and distribution, has been tied to both environmental and societal issues across the world.
In fact, food accounts for over a quarter (26%) of global greenhouse gas emissions, and consumes over half of the world’s habitable land for agriculture too.
The key to alleviating this damage? It starts with the selection and procurement of sustainability sourced products, and eco-friendly food packaging materials are essential pieces to this sustainable food puzzle.
So, to help your business meet best practice for eco-friendly food packaging in 2022, we’ve put together a list of our top tips below.
1. Opt for bespoke packaging and use less materials
The more materials your packaging solution consumes, the less sustainable it becomes. Not only must you think about the manufacturing process and the resulting emissions, but the disposal procedure and what this entails – often, a larger volume of materials results in a larger carbon footprint. So, how can this be avoided?
In order to minimise the carbon footprint of your packaging solution, you have to think about the volume of materials used and ways in which this can be reduced.
One of the most effective ways to improve the sustainability of your packaging is through a bespoke solution. By collaborating with a packaging expert, you can minimise material usage of your solution without sacrificing protection. This can be done in several ways, such as:
- Calling upon higher-quality, more protective packaging materials in smaller quantities
- Using clever/innovative designs that encourage minimal packaging
- Bundling products together in larger packages
2. Reduce plastic usage
Petroleum-based plastic packaging is obtained from our limited supply of fossil fuels, and much of it doesn’t break down completely for hundreds of years. During the breaking down of plastics, tiny pieces known as microplastics pollute the environment. These microplastics make their way into water supplies which are then ingested by both animals and humans.
And if that’s not enough to persuade a reduction in your plastic usage, the new plastic tax laws sure will.
Fortunately, there are many alternatives to plastic which can be substituted for an eco-friendly packaging solution. From hundreds of paper and cardboard products, through to plant-based films, and more, opportunities to become more sustainable aren’t hard to come by in 2022.
3. Use biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable packaging
Choosing packaging that is 100% biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable offers an eco-friendly alternative to landfill, but it doesn’t stop there. With the rise in eco-conscious consumers now looking for products that are sustainable, using biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable packaging can enhance your brand image for a one-up on your competition.
4. Keep packaging simple. Avoid multiple materials
Sorting items correctly for recycling is often confusing on its own. Throw 4 different plastics together inside a cardboard box and consumers may not know which items to separate for recycling. Or even worse, it may be physically impossible to disassemble and recycle correctly.
By limiting your materials in packaging, not only do you make things easier for consumers, but help towards a more sustainable future for everyone.
5. Explore opportunities with upcycling
Packaging that can be converted into useful or fun second-life products offer great value for consumers. There are so many ways to upcycle, creating new opportunities to attract new customers whilst helping the environment along the way.
Whether it’s an attractive box that can be reused for storage, or a corrugate insert that can be converted into a plant pot, one clever design can turn your food packaging solution into an expert marketing campaign.
Experiment with innovative concepts and your consumers will take notice.
Eco-friendly food packaging from Swiftpak
At Swiftpak, we take pride in helping our customers reduce waste, lower their carbon footprint, and even cut costs with green packaging solutions. This, backed by our industry expertise in food and drink packaging, give us the experience needed to recommend (and design) eco-friendly food packaging without a compromise in quality.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly food packaging solution that suits your business’ needs, then contact our friendly team at Swiftpak today, we’d love to have a chat.