With the effects of global warming and climate change becoming increasingly devastating by the day, many industries today are ramping up their sustainability efforts to steer back our course towards a brighter future. Given enough time and continuous innovation, this concerted effort is sure to bear fruit and set the trend of prioritising sustainable consumer demands that do not require sacrificing one’s bottom line.
The F&B industry, in particular, is making significant contributions in this regard, from cutting down on food waste where possible and switching to sustainable packaging options. From recyclable to biodegradable packaging, the following future food packaging trends are set to revolutionise the food industry for the better.
1. Corn starch packaging
Corn starch is a biodegradable and renewable packaging material poised to replace plastic and styrofoam and shares the same degree of versatility. Thus, corn starch can also be used in all kinds of ways, with takeout packaging being its most popular version to date. Some corn starch packaging options available now include:
- Plates and bowls
- Small plastic containers
Corn starch is better than traditional plastics since it is made from renewable raw materials like corn and emits fewer greenhouse gasses during manufacturing. Furthermore, since there is no scarcity of this raw material, it is easier to utilise corn starch effectively and for the long term.
Corn starch packaging will also naturally degrade or can alternatively be used as fertiliser once it reaches the end of its lifecycle, leaving no negative effect on the environment nor producing any harmful gasses. In just several months, corn starch packaging can break down into water and carbon dioxide, reducing the carbon footprint of both businesses and their consumers.
Lastly, corn starch is 100% food-safe, highly resistant to food oils and fat without any extra coatings, and can serve as a good canvas for printing, allowing for ease of branding. It is for this reason that corn starch is a great material for a take away box!
2. Edible packaging
Edible packaging is another packaging alternative that is steadily gaining traction. As the name suggests, this food packaging is made to be eaten along with the food it protects and biodegrades more efficiently. Commonly made from plant-based raw materials like casein or seaweed, any sheet, film, or coating is considered edible packaging so long as it can be eaten with a given food product.
Since edible packaging is consumed rather than disposed of, it is one of the best ways to reduce plastic dependency while generating less waste. And although consumable packaging is a newer addition to the increasing line of sustainable packaging options, you have most likely already encountered them before, such as the ever-popular ice cream waffle cones.
Other examples of consumable packaging products include:
Consumable straws are made to reduce consumer dependency on traditional plastic drinking straws. They typically last only for an hour, come in different variations to suit your beverage, be it hot or cold, and can serve as a sweet snack once you finish your drink.
Avani, an Indonesian company, is well-known for developing a biodegradable and consumable eco-bag made from cassava root that dissolves in warm water. That said, this product is not meant for human consumption but rather as a feed alternative for fish and insects, which can come in handy for those in the fish and insect farming business.
3. Stand-up pouches
Stand-up pouches are gaining popularity for many reasons, including their incredible versatility. This type of flexible packaging uses pliable yet durable materials like paper or plastic to create a lightweight container that can easily stack atop one another and take up far less space on a shelf or in a truck than rigid packaging like cardboard boxes. This advantage presents many opportunities for cost reductions that also contribute to sustainability when viewed from a bigger picture.
Stand-up pouches are more sustainable to some degree as we consider the multiple factors at play, most importantly the prevailing use of plastic when making these pouches over paper alternatives. Even so, flexible packaging overall still has less negative environmental impact than other types of packaging for the following reasons:
- Lower material consumption means less waste in landfills and a smaller environmental footprint.
- It is easier to produce, reducing energy consumption and the amount of volatile compounds that enter the environment.
- Lighter and smaller size makes them more fuel-efficient to transport.
- Resealability promotes extended use.
The future of sustainable food packaging lies in using innovative new materials that offer superior biodegradability and recyclability. With the increasing number of consumers basing their purchase decisions on a business’s eco-friendly efforts, it only makes sense to start making the switch sooner rather than later to expand your customer base and play a role in saving our planet.
Interested in joining the movement towards greener packaging while providing the best takeout experience for your customers? Supply Smiths is here to help! As Singapore’s go-to brand for food storage solutions, we source an extensive range of cost-effective and high-quality food packaging such as bento boxes, boat trays, Singapore plastic food packaging, and more.
For more information about our product portfolio, feel free to visit our website or contact us directly at any time!