Category Archives: Eco-Friendly Takeout Solutions

Doggie Bags: A Sign of Awareness Not Embarrassment

When is the last time you asked to take leftovers home from a restaurant? Today, more and more chefs and restaurateurs do not want to see good food go to waste, and encourage the idea of diners taking food home that they haven’t finished. But it wasn’t always this way, and to this day, many diners are still not comfortable with the practice.

doggiebagontable3According to the Smithsonian Institute’s blog Food & Think, the custom of using “doggie bags” started in the U.S. in the 1940’s during the Second World War, when pet owners were encouraged to feed table scraps rather than pet food to their dogs. And in 1943, San Francisco cafes started an initiative against animal cruelty by offering patrons “Pet Pakits” — cartons designed specifically to carry home leftovers for their pets. Around that same time, one Seattle restaurant provided diners with waxed paper bags labeled “Bones for Bowser.” Restaurants around the country started to follow suit, and by the mid 1950’s, doggie bags went into production. Before long, people were requesting doggie bags to take home food for themselves rather than their pets.

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“Green” Packaging for Foods To-Go: What Does It Mean and Does It Matter

Compostable, recyclable, made from recycled material, biodegradable, green, eco-friendly…the list goes on to describe the types of packaging made from sustainable materials.

It seems like everyone in the food industry, from corporate giants to small café owners are jumping on the “green band wagon.” But what does it really mean to be “green”?

It could mean a few different things:
– Green could mean less damage to the environment.
– Green could imply producing packaging from renewable resources.
– Green could involve designing products for environmental sustainability.
– Green could suggest the use of less material and also recyclable and degradable materials.

And do your customers care if their banana bread was baked in a FSC certified wood baking mold, or if they are eating their salad with a biodegradable fork? Yes! Research studies done over the past few years show that they DO care.

In fact, studies* show that factors relating to the environment rank among the top issues that consumers care about, and that sustainability in packaging is not only important but that people are willing to pay more for it.

packnwood-sugarcane-takeoutDesigners are meeting this demand and have found incredibly innovative ways to create both compelling and effective packaging out of sustainable materials. For example, Bagasse – a paper-like substance made from the pulp of sugarcane stalks – used to be burned in fields creating an enormous amount of pollution, and now it can be easily molded into different shapes and sizes to make to make plates, bowls, to go containers, and trays.

packnwood-takeout-boxAs new materials continue to be introduced, some products also incorporate multiple pieces of a package or container that can be independently recycled. For example, at PacknWood, we offer an innovative packing design in our Buckatay Collection that uses paper for the round to-go containers, combined with recyclable transparent plastic lids, and stored in a cardboard carrying case.

If you have a bakery, restaurant, or catering company, making the choice to purchase sustainable packaging supplies, and serving your to-go food on green disposables is one of the ways that you can grow the reputation of your business AND please the growing number of your eco-conscious customers.

At PacknWood we use a range of materials to make our always evolving and innovative products: different types of wood, palm leaf and bamboo, sugarcane, and a number of paper products. It’s always our priority to bring you new and original products that meet your unique demands. (Click here to see the full line.)

* To read more about the study done by WARP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) on consumer attitudes towards food packaging, go to http://www.suedpack.co.uk/2014/04/28/consumer-attitudes-towards-food-packaging/

Our New Line of To-Go Packaging Hits The Streets

foodtruck

There’s no question that food trucks are here to stay.  A natural evolution of the restaurant industry, the mobile food industry continues to undergo major growth around North America.

From small suburbs to major cities, more and more people continue to embrace food trucks as a new way of eating. We love it because it’s fast, convenient, and affordable. And the diversity and quality just keep getting better.

According to Ross Resnick, founder of Roaming Hunger, from 2011 to 2013, there was nearly a 200% increase in the number of food vendors entering the industry. He estimates that by 2017 there will be more than 20,000 trucks nationwide. To hear more on this, click here.

What do we think when we see those statistics? You can probably guess. That all of those people eating all of that food on-the-go requires a lot of disposables and produces a whole lot of waste.

And whether you are a restaurant OR a street vendor, we also understand how valuable presentation is to bringing in customers.

As the industry grows, more food truck owners are starting to go green, taking steps to be more environmentally responsible. To meet the demands of their eco-conscious customers and also cut costs, sometrucks are:


Using alternative fuel (turning leftover cooking oil into biofuel)


Building solar-powered kitchens


Serving local organic ingredients


Choosing recyclable and biodegradable to-go packaging


This inspired our designers to develop the new Street Food Collection!

Check out our bamboo leaf boats and wood cones, news printed containers, bagel boxes and crepe holders, and more — all recyclable and biodegradable.

street-food-packaging

 

 

 

 

For our complete new Street Food Packaging Collection, click here.

For our complete line of Take Out Packaging, click here.

Plus:  Visit the US Food Trucks at the 2015 World Fair!

Estimated to bring together 144 countries and 30 million visitors, the 2015 Expo Milano, to take place in Italy this summer, will address the challenge of how we are going to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050. Food trucks (along with flying acrobats and vertical gardens) are slated to be one of the features at the extraordinarily ambitious US Pavillion where visitors will be able to experience and taste the rich diversity of the US. For more information and the latest news on this huge event, you can visit www.expo2015.org/en.

Takeout Lunch Boxes – What To Choose

When it comes to lunch boxes, you always have plenty of options and it is not always easy to pick yours. Here is something to help you out a little. First of all, ditch the plastic or foam clamshells. Not only foam containers are about to be banned anyway (read more about this here), but plastic containers are not Eco-friendly and are terrible for the environment. When you choose your takeout solutions – the ones you want to offer your customers – make sure you go for Eco-friendly ones.

Are you looking for an easy way to pack your food to go, something that could help you transport different meals all together and keep your food safe? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at those pretty, yet functional, takeout round containers. Microwavable, grease resistant and even stackable, they are perfect to transport any type of food home or even to work. Soup, salad, past… Just name it!
takeout-lunch-box-and-buckets
The best part is that as they are stackable, you can prepare lunch combinations, put them in one of these amazing takeout lunch boxes and carry them all together. Big enough to fit a box for your appetizer, a box for your entree and even a box for your dessert, this takeout lunch box is the perfect to-go solution and guess what, it is Eco-friendly! 100% recyclable, containers and lunch boxes make a great couple and you just can’t be disappointed in them.

kray-blogIf you are looking for square takeout boxes instead of the round buckets, the takeout lunch box can also fit those beautiful Kray boxes. Brown or white and available in many different sizes, they make it really easy to offer very personalized solutions to all of your customers!

Think out of the box and start preparing delicious combination to be taken-out, you will make your customers very happy.

Check out all of our Eco-friendly solutions at www.packnwood.com

NYC Bans Foam Takeout Containers

On June 27th, we talked in our article New York Foam Ban Coming Soon about how NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been taking initiatives to try and make New York City more environmentally friendly by following California action and ban Styrofoam and foam food takeout containers.

Polystyrene foam – referred to as Styrofoam – is a cheap, light and strong material mostly used for takeout food containers. It is however extremely bad for the environment as it not recyclable, mostly ends up in landfills and lives for over 500 years. This is why about a hundred cities – including San Francisco, Seattle and Portland – have already banned foam food containers. In its last legislative session the New York Council also unanimously voted the ban of Styrofoam containers, making NYC the largest city in America to implement such a ban.

This ban is however a compromise for now and will only take effect next year. Why? Opponents of the ban, mostly container manufacturers, say that such a ban will hurt small business who rely on foam for its low cost and won’t be able to afford more Eco-friendly solutions. Dart Container Corporation, one of the largest makers of foam products, spent almost $1 million with the American Chemistry Council to try to block legislation and stop the ban. They managed to get a deadline – January 1rst, 2015 – to prove to the sanitation commissioner that foam can be collected and recycled in an economical way – something that has not been successfully done by any municipality so far. If they can’t prove it by this deadline, the law will take effect in July 2015.

More and more cities are taking the Eco-friendly direction when it comes to food containers and your city might be the next one to implement the ban. Chicago for instance is already also proposing a ban on the containers.

sugarcane-cups

If your business uses foam products it is time to go ahead of the ban and move on to more Eco-friendly products. If you are nervous that your cost are going to increase dramatically, don’t worry. There are plenty of affordable Eco-friendly options that you can take a look at. Not only your customers will love your new Green image, but your image will also get better, allowing you to slightly increase your prices and cover the pricing difference.

One of the most economical Eco-friendly option you can go for is of course sugarcane.

Light, resistant and cheap, sugarcane product also have a very upscale image and are 100% compostable.

Take a look at our sugarcane products at www.packnwood.com and take your first step towards sustainability!