“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/

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