Summer Food Packaging Goes Green

Girls eating food on steps

Summertime and paper are making food packaging easy and fun! Food companies and manufacturers are turning to paper and cardboard to package their products in a sustainable and earth-friendly way. And it is a movement that is traveling the globe rather rapidly and will be landing stateside in the coming months and years. We look at some of these paper and cardboard packages that are (and will be) changing the landscape of summer picnics to come.

Beverages: The last thing you want weighing you down this summer is a heavy glass bottle. So Cheez-Its paired with House Wine for a brilliant way to package summer wine and snacks for your picnic. The portable boxes from House Wine, which is produced by Precept Wine, will feature different wines paired with different flavored Cheez-Its. Since beer does not come in cardboard containers yet, beer lovers still have eco-friendly options as well. Mental Floss reports that according to Food and Wine, the parent company of Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s beer will be phasing out plastic packaging this summer and replacing it with 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard.

Snacks: In Japan, a snack is not just a snack, but a piece of art. Nestlé Japan has announced recyclable paper packaging for its KitKat products. The updated packaging will come with instructions, so customers can turn their wrapper into an origami paper crane. In a nation that reports approximately 4 million KitKat minis sold every day, that is a pretty big deal. But paper snack packaging is moving beyond Japan. Not only has Nestlé announced the launching of its YES! snack bars in a recyclable paper wrapper, but the international company plans on making all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Ice cream: In the U.K., McDonald's is reducing their carbon footprint by moving toward more cardboard packaging, including their popular McFlurry ice creams (as well as main-meal and side salad options.) In the U.S., Ben & Jerry’s are also taking steps toward recyclable cardboard packaging. Currently their cups are coated with a polyethylene plastic-based coating, but the company’s multi-year project will see an alternative to clear plastic cups, plastic-lined cups and plastic lids in 2020.

And while companies are making great strides in using cardboard as an alternative to plastic, there is no need to wait for others to make your summertime picnic green. You can picnic with paper now, and year-round. After all, paper packaging is closer to home than you think. And we are not just talking paper plates. Box up your picnic! Inside include sandwiches and foods wrapped in parchment. You can also roll parchment into a paper cone for single serving sides of popcorn and chips. The creative ideas are endless! So, starting this summer, and going year-round, shop cardboard and paper packaging to make a difference at home, and globally.