Along with the lush and green landscape of summer comes picnics, social outings and the latest in innovative packaging in paper and cardboard. Here are just some of the advances manufacturers and companies are making in order to give consumers more conscious choices for the benefit of Mother Earth.
- Tote all your picnic foods and beverages in a Brrr Box, a Styrofoam cooler alternative. The Brrr Box is a 100% recyclable and biodegradable cooler. Using DS Smith’s biodegradable Greencoat technology, Brrr Box’s co-founder and president Ed Battle explains, “It’s a multi-use cooler if treated properly, and the best part is instead of those Styrofoam coolers going back into the waste stream, this goes back into the circular economy and is fully curbside recyclable."
- Packing up sandwiches and snacks consciously for your summer picnic just got a little easier. Ziploc has introduced recyclable paper bags with extra-wide openings that make them easy to fill. They are food safe and, most importantly, resealable.
- Graphic Packaging has introduced PaperSeal Slice and PaperSeal recyclable, barrier-lined paperboard trays that are both recyclable alternatives to plastic thermoformed trays for sliced meats and cheeses. An innovative, new design we hope to see brands adopt this packaging design for their products. Graphic Packaging’s Ricardo De Genova told Packaging World, “Compared to traditional plastic trays, PaperSeal Slice typically reduces plastic by 75% and PaperSeal Wedge by 80%.”
- Of course, what is a picnic without beverages? Share your sweet tea and lemonade in a Unocup. Using a well-tested origami folding design, the Unocup creates its own lid as an integrated top, so there is no need to use a plastic lid to keep flies and bugs out of your sweet beverages. The cup was originally designed to replace the plastic tops on coffee cups, but it works for any drink.
- Cap-It™, another product by Graphic Packaging, is a paperboard clip, made of renewable materials that is an alternative to the more traditional shrink film packaging. The paperboard increases the pack’s overall recyclability, according to Markets Insider. Currently it is in commercial use only in Asia but the company aims to make all of their products fully recyclable by 2025.
- Food and Wine reported that Johnnie Walker’s parent company, Diego, plans to release the famed Scotch whisky in what’s billed as “the world's first ever 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood.” It will debut later in 2021, the bottle is part of the Pulpex project and will “meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.”
- Absolut Vodka is currently trialing a paper prototype of their famous bottle in the U.K. and Sweden. Reported in Beverage Daily, the company is focusing on the entire package, with the prototype made from 57% paper and 43% plastic.
- FrugalPac’s Frugal Bottle is made from 94% recycled paperboard. Frugalpac’s chief executive, Malcolm Waugh told Food & Wine, “Our mission is to design, develop and supply sustainable packaging. The Frugal Bottle is up to five times lighter than a glass bottle, has a carbon footprint up to six times lower and is easy to recycle again.”
Doing good goes beyond summer picnics and get-togethers with other food brands that are looking to packaging alternatives that offer a variety of benefits such as certified material sourcing and recyclability, giving consumers smart options to help reduce our environmental impact.
- According to Packaging Insights, Kraft Heinz’s Kraft Mac & Cheese is trialing a fiber-based microwavable cup that will eliminate its use of plastic. Kraft Heinz‘s compostable and recyclable cup is part of the company’s journey towards “responsible, sustainable practices including a commitment that aims to make 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.”
- Nestlé is now using recyclable paper packaging for their popular candy Smarties, according to Candy Industry. The new packaging is sourced sustainably and made of a coated paper, paper labels or carton board. Alexander von Maillot, global head of confectionery at Nestlé told the publication, “It is a further step in realizing Nestlé's ambition to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025."
- McDonald’s plans on making all their packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025. "As the world's largest restaurant company, we have a responsibility to use our scale for good to make changes that will have a meaningful impact across the globe," said Francesca DeBiase, McDonald's Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer, in a statement. "Our customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address." Along with packaging, the fast-food giant plans on making recycling available in all its restaurants.