Eco-friendly food packaging gains attention

Packaging made of recyclable and biodegradable materials that withstand moisture and grease to prevent spoilage are growing in popularity.

July 28, 2017

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Packaging made of recyclable and biodegradable materials that withstand moisture and grease to prevent spoilage are growing in popularity.

Image source: StockSnap, Pixabay

Demand for sustainable food packaging has been growing steadily in recent years as ecological awareness among brands and retailers increases. The situation has prompted many food packaging manufacturers to explore materials and processes that contribute to environmental preservation.

Kotkamills, a Finland-based paper and wood products specialist, is among these companies. The maker has developed a plastic-free paperboard that is 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable. The new material, designed for the food industry, is moisture- and grease-resistant, and does not require fluourochemicals used in traditional plastic-based packaging. The substance is said to increase the risk of cancer.

Currently, Kotkamills is supplying the paperboard to different clients in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and domestically, whose orders have amounted to 300 tons. The company has also created a 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable coffee cup, which has already passed safety tests and is now awaiting certification.

Earlier this year, HelloFresh, a meal-kit company from Germany, has also released a food packaging box made of recycled paperboard and the first to use Cascades' Northbox insulation technology, which helps keep contents fresh. This insulation adopts an FSC-certified paperboard structure and reflective lining attached using water-based glue. It also has an encapsulated metallic layer that is 100 percent pulp-free and allows for complete fiber recycling.

The company operates in nine countries, delivering 23.9 million meals in the last three months of 2016. It has rolled out recently the new environment-friendly meal boxes in the US.

Sweden-based Rottneros, meanwhile, has introduced a food packaging tray made of wood. The material used is also recyclable and biodegradable, and withstands moisture and grease, preventing spoilage. The packaging is designed for take-out food, and fish and meat in grocery stores.

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