Looking for environmentally friendly packaging for your food business, but bored with the usual sugarcane tray food containers and “eco-friendly” paper straws? Here are 5 unique and sustainable ways you can keep a green business while staying ahead of the competition!
1. Aluminum Bottled Water
Aluminum is an endlessly recyclable and highly sustainable material that is perfect for carrying water, coffee, and other beverages! Aluminum has unique properties that are difficult to replicate in glass or plastic bottles.
For one, aluminum can serve both hot and cold drinks without altering the contents of the bottle. Plastic bottles are known to leach harmful chemicals to the environment and the body when heated, so hot water is not usually served in plastic bottles. Aluminum is also durable where, unlike glass, the bottle continues to function properly even after being dropped or dented.
Crystal Beverage Co. offers a helpful infographic on how aluminum water bottles are better for you and the environment. They reveal that recycled aluminum bottles only take 5% of the energy and resources to make compared to mining new aluminum, and that recycling aluminum makes the material no less pure than newly-mined aluminum material.
2. Compostable Bean Bags
Coffee beans in most commercial and retail cafes are often packaged in environmentally harmful plastic. Even the foil-like packaging used in grocery store coffee beans is made from plastic. Independent cafes may sell their coffee beans in brown paper bags, but these are often lined with plastic to keep the beans fresh and waterproof.
Instead, your cafe can use compostable coffee bean bags that are made from 100% paper material. These may be made from virgin pulp, or have a mix of new and recycled paper material to keep the packaging sustainable. As these are compostable, consumers can simply toss the entire bean bag to their compost bin after use.
3. Seed Paper Bags
Seed paper has become a popular material for calling cards, Christmas cards, and other small, cardstock purposes. However, seed paper bags have popped up to provide a green alternative to regular paper bags and harmful plastic bags.
Seed paper bags can come in different sizes, and can contain active seeds from vegetable, fruit, or ornamental plants that consumers can cut up and plant in their own gardens for a full bloom at any time of the year! You can match the seeds to your business as well – like providing mint seeds for your beverage business, or basil for your Italian restaurant!
4. Edible Soda Can Carriers
Those plastic rings from soda cans have long been the subject of environmental concerns as animals can get stuck in the plastic rings and choke to death. Many waste management campaigns have been reminding people since the 90’s to cut the plastic rings that hold their soda cans together before they dispose of them.
However, simply cutting these rings isn’t going to solve the plastic problem. Hence, edible soda can and beer can carriers were made from barley and wheat byproducts. These edible rings aren’t flavorful to us, but wild animals can safely munch on them if the rings get to oceans and wildlife areas. They’re a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging!
Consumers can also compost these carriers as they are made from organic materials that are safe for the compost bin. Other shapes include carriers for take out drinks, coffee cups, and food containers.
5. Reusable Food Jars
Reusable packaging is always a great idea when it comes to both sustainability and brand awareness. As both a marketing tool and part of sustainable business practices, offering your products in reusable packaging such as glass jars, aluminum bottles, and other containers makes consumers use your packaging more, and thus would see your logo more often.
This brings brand awareness and customer loyalty to your business as your consumers continue to use your product packaging for other uses – essentially seeing your business name and logo as they go about their daily lives.
Theme your packaging to your business. Do you sell dry goods like teas, grains, and beans? Provide useful glass jar packaging that is pleasing to the eye, and doubles as a planter when the contents are finished. Your coffee company can make use of packaging that doubles as mugs, and your pet food packaging can include patterns to turn the bag into a pet bed!