Plant-based Packaging - A Quick Introduction

Anything plant-based is a beautiful place to start if you’re considering strategies to lessen your influence on the environment.

It’s commonly known that adopting a plant-based diet helps slow down global warming and that biofuels made from renewable organic materials are a more environmentally friendly alternative to burning fossil fuels.

Organic materials and renewable vegetal sources (related to plants) are used to create the packaging for products in plant-based packaging. Plant-based packaging may be produced with ample raw materials, reducing the demand for the planet’s natural resources.

Some of the most innovative and practical food packagings is constructed entirely of plant-based materials. Let’s look more closely at packaging made from plants.

In This Article

What Are Plant-Based Packaging

Plant-based packaging is a type of packaging that doesn’t use materials from petroleum but uses materials derived from sustainably farmed plants. The most prevalent non-renewable material used in packaging is plastic. When a food producer or contract packager talks about “plant-based packaging,” they typically mean a bioplastic polymer.

Consumer awareness and spending patterns have shifted in favour of the environment-friendly effects. Plant-based materials of various types are actively investigated by businesses for consumer goods, inspiring sustainable packaging options.

The materials used to create plant-based packaging are organically renewable and originate from plants. In contrast to many types of conventional packaging, such as plastic, it is entirely organic and comes in various shapes.

Plant-based Packaging-Cellobags

Types of Plant-Based Packaging

Bioplastics

A form of plastic known as bioplastics may be both biobased and biodegradable. Biodegradable materials decompose naturally in the environment after use, whereas biobased materials are manufactured from renewable resources. Since they only degrade under specified circumstances, bioplastics can be just as durable as other kinds of plastic. For instance, certain bioplastics may be composted at home, whereas others can be composted in factories.

Polylactic Acid (PLA) and Polyhydroxyalkanoate are two of the most popular bioplastics produced from renewable resources (PHA). The essential components for PLA, a polymer, are maise starch, tapioca roots, or sugarcane.

Baggase Containers

Bagasse is one of the most flexible, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly materials in the packaging sector and elsewhere.

Being a byproduct of sugarcane harvesting, it is a naturally renewable resource. Sugarcanes are crushed and dried to create the needed pulp, leaving a solid, fibrous residue. 

It’s perfect for swapping out conventional food packagings items like polystyrene trays or ubiquitous but non-recyclable plastic takeout containers.

Mycelium Mushroom

Mycelium is lightweight, versatile, and simple to make. Organic polymers, scaffolding, garments, footwear, and packaging materials may all be made from mycelium. Similar to polystyrene foam in specific ways, mycelium foam is more challenging and resilient. Additionally, the foam is hydrophobic, robust, insulating, breathable, and flame-resistant.

Seaweed

Unlike corn or sugar cane, seaweed is easier to get and thrives in quiet waters. Seaweed packaging is produced using raw materials that have been harvested and fermented without the use of chemicals. Seaweed is an attractive option for sustainable packaging since it is biodegradable and has zero waste advantages.

Kraft Virgin Pulp (Paper)

Paper with virgin pulp fibres is more robust and better suited for heavy-duty applications. Producing greaseproof paper and the virgin Kraft paper that lines our pizza boxes and takeout boxes makes use of it exceptionally well.

Although the fibres in recycled pulp are shorter, the fact that it is recycled makes it more environmentally beneficial. Although it is less durable than virgin pulp, it is strong enough to make corrugated cardboard, such as fish and chip boxes.

This material is ideal for items that need durable packaging since it has muscular tensile strength and outstanding flexibility. This material is utilised by several businesses to package chemicals, food, wheat, cement, and other consumer items. Multiwall paper bags and sacks are the most common kraft paper packaging.

Cellulose Packaging

The most prevalent biopolymer on earth is cellulose, whose constituent particles have a minimal environmental impact. Different sizes and forms of cellulose are available. In cellulose food packaging, cellophane, a transparent, thin, biodegradable plastic-like material, is frequently utilised.

A flexible item necessary for supplying safe and appealing product packaging is cellulose-based cellophane bags. Large and small businesses choose cello bags produced by a cellophane bags Australia firm because of the wide variety available.

Benefits of Plant-Based Packaging

Environmentally-friendly

Plant-based packaging poses little threat to the environment since they contain fewer chemicals than regular plastics. When conditions are favourable, plant-based packaging degrades fast. Microorganisms consume decomposing organic stuff, rendering it useless while preserving the environment. Between three and six months are needed to complete the process.

Sustainable

Plant-based packaging may be manufactured endlessly because it is derived from natural resources. Plant-based materials don’t require a finite supply of resources. However, it is anticipated that we will run out of fossil fuels in our lifetime, finally compelling everyone to adopt sustainability.

Reduces the load of recycling

Plant-based packaging is simple to recycle instead of worrying about recycling regular plastics each time you use them. Even though less than 10% of the tonnes of plastic manufactured each year are recycled, biodegradable packaging will eliminate this problem.

Plant-based packaging is durable

Making a move to eco-friendly packaging communicates how you promote your goods. Your company’s carbon footprints, which negatively influence the environment, are decreased. The carbon dioxide released from fossil fuels is your carbon footprint. Environmentally conscious consumers research the carbon footprint of the product they buy.

Visually Appealing

Looks are important. Food tastes better when it appears appetising, and packing helps to make your takeout foods look delectable, even though appearances aren’t everything.

Standard, unbranded plant-based packaging like bagasse has a natural texture that is comfortingly straightforward, tactile, and robust. Thanks to the thickness, durability, and temperature-controlling properties of well-engineered, plant-based materials, it deserves to present the fanciest cuisine to the most sumptuous desserts.

Allergen and toxin-free

You will be much safer from toxins and allergens included in non-biodegradable packaging. The majority of packaging made of plastic is non-toxic and allergy-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

For instance, in recent years, scientists have created two new kinds of biodegradable plastics: oxo-biodegradable plastic, which is derived from petroleum, and hydro-biodegradable plastic, which is derived from plants. According to some tests, these new biodegradable polymers might break down in as little as two to three months.

It can lessen the demand for fossil fuels used to produce traditional polymers because they can be made from plant materials like maize, sugar, potatoes, or sugarcane.

Polypropylene is one of the safest commercial polymers on the market today. Polypropylene may be found in food containers that carry yoghurt, cream cheese, and butter since it has FDA approval for interaction with food.

Yes. Given that it is made of plant materials, packaging made of plant materials is sustainable. Plant-based plastics may completely degrade under the correct circumstances, unlike the majority of petroleum-based plastic packaging. Plastic packaging made from plants rather than petroleum may be recycled more readily.

Key Takeaways

While some food producers have already switched to plant-based packaging, others are in the process of doing the same. The advantages of doing so are numerous, particularly now that the price of producing these items has dropped significantly since they were debuted.

Depending on the type of plant-based packaging you select, it provides the same level of protection as its petroleum-based equivalent, if not better. In addition, as customers become increasingly concerned about the environment, they will keep asking for eco-friendly packaging solutions in all aspects of their life, including the meals they buy.