Compostable Food Packaging Proliferates

by | Apr 10, 2009

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ecocupsEco-Products, a provider of biodegradable and compostable food packaging, joins a handful of companies that offer compostable food packaging products. Available in April, the company is marketing what it claims to be the first commercially available compostable hot cup lid in North America.

The hot cup lid will fit stock sizes of hot paper cups: 10, 12, 16, 20 and 24 ounces. The lid is heat stable up to 220 degrees and is designed to breakdown within 90 to 120 days in a commercial compost facility.

Made from Ingeo biopolymer from NatureWorks LLC, the product enables restaurants, hotels, university and corporate campuses, and others, to provide the first fully renewable hot cup and lid system. Eco-Products has submitted the lid to the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).

Even though Eco Products claims to be the first on the market, earlier this year, StalkMarket Products unveiled what it calls the world’s first Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certified compostable Ingeo hot cup and lid system. The products also are manufactured from Ingeo plant-based plastics from NatureWorks.

Food companies that have recently switched to compostable packaging include Gingerbread Folk, Twinings, KFC and Haigh’s Chocolates.

In addition to renewables, food packaging companies are helping the environment in other ways.

Solo Cup Company, for example, recently announced its partnership with Keep America Beautiful. As a national sponsor of KAB and its Great American Cleanup, Solo will donate tableware products and educate consumers about environmentally preferable options in convenience and single-use foodservice products.

This year, Solo also has donated thousands of cases of Bare by Solo products — a line of single-use products made using recycled, recyclable, compostable or annually renewable materials — to help serve food and beverages to more than 100,000 Great American Cleanup volunteers across the country. These products include cups made with 20 percent post-consumer recycled PET plastic, paper cups made with 10 percent post-consumer recycled content, and plates made with bamboo and other renewable materials.

Other beverage-related environmental initiatives include greener packaging designs. As a recent example, White Wave Foods Company has redesigned its international Delight coffee creamer containers that not only reduces the company’s carbon footprint by 30 percent, but also saves the company over $1 million annually, according to Brandweek.

In addition, the creamer lids are transported in reusable totes between  facilities, saving 793 trees per year, said the company. The bottle, itself, is made from a different type of plastic that can be produced with less energy, water and waste. The new packaging is fully recyclable including the new cap.

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