Consumers are more aware than ever of the impact single-use plastics can have on our environment. According to a study of plastic consumption worldwide, roughly 90% of plastics go unrecycled. It's a fact that consumers–especially younger consumers–are hoping to change by changing their spending habits.
Commercial food processors know this demand shift and how much consumers love convenience. The challenge for the coming years is reducing single-use plastics while keeping food fresh and costs down.
Eco-friendly food packaging is the solution. By using Post Consumer Regrind (PCR) plastic, companies can reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and our oceans each year. This post will show you the benefits of sustainable food packaging and why it may not be as difficult as you think to make the switch.
5 Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly Packaging for Commercial Food Production
While most retailers and producers understand the growing demand for sustainable products, here are a few benefits to consider:
A cleaner planetWe’ve all seen images of plastics washed up on a beach or clogging an urban waterway. These images have inspired people to consider how they consume all goods, including convenience foods. When you reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging and choose eco-friendly packaging that uses recycled materials, the result is less waste in landfills and oceans, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
You do not have to sacrifice clarity or strength when using post-consumer plastic. At Lacerta, PCR flake is decontaminated using our innovative, in-house technology, which creates clear, durable plastics for use in making a wide range of eco-friendly food packaging.
- Meets consumer and retailer demand
As we noted, shoppers are considering using less plastic and looking for more sustainable options. Grocery chains and other food retailers have taken note, too, and are looking to food producers to use more sustainable packaging. With both retailers and consumers increasing their demand for this type of packaging, it’s in a company’s best interest to begin looking now at their eco-friendly food packaging options.
- Sustainability goals
Many companies today are adopting sustainability goals to serve as good global citizens and as a means to cut costs on energy and resources too. Here at Lacerta, we’ve pledged to shift toward sustainability by ensuring 100% of our products are made with 100% recyclable materials by 2025. If your company has made a similar pledge, Lacerta has a wide range of eco-friendly food packaging options to choose from.
- Maintain food quality
Even with all these benefits mentioned, packaging needs to keep food fresh. The effort put into finding and using a sustainable option won’t get food producers very far if the product doesn’t look fresh on the shelf. Several food producers have tested Lacerta’s 100% Post-Consumer Plastic (PCR) packaging line, and the feedback is clear: eco-friendly food packaging keeps food as fresh as virgin plastic containers.
Eco-Friendly Packaging by the Numbers
What kind of a difference can changing to eco-friendly food packaging make? While it may represent a major shift for your company, you might also wonder, is it a big shift for the environment? We’ve crunched the numbers and have found that when commercial food processors change to more sustainable packaging does indeed have an impact.
Lacerta’s use of post-consumer recycled material currently saves 324 million bottles from landfills, or over 5,173 tons of greenhouse gasses, every year. That’s the environmental equivalent of taking 1,078 cars off the road or burning 4,500 fewer barrels of oil each year.
But how does this impact cost? Lacerta’s investment in specialized decontamination units has enabled us to recycle plastic that in the past was often discarded. This state-of-the-art recycling technology has helped us reduce costs, making the recycled plastic containers we offer competitive with those made from virgin resins.
Are you a commercial food producer thinking of using eco-friendly packaging?