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Change the product, not just the packaging: a crucial step towards a sustainable food future

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Jul 17 2023 · 2 min read

Illuminem Voices
Sustainable Lifestyle · Food · illuminemX

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in Sustainable Brands or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: To address the mounting problem of plastic packaging pollution, the industry is exploring a shift towards creating food products that are compatible with more sustainable packaging materials
• Some companies are rethinking the product instead of just the packaging: by modifying food to require less functionality from its packaging, it allows for compatibility with a broader set of more sustainable materials
Companies like Mori, Apeel, and Foodberry create edible barriers or coatings that replicate the properties of fruit skins and peels, thus extending shelf life and allowing for the use of compostable or biodegradable packaging.

🔭 The context:  While governments and regulatory bodies could incentivize the use of sustainable materials, the prevalent and profitable nature of plastic packaging makes discouraging its use unlikely
• Companies are faced with valid concerns over product integrity and compatibility with sustainable materials, especially for foods with high moisture content.

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: Compostable packaging plays a significant role in a sustainable future. The industry's break from its plastic dependency and adoption of more sustainable packaging solutions can drastically reduce environmental harm
• Every year, over 80 million tons of plastic packaging is produced with only a 5-6% recycling rate, meaning the majority ends up in landfills and waterways.
By 2050, it is predicted there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans, thus necessitating a shift in product development and packaging.

⏭️ What’s next: To overcome these challenges, brands and manufacturers can integrate compostable packaging options and support new material development, with established companies or ESG-focused investors helping to overcome inertia within supply chains.

💬 One quote: "By bringing new solutions to the market, businesses can leverage sustainability as an innovation catalyst — reducing environmental harm, improving human health, and fostering a healthier and more sustainable future."

Click for more news covering the latest on food and agriculture

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