Three good things: packaging

Positive News

From laser labels to ‘plastic’ derived from sugar cane, three environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging  

1. Natural branding

‘Laser labelling’, a plastic-free branding alternative, is being trialled on fresh produce. Image: Nature & More

Trials of plastic-free ‘laser labels’ have begun with sweet potatoes, avocados and coconuts. A strong light is shone on to vegetables, removing pigment from their skin. The mark comes off when the skin is removed and doesn’t impact taste, aroma or shelf life. Research by Florida University confirms the technique is safe, according to the American Society for Horticultural Science.

2. Soap paper

Cosmetics company Lush now wrap all of their bars of shower wash in dissolvable ‘soap paper’. Image: Lush Digital

Cosmetics company Lush now wrap all of its bars of shower wash in ‘soap paper’. The dissolvable packaging, made from blended melon puree and soap flakes, was dreamed up by product developer Wesley Burrage in a sweet shop, inspired by fruit leather snacks.

3. Plant-based plastics

The Tetra Rex drinks carton harnesses the power of plants instead of using plastic materials. Image: Tetra Pak International S.A.

The Tetra Rex drinks carton is made entirely from plant-based materials: ‘plastics’ derived from sugar cane and paperboard. They are made by Brazilian company Braskem, which sources sugar cane grown on degraded pastures. More than 200bn have already been made.

Featured image: Lush Digital


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  • J Bullen

    Fantastic news! How do we find the products with these new tetrapak cartons – good for them – they need to market it more – make it more visible!

  • Forest Shaman

    Brilliant! I recently wrote to the UK government in regard to this problem. They replied and I quote

    “We do not intend to commission research into this.
    Manufacturing and retail supply chain food and packaging waste has
    reduced by 7.4% between 2009 and 2012, and a further 3% by 2015 by
    signatories under the previous Courtauld agreements. Under Courtauld
    2025, we have a target to reduce total UK food waste by a further 20% by
    2025.”

    I see this as a poor repose frankly and evidence that corporations have the ability to manipulate these situations. Clearly if it was made law companies have the ability to make the changes but just don’t want to. People need to make sure they don’t have the option to ignore these alternatives, the consumers have the ultimate power to make the change. By not shopping at these stores until the make the change, nothing will change any other way.

  • Zombi Bikini

    A new york company is making packaging from fungi too. https://www.ecovativedesign.com/ Curious how cost effective it is.

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