The most sustainable packaging is edible

The most sustainable packaging is edible

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Conscious consumption is a massive trend across all age groups. It is one of the 6 major food steps according to our Taste Tomorrow consumer research. 70% of the people we’ve spoken to are looking for products sold in sustainable packaging. Another 61% prefer companies that help preserve the environment by zero-waste manufacturing methods. With edible packaging, food producers can tick both boxes. 

 

Of course, we all know the ice cream cone and the tortilla, which can both be used as edible packaging. But with more and more consumers making sustainable food choices, the list of edible food packaging and cutlery options is growing. 

 

What will be the next waffle cone? We’ve lined up five contenders among the companies offering edible food packaging and eating utensils:

 

1. Edible beer cups

To fight plastic waste, the Japanese Asahi Breweries has developed an edible cup together with Marushige Confectionery. The Mogu Cup, made from potato starch, is baked under high temperature and pressure to improve the water-resistance, making the cup suitable for holding a beer or ice coffee. When consumers have finished their drink, they can start nibbling on the container. The edible cup comes in three sizes and four flavors – plain, nuts, shrimp or chocolate –making it suitable for dinner and desserts as well. 

 

The most sustainable packaging is edible

 

2. Water without a bottle

It looks like magic is involved in creating the Ooho water balls, but their secret lies in a membrane consisting of plants and seaweed. This biodegradable and edible shell contains water, creating a ball that is easy to consume. The water globes last for a couple of days, making them especially suitable for events such as marathons. For runners, the Ooho balls are a much easier way to drink than from a bottle or cup. And the solution is more sustainable, with five times less CO₂ output than plastic.

 

The most sustainable packaging is edible

 

3. Snackable drinking straw

Drinking straws are on the list of top 10 items polluting beaches and waterways – together with a whole bunch of other food packaging items. So they are a top contender for replacement by a sustainable option. The Indonesian company Evoware has found a solution: edible and water-soluble straws made from rice and tapioca. These straws are safe for animals and won’t be found littering beaches: they are home compostable and biodegrade within a month, but still have a shelf life of two years without preservatives. 

 

The most sustainable packaging is edible

 

Evoware also produces water-soluble packaging that can be used for, among other things, instant noodle spice sachets, as demonstrated at the end of this video:

 

 

4. Potato-based wrapper

No need to bother unwrapping your ice cream sandwich from a Coolhaus ice cream truck. The wrapping paper used by this Los Angeles-based company is made from potatoes and completely edible – even the logos are printed with a special edible ink!

 

The most sustainable packaging is edible

 

5. Spoons you can chew on

There are 100 million plastic utensils used every day, which take thousands of years to decompose. IncrEDIBLE Eats aims to end this plastic problem, one spoon at a time, by creating an eco-friendly alternative to disposable cutlery: edible spoons. These have savory and sweet flavors, so can be used for everything from curry to chocolate mousse. 

 

American ice cream chain Dippin’ Dots has recently started offering the vanilla and chocolate spoons in their stores. "It elevates our ice cream, it saves our planet from waste, and it aligns with the message many of our partners are trying to convey", opines Bryan Carney, Director of National Accounts at Dippin' Dots.

 

The most sustainable packaging is edible

 

Sustainable food packaging: much more than just using less plastic

The focus of sustainable food packaging concepts on using less plastic is a bit one-sided, says Tim van Caelenberg, Packaging Lead at Puratos. “The most sustainable choice takes all relevant aspects into account, including avoiding food spills”, he says. Discover his vision of environmentally friendly packaging choices on Puratos.com.

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