Sustainable Food Packaging Solutions – Know the Response of Large Food and Beverage Companies
Conventional food packaging materials involve the use of metals, paper, glass, and plastics. Packaging when disposed, is sent to landfills. It takes a lot of time to degrade and releases toxins when burnt, especially those made from plastics. Also, chemicals from the packaging materials trickle down into the groundwater and soil. Other than this, packaging materials that are heated along with the food can transfer non-edible harmful substances to the main food product.
Due to growing concerns about the environmental impact of food packaging and its materials, the FMCG companies, retailers, and other stakeholders are reconsidering their packaging process/materials and improve the sustainability of their packaging. Now during the pandemic, the focus has shifted to food safety & hygiene, along with sustainability of packaging.
Large food and beverage corporations generate the maximum plastic waste and have separate targets/plans to reduce and manage the same. Various corporations such as McDonald’s, Unilever, Nestlé, Danone, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola, have set up targets/plans to improve the sustainability of their packaging and packaging materials by 2025.
Response of Large Food and Beverage Companies toward Sustainable Packaging
Unilever: An Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company, has a mantra – ‘Less Plastic, Better Plastic, No Plastic’ – for all its product lines (including food and beverage). In August 2020, one of its brands, Magnum, became the first ice cream brand to use recycled polypropylene plastic in its packaging in Europe. Unilever’s PG Tips tea brand in the U.K. has also switched to 100% biodegradable teabags that are made of plant-based materials instead of plastic to seal its teabags.
Nestle: Another big food and beverage company in September 2019, inaugurated the Institute of Packaging Sciences to help the company bring environmental-friendly packaging solutions to the market. The company’s ambition is to achieve 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025. The company has launched 100% recyclable paper packaging for several of its products, including Nesquik pouches and YES! snack bars. In January 2021, Smarties became the first global confectionery brand to switch to recyclable paper packaging.
KFC: An American fast food restaurant chain, launched a comestible coffee cup, called scoff-ee cup, which has a double layer coating of white chocolate around biscuits wrapped in sugar paper. The cup can tolerate the heat of the espresso due to its texture, and the consumer can eat the cup after finishing.
Carlsberg: A Danish multinational brewer, came up with green fiber bottle packaging, in partnership with EcoXpac, to shift toward the consumer and environment-friendly sustainable approaches.
Walmart: An American multinational corporation and one of the largest users of packaging worldwide, has a packaging scorecard that allows suppliers to evaluate themselves based on specific attributes, known as the “7R’s of Packaging,” the 7Rs referring to: Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew, Revenue, and Read.
Kroger: An American retail company, aims to achieve 100% recyclable, compostable, and/or reusable packaging for all its brands’ products by 2030.
Download the detailed analysis on Sustainable Food Packaging Solutions and Technologies from experts at BIS Research.