Bio-friendly fluid packaging

I’m currently working with a client who’s starting up a catering & fresh food business, and we’re in search for packaging options. Some ideas are listed below, but this seems to be a fairly under served market, which is odd being that Green is so “hot” right now.

Good company, but their products don’t match what we need.

PETE - Corn based polymers
Seems that NatureWorks is the only company that really creates this resin that is used by a few manufacturers (Alpha Packaging in St. Louis being one).

Recycled Glass
This could be a viable option for my client down the road once the business picks up a bit, but not right now. The idea would be to have clients swap out bottles, very much like the old milk delivery system.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Trying to do our part to be green, clean, and cool.

what kinda food? does it need to be structural or will a bag do?

You don’t want to do a bag. There is no excitement about a bag.

There are plenty of eco-freindly materials out there. One thing that you need to realize is even though it is “Green” doesn’t mean that it is good for the environment. For example the PETE is biodegradable and made from corn but will not break down in a landfill. This is a problem sense it is just causing waste. It also screws up the recycling chain.

You might want to check out the SPA (Sustainable Pack Org) They have some good articles and talk about Wal-Mart’s Sustainable Score Card.

Other references are the PCA and their Sustainability page

And check out the packaging magazines out there like Packaging Digest and Brand Packaging.

But while you are looking at these materials do rule out the conventional packaging materials. Try to think of it as a design problem and step back and look at what you are actually trying to accomplish. You would be amaze how people go out of their way to put a product in a “Green” material and then still over package it and defeat the purpose when the could have put it in a PET tray that is recyclable and cut the cost in half.

I hope this helps.

My $.02

I meant don’t rule out the conventional packaging materials. My bad.

My company is currently dealing with this as well. What most of our clients don’t understand is that plastics do not biodegrade. They are photodegradable. Essentially they will break down physically but will still retain the same mass and chemical structure. If plastic is introduced to the oceans it acts as a chemical sponge an then is ingested by sea life.

We’ve found that paperboard is generally more of a green option as opposed to anything plastic. It is truly biodgradable and is a renewable resource. In terms of cost I believe both paperboard and plastics are similar when it comes to converting them.

I remember seeing some reports on Tetra Pak. They use it for juice boxes in Canada. You should check them out to see if they pass the smell test and if they are good for your application.