biodegradable food packaging

Go green or go home! As we learn more about the ways our waste harms the planet, we also discover new ways to help save it. Sustainability and environmentalism are hot-button issues for Millennials, who make up a huge market that you definitely want to capture. If you want your business to help the planet, stay on the cutting edge, and attract a younger audience, you should be paying attention to innovations in biodegradable food packaging at every stage of food production.

Biodegradable Food Packaging Materials

More consumers are trying to choose eco-friendly products, and packaging is a big part of that choice. What kinds of biodegradable materials are we seeing as plastic alternatives? Here are just a few:

  • Seaweed and mushroom-based materials
  • Wood pulp cellophane
  • Milk protein
  • Starch-based polymers

There is no shortage of biodegradable innovations entering the arena, and consumers are showing their approval. Let’s take a look at how these materials are being used in the food and beverage industry.

Single-Use Alternatives

Single-use plastic bags take 10-20 years to decompose. Plastic bottles take about 450 years, and other types of plastic take UP TO 1000 YEARS! This issue is definitely in the spotlight right now, and young people have been especially vocal about the harmful effects of single-use plastic items like bags, utensils, and straws. More cities are passing plastic bag bans and the uproar about plastic straws has led to many companies ditching them entirely (and more sales of metal straws). As companies turn   to biodegradable materials and away from single-use plastic items, consumers are taking notice.

Sustainable Shipping

Transporting products has a huge impact on the environment, especially when the items are shipped with materials like bubble wrap and foam packing peanuts. Fortunately, there are many biodegradable and compostable alternatives. Young consumers want to see more companies choosing materials like recycled paper, plant fiber, and cornstarch to ship their products. Here are just a few of the biodegradable shipping options available:

  • Plant fiber packing peanuts. Cornstarch packing peanuts that dissolve in water have been in use for a while, but some don’t biodegrade completely. Some modern options are edible, reusable, and 100% biodegradable. No more half measures!
  • Recycled paper and cardboard. This includes paper that might not be reused otherwise, like newspapers, magazines, and office waste.
  • Biodegradable air pillows. Air pillows use less plastic than bubble wrap, and you can find ones made of biodegradable materials.
  • Mushroom and seaweed packaging. These materials are compostable and great for packaging food products.

Compostable Containers

Food often comes in a box, whether you’re taking it out of a restaurant or buying it at the store. Grocery stores are filled with countless examples of non-biodegradable food and beverage packaging, and consumers are taking notice. When thinking about how to package their products, more startups are looking into paper and plant-based polymers instead of plastic.

Similarly, plastic and Styrofoam takeout boxes are no longer the gold standard. You’re probably seeing a lot more plant fiber boxes, which can be compostable and biodegradable along with other food waste.

HSR Associates: Experts in Biodegradable Food Packaging

Millennials highly favor brands that are eco-friendly, and environmentalism is clearly an issue that will only grow in importance. Take advantage of the trends AND help the earth! HSR ASSOCIATES specializes in developing new food products and bringing them to market. We provide all the services necessary, from Kitchen To Marketplace. Contact us today at

More great ideas to come from our food product development experts! Stay tuned…………..