7 Types Of Sustainable Food Packaging

Most of the food you buy and eat comes in a package. Therefore, packaging is an essential part of the food supply chain. But, a lot of it is made from plastic. Nowadays, people have begun to prioritize making the world greener as they’ve grown more conscious of the necessity of sustainability. This green movement includes making food packaging more environment-friendly through various methods, such as compostable packaging and many other forms listed below.

different types of sustainable food packaging

While some progress is being made in terms of moving away from plastic, the said material is still widely used. There’s a long way to go. Thankfully, there are many environment-friendly packaging options on the market today. Given the increasing pressure from the public to go green, more sustainable packaging options will emerge.

That said, here’s a list of the types of sustainable food packaging manufacturers can use today:

1. Glass

Glass is ubiquitous and is utilized for a wide range of purposes. It’s also recyclable and reusable. Therefore, glass can be a good alternative to plastic for food packaging.

For example, when you buy a glass jar, you may keep it for a long time without worrying about it rusting or contaminating your food. All you need to do is ensure it’s cleaned regularly. Glass water bottles are also an excellent substitute for the usual plastic ones.

However, the biggest issue with glass jars is that glass lids aren’t leak-proof. Therefore, you want to look for glass containers with bamboo lids. Nonetheless, unless the glass cracks, it’ll probably survive for a long time. Once you’re done using it, you may easily recycle it. Therefore, glass is good for the environment.

2. Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA)

In addition to being often used in adhesives, PVA is also widely utilized in emulsion polymerization, film, and packaging production.

PVA is ideal for film production because it has excellent tensile strength. PVA resins also exhibit great adhesive and bonding properties. The magnitude of hydrolysis influences the film’s water sensitivity. With more hydrolysis, water resistance rises.

If you’re looking for a sustainable packaging material for your products, you can look for reliable PVA suppliers near you and choose the most suitable one for your business.

3. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an extremely long-lasting material. It’s also rust-free and heat-resistant, which makes it ideal for food storage.

There are several stainless steel packaging types to choose from. For example, you may buy stainless steel lunch boxes, which usually include silicone seals or lids to prevent leaks. Stainless steel is also used to produce lids for glass jars, which are used at home for storing items, such as sugar and flour.

Consider purchasing stainless steel storage containers from reputable manufacturers. Although this material is generally robust, purchasing a container from a random brand or manufacturer may not be a good idea.

4. Bamboo

Bamboo is another biodegradable packaging material that’s strong and resistant to high temperatures. This material may be seen in food packaging lids, breadboxes, and serving bowls.

On the one hand, the downside of using packaging made from bamboo is its lack of durability. The toughness of bamboo and other plant fibers isn’t comparable to that of glass or steel.

5. Rice Husk

This is one of the least-known sustainable packaging alternatives. When most people think of rice, they don’t think of eco-friendly packaging. Yet, rice husk is an excellent material in this regard. It’s a byproduct of rice farming, which makes it quite inexpensive. Rice husk is known to be bio-absorbent, which means it can absorb contaminants from its immediate surroundings.

6. Gelatin Film

Because of its affordability, gelatin is quickly becoming one of the most preferred sustainable packaging materials. It’s a sturdy film-forming substance, making it excellent for food packaging. Furthermore, gelatin is said to contain antimicrobial cellulose, which aids in the prevention of pathogen growth. This reduces the spread of food-borne infections. These properties make gelatin a safer option than plastic.

recycled paper

7. Paper Or Cardboard

This is one of the most used materials for packaging food. Paper boxes are both biodegradable and inexpensive. Food won’t be affected since paper boxes don’t contain harmful substances. They’re also lightweight, making them easy to transport. These features make paper boxes a packaging material of choice for most food suppliers.

You may have observed that most fast-food packaging is composed of paper boxes. They utilize this material because they’re inexpensive and recyclable. They’re also commonly used in shipping and logistics for this reason. If you want to know which shipping method is the best for you, check out this article.

However, one disadvantage to using paper or cardboard boxes are that they’re easier to damage than other materials.


Players in the food supply chain are under pressure to utilize green packaging. Given the mounting evidence against the usage of plastic, this is a positive development. Fortunately, there are several green packaging solutions. All the alternatives mentioned above have their pros and cons. However, for the benefit of the environment, all food manufacturers and suppliers globally should consider embracing these green packaging options.

Such types of eco-friendly food packaging materials will increase in number and become less expensive as technology develops. Perhaps, in the future, people will abandon plastic completely.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com

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