Innovative Sustainable Food Packaging Options: Veg-Fresh Farms, Startups And Co


The produce industry is in dire need of more sustainable food packaging options. Whether it comes to unnecessary plastic or excess packaging material in general, the industry is going through a significant shift. We have collected the latest news on innovative sustainable options.

Food packaging has been criticised a lot in recent years. Whether we are talking about the unnecessary use of plastic or an overuse of packaging material in general, sustainability seems to be the top priority of both consumers and retailers. Being one of the most pressing issues for both the produce and packaging industry alike, we have many bright minds working on more sustainable solutions for the future of food packaging. Here are some of their attempts at solving the problem.

Earth Check for Veg-Fresh Farms

In December, Veg-Fresh Farms debuted their new sustainable packaging option: a brand new design from eco-friendly packaging supplier Earth Check. And the name reflects the programme as Veg-Fresh Farms General Partner Randy Cancellieri told the British produce industry magazine AndNowUKnow: “The packaging is a unique package design made from non-bleached, lightweight, 100-percent recycled paperboard that is sourced from local mills. It is also moisture resistant, so it makes the perfect packaging for our tomatoes!” The new packaging option therefore combines multiple levels of sustainability, with the usage of eco-friendly, recyclable material and a local supply of raw materials and manufacturing. Earth Check offers two packaging options, the Earth Check Window Box and the Earth Check Open Pints, both relying on a minimal amount of plastic and geared for organic produce.

For Retailers And Consumers

The new packaging options were very much designed with the consumer in mind. Nowadays, sustainability has a high priority to consumers and therefore raised the demand for better options considerably. The conscious consumer doesn’t only decide by comparing the products themselves but also considers everything that went into it, including the packaging and final presentation.

The open-pints especially have been a success. “[Consumers] really love being able to purchase something that does not have any plastic in the packaging,” says Randy Cancellieri. As of now the open-pint design is mostly used selling the Organic Medley Tomatoes but they are already working on a generic open-pint solution for other produce.

Startups For Sustainability

Of course, Earth Check and Veg-Fresh Farms are not the only ones working on more sustainable packaging alternatives. Other suppliers like the Offset Group and The Complete Package have their own lines of sustainable packaging solutions offering custom options for packaging production and design, using eco-friendly materials. Tetra Pak launched their connected packaging platform in December which provides shoppers with a vast amount of information on where the product comes from or where to recycle the package. But it is startup companies especially that really revolutionize the field and offer the most interesting and innovative sustainable packaging solutions. Those small startup companies are working on completely new approaches to packaging and environmental pollution all over the world.

New Materials For New Solutions

Where established companies can sometimes take a little longer to create new procedures, smaller new suppliers get a chance to shine. The shift to sustainable packaging has put newcomers in a perfect position to create a stir in the packaging industry. While others are trying to achieve a more sustainable packaging product, many startups are looking for completely new packaging materials. Ecoshell, for example, creates containers, bags and butlery from biodegradable materials such as sugar cane or corn starch from industrial waste products. EggPlant is working on a biodegradable alternative to plastic, so as not to only to reduce the usage of plastic but completely eliminating it by offering an eco-friendly alternative. And the Finnish startup Sulapac is trying to replace plastic with biodegradable packaging materials from wood that offer the same productions benefits, like being able to be shaped, molded and mass-produced. You see: the future is green.

Which sustainable packaging option is your current favorite on the market? And what are you looking for in packaging for your products or as an everyday consumer? Let us know your opinions in the comments.

by: Christiane Hermann