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Choosing Sustainable Food Containers for Your Business: 3 Options to Consider

Alternatives to plastic food packaging

In today’s environmentally conscious world, businesses are increasingly recognizing the importance of adopting sustainable practices. One of the quickest and easiest ways to move to a more sustainable business practice is utilizing Eco friendly food containers for takeout orders, food storage, food serving, and more.  

By selecting eco-friendly alternatives instead of one-use plastics and disposable bowls, businesses can make a positive impact while improving their local branding and reputation, all in one go. 

From compostable fibers to recyclable plastics, we explore the benefits and considerations of switching to sustainable food packaging and break down each sustainable food container option that is popular and at your fingertips for choosing.  

Who Is Eco-Pliant?

Eco-pliant is a sustainable food packaging company with several distribution centers located across the US. We have made sustainable food packaging our mission. Our team of eco-friendly industry experts has explored and learned all about sustainability in the packaging industry and we bring proven solutions at affordable prices to dozens of industries across the country.  

Eco-Friendly Option 1.

Biodegradable Food Containers

Biodegradable clamshell food containers are one of the largest categories of sustainable food packaging you will come across in your search for choosing sustainable packaging for your business. Biodegradable food containers are eco-friendly food packaging made from any material that naturally breaks down and returns to the earth.

Biodegradable is a larger category that also encompasses compostable materials – anything that is compostable is biodegradable, although not everything biodegradable is compostable. Biodegradable food containers will break down and return to the earth, however, each biodegradable material has a different timespan for breaking down – it is important to research how long each material takes to break down if you have specifications when choosing sustainable packaging options for your restaurant, cafe, or other food-industry business.

  • Smaller carbon footprint vs recyclable materials
  • Versatile
  • Many derived from renewable resources
  • Breakdown times vary from material to material
  • May break down into microplastics depending on the material
  • Some materials are hard to manufacture, offsetting the carbon footprint
Eco-Friendly Packaging Supplier
Eco-Friendly Option 2.

Compostable Takeout Containers

Compostable takeout containers and food packaging options are a secondary category under biodegradable food containers. Compostable materials are all biodegradable, however, compostable materials may have different specifications for what it takes to break down and return to the earth.

A highly popular choice, compostable takeout containers are sought by food-industry businesses because the materials break down into fertilizer, enriching the earth and soil, giving back as it biodegrades and composts. While all compostable materials are biodegradable, not all biodegradable materials are compostable, so when choosing a sustainable packaging company, be sure to understand under which category your material falls to make the best eco-friendly choice.

  • Breaks down to organic matter that fertilizes
  • Reduces methane due to not going into landfills
  • Versatile
  • Limited disposal options due to needing a compostable facility or process
  • Waste can contaminate the ability to compost
  • Not as durable as other eco-friendly food packaging options
Eco-Friendly Option 3.

Recyclable Food Packaging Options

Recyclable food packaging options are some of the easiest eco friendly packaging solutions for businesses to opt for. This is because recyclable food packaging options are by far easy to find, purchase, and already have familiar properties that businesses are used to.

Most eco-friendly packaging solutions are made from recyclable plastics. Recyclable plastics have similar properties to single-use plastics, meaning their durability, look, and feel are similar to what business owners and customers are already used to. Recyclable sustainable food containers are a great choice for food industries that are looking for options that are similar in design and easy to dispose of without concerns for proper compostable disposable needs.

  • Conserves resources and reduces energy consumption from resource processing
  • Less waste in landfills
  • Recycling systems are easy and accessible almost everywhere
  • Durable materials
  • Waste contamination may prevent proper recycling
  • Recyclable materials can only be recycled so many times
  • High energy usage at recyclable plants
compostable packaging solutions

Tips for Choosing Sustainable Packaging

When selecting your environmentally friendly food containers, you will have seemingly limitless options to choose from. In order to nail down your choices, it is important to consider several priority points that you want to focus on.

  • Pricing: Consider your budget and what budget adjustments you are willing to make for more eco-friendly options
  • Durability: What durability does your food require, ie hot liquids, long storage times, liquids, etc.
  • Customization: Not all eco-friendly packaging options are customizable, so consider if you require your logo or slogan imprinted on your packaging
  • Renewability: Do you want your eco friendly packaging for food to have limitless renewability or are you okay using renewable resources with some stipulations
  • Accessibility: Recyclables are easier to renew than compostable materials so consider if this is important for your customer base
  • Customer Familiarity: Will your customers react positively or negatively to a new eco-friendly packaging that is less familiar than they may have used elsewhere

Get a Consult on Environmentally Friendly Food Containers Today

Eco-pliant is here to offer consults and feedback on any materials you are considering for your green food packaging options. As an Eco-pliant member, you get access to additional perks like free samples, a customer dashboard, discounted costs, and more. All of these tools are available to help you make the right choice for your next sustainable food packaging option order.

Become a member for FREE today and get a consultation on what materials are best for your business, budget, and needs. We’re more than happy to help, so get a quote and learn more today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are sustainable food containers?

Sustainable food containers are environmentally friendly packaging options made from materials like biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable substances. They aim to minimize negative impacts on the environment compared to traditional single-use plastics. Sustainable food containers from a reputable company will be food-grade safe. 

Using sustainable food containers can improve your business’s environmental image, attract eco-conscious customers, and align with evolving regulations. It may also reduce waste disposal costs and foster a positive reputation, leading to better branding and customer referrals and retention. 

Common sustainable food container options include compostable plates, bowls, and utensils. To replace single-use plastics, recyclable plastics are also a popular choice. At Eco-pliant, you can choose from any utensil, serving dish, trash bags, cups, and more that are all eco-friendly. 

Sustainable food containers minimize waste in landfills and oceans, conserve resources, and often emit fewer greenhouse gases during production compared to traditional plastics. They promote responsible disposal practices and contribute to a circular economy. When used in mass, they have a greater green impact. 

Consider factors such as material sourcing, disposal options (composting vs recycling), durability, and cost. Choose containers that match your food’s temperature and moisture needs, and verify claims about their sustainability from several resources. 

Consult with suppliers to confirm that the chosen containers are compatible with your menu items. Consider factors like heat resistance, moisture resistance, and the intended serving time. Talk to your green food packaging supplier to see their tests, claims, feedback, uses, reviews, and more to order wisely. Also, request free samples when needed for in-house tests.

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