In this pandemic era, the demand for takeaway food and drinks and the use of single-use packaging are growing rapidly. As a result, packaging waste has increased, and packaging materials that are not decomposed will increase pollution.
With the larger single-use packaging usage, could you imagine how many tons of global waste we've created? Data from World Bank estimated that there will be around 3.40 B tons of global waste by 2050. It's an enormous amount and not all waste can be recycled and composted. And as per World Economic Forum, we will generate around 460 M tons of plastic trash a year by 2030. According to McKinsey, only 16% of plastic waste has been recycled globally, and the rest is either incinerated (25%), landfilled (40%), and leak or unmanaged (19%). Also, less than 1% of paper cups are being recycled due to plastic lining in them is very difficult to be recycled. This is where compostable packaging can become a solution to these problems.
What is compostable packaging, and why more and more consumers are attracted to it?
Compostable products are defined as products that can disintegrate and biodegrade into natural elements such as water, biomass, and carbon dioxide in a composting environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil. Apart from their ability to completely disintegrate, compostable material goes one step further by providing the earth with nutrients once the material has completely broken down. These days, there are two different methods of composting: in industrial/commercial facilities, or at home.
Normal compostable packaging can be biodegraded and decompose only in a commercial composting facility with a high temperature above 55 degrees C and accelerate the degradation process. The problem is, commercial composting facilities are rare and most of them are not located near cities. While home composting can be done in your backyard or home garden.
In the study by IBM Institute for Business Value, most the consumer now consider sustainability as one of the key parts of consumer’s decision making process in purchasing products, especially in food and beverage industry. And more than 75% of consumers are looking for brands that are sustainable and/or environmentally responsible. So it's not surprising that consumers are looking for compostable packaging and sustainable product options, and more than 70% of the consumers are willing to pay a premium for a brand that puts a sustainable mind in front.
Here’s why consumers care so much about compostable packaging:
1. The increasing awareness of sustainability since the pandemic
A global survey done by Accenture in 2020 said that consumers “have dramatically evolved”, and 60% were reporting making more environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic. The pandemic pushes most of humanity to work from home, limit our daily activities, and it affects people to think and act more toward sustainable ways.
2. Awareness of packaging waste in oceans and landfills
Public awareness of packaging waste leakage, especially plastic waste, into the environment has increased significantly to an all-time high over the past few years. The visceral images of the effects of ocean plastic pollution have stirred up consumer sentiment around the world. This has driven the consumers to demand higher sustainable effort from brand owners and retailers to chose other eco-friendly packaging materials. A report published by Boston Consulting Groups finds that nearly half of consumers are avoiding what was termed “harmful” packaging, which 68% of them associate plastic with ocean pollution.
3. They Care About Future Generation
More consumers are thinking with the future generations in mind. The current climate crisis has been made the consumer think more carefully in buying products and choosing companies or brands that are more sensitive to the environment.
What is the solution to fulfill the rising demand for sustainable packaging in the market?
With the increasing consumer demand for biodegradable and compostable products, companies are developing eco-friendly packaging to satisfy their customers and improve the world. APP Sinar Mas as one of the leading pulp and paper company has brought an innovative eco-friendly solution in the food and beverage packaging sector. Foopak Bio Natura is designed for eco-friendly paperboard that takes inspiration from nature. It is applicable for food packaging & single-use cup, and for butterfly cups that can eliminate plastic lids and a plastic straw. Recently, Foopak Bio Natura creates a new patent with its partner in Taiwan for “One-piece Pointed Straw” to fulfilling the call to replace plastic straw.
Foopak Bio Natura from APP Sinar Mas is using responsible resource-certified wood and high-quality ingredients to provide customers and consumers a product that safe and hygienic to use. The product is not only biodegradable and compostable in backyard homes or gardens within 24 weeks with OK Compost Home certification certified by TUV Austria, but it's also recyclable, giving a full benefit on the waste process choice to the consumer. This means that you can act to #GivingBackToNature by composting yourself at home.
Read more about Foopak Bio Natura or watch the product preview below.