In this episode with Sarah Webber, Sustainable Packaging Engineer at Plastic Ingenuity, we discuss ways to support sustainability in snack food packaging.

Plastic Ingenuity provides custom thermoformed packages for food, healthcare and consumer products.

Among its many packaging offerings, Plastic Ingenuity makes a lot of snack trays – ones that have a lot of compartments for different products such as crackers, meats, cheeses, dried fruits, and nuts.

“All of those products rely heavily on oxygen and moisture barriers and coatings on the package to prolong the shelf life,” Sarah notes. “When you’re adding these coatings, these laminates to your packaging materials, more often than not it makes the packaging difficult to recycle because it’s not a mono-layer material.”

Nevertheless, there are solutions to those challenges, such as complying with the package design guidelines of the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR).

“If your package complies with those guidelines, that means that it can go through the recycling stream and go to a sorting facility and all the way through the process, but still have those barrier properties that you need,” Sarah said.


About Sarah Webber

Sarah is a Sustainable Packaging Engineer at Plastic Ingenuity, a custom thermoformer headquartered near Madison, Wisconsin, where she is responsible for bringing her customers’ sustainability goals to life. Sarah graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2022 with a degree in Packaging and a focus in Graphic Design/Printing Processes.

In addition to her sustainable packaging development work at Plastic Ingenuity, Sarah has experience with medical device packaging development, package material and distribution testing, product management, and product marketing. She is a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals and the Society of Women Engineers.