More and more consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of the packages they use, and restaurant and take-out supplies are no exception.
That concern is evident in survey figures from Technomic, a consultancy that tracks consumer sentiment for top restaurant and retail brands.
According to Technomic data:
- 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly and plant-based food packaging.
- Not surprisingly, roughly 50% of consumers eat take-out food from the disposable containers.
- 75% of consumers want to be able to store their leftovers in the original take-out containers, and 66% of consumers say it is essential that they can safely reheat food in its take-out container.
Several companies are taking steps to address concerns about eco-friendly packaging as it relates to foodservice.
Kari-Out’s Investment in Sustainable Paper Manufacturing
Kari-Out Company, a leading manufacturer, importer and nationwide distributor of paper, aluminum, and recyclable packaging products in the restaurant takeout industry, announced in March 2022 an investment of over $10 million in sustainable paper manufacturing.
Specifically, the investment is aimed at expanding manufacturing capabilities in its Specialty Quality Packaging (SQP) facility in New York, where Kari-Out’s popular Food Trays, Eco Box™ and Eco Earth™ paper food containers are produced. Founded in 1981, SQP has been a Kari-Out company for over 15 years and has helped Kari-Out drive innovation with a highly experienced manufacturing team.
“State-of-the-art machines with new die-cutting, folding and forming technology will allow Kari-Out to double its capacity for paper containers, producing innovative new shapes and sizes to accommodate the changing carry-out industry,” Dominick Fontana, Head of Operations for Kari-Out, said at the time of the investment announcement.
Significantly, in line with their recent affiliation with the U.S. Composting Council, the investment underscores Kari-Out’s commitment to a sustainable future. While about 80% of all the food packaging the company makes is paper-based, they will increase their output of responsible products like the Eco Earth™ closed container, which is made from 100% recycled board and is both recyclable and compostable. Additionally, ramped-up operational efficiency is expected to reduce waste by 5%-10%.
Eco-Products Compostable Sandwich Wrap
Meanwhile, with more restaurants seeking carryout and delivery options, Eco-Products in 2022 introduced a new compostable wrap that is ideal for swaddling sandwiches, snacks and more.
The new wrap is made from wax paper, is ASTM D6868 compliant and is certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) as compostable in commercial facilities. It conveniently works as a basket liner, food wrap or as a scale or pick-up sheet.
“These wraps are both stylish and functional, making them ideal for foodservice providers offering carryout and delivery,” said Nicole Tariku, director of marketing for Eco-Products. “They also are sustainable, simplifying cleanup because both the wrap and any leftover food can be tossed into the compost bin.”
Jointly developed with Eco-Products’ parent company, Novolex, the new wrap offers a number of benefits:
- Works with both hot and cold snacks and sandwiches
- Made from renewable resources
- Grease- and moisture-resistant
- ASTM D6868 compliant and BPI-certified compostable in commercial compost facilities only
- Features print on the wrap that includes the Eco-Products and BPI logos, assuring customers that the product is made from sustainable materials and can be put into the compost bin after use.
“Creating this new wrap demonstrates our commitment to developing compostable products across the Novolex line,” said Adrianne Tipton, PhD, Chief Technology Officer of Novolex. “We’re seeing increased demand for more sustainable products, so we want to provide as many options as possible.”
Celebration Packaging’s Recyclable Dinnerware
U.K.-based Celebration Packaging in 2022 announced the availability of its new Naturals Kraft Plates.
“These disposable, strong paper plates are very sturdy, and perfect for use when catering for events or for use at buffets. Made from heavyweight 3-ply unbleached corrugated board, Naturals plates offer superior strength over regular paper plates,” says Celebration Packaging Managing Director Nick Burton.
Microwavable, leak-resistant and with incredible insulative properties, Naturals Kraft brown plates are available in three sizes: 7.5”; 9”; and 10.25”. The plates are coated with an aqueous food-grade barrier which provides grease and moisture resistance. The plates have no plastic film or wax coating, so they can be repulped and recycled easily. The Fibre Box Association and the Corrugated Packaging Alliance have tested and certified the disposable dinnerware range as recyclable.
“We remain committed to providing more environmentally-friendly packaging, and continue to add more products made from sustainable materials such as paper, bagasse, PLA, and wood,” Burton said. “Our focus on sustainable foodservice packaging solutions is not new, and people are often surprised that we launched our EnviroWare® range over 14 years ago.”
Burton added: “As the EU and the UK continue with their plans to ban single-use plastics, we believe that demand for EnviroWare® products will continue to grow. The Naturals range delivers a premium look and feel, while clearly communicating that the products are sustainable, making them an obvious choice for any business which wants to demonstrate that it cares for the environment.”
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