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What to Consider Before Transitioning to Sustainable Food Packaging

a grouping of kraft food containers and cutlery

Why Choose Sustainable Food Packaging?

Did you know that 67% of consumers say it is important for the products they purchase to be packaged in recycled materials? The trend of being more sustainable is continuing upward. Sustainable packaging is defined as packaging that is sourced or developed with minimal environmental impact, in other words, packaging that does not further contribute to the depletion of natural resources. Before you fully adopt sustainable food packaging for your business though, below are some things to consider as you make your purchasing decisions.

Transition Slowly – Do Not Change Everything at Once

When transitioning to more sustainable food packaging, it is tempting to change everything all at once, however, it is wise to transition slowly to see how the new products perform with your customers. Start by transitioning one or two products at a time. Easy products to transition first are straws, stir sticks, napkins, and cutlery. 

If you have inventory of the product you are trying to replace, rather than throwing it out, use what you have left before testing a new product. Another option is to use both products at the same time in an A and B test to see what type of customer reaction occurs, whether that be positive or negative. Then use that feedback to determine what is best for your business.

Test Which Products Fit Your Needs and Business Best

In today’s food packaging world, there are multiple sustainable solutions you can choose from. Before you transition to a particular product, it is best to try it out first and compare it to other sustainable options. The best way to do this is to ask for samples. Some products may be better for the needs of your business than others. Other factors to consider are:

  • The differences in durability
  • The differences in temperature performance
  • The potential difference in the weight of the product
  • The potential to have limited sizing options available

Do not forget to ask around! You are not the only one wanting to make your business more sustainable, so ask other businesses who are using sustainable packaging to see what their successes and failures have been. They might be able to help guide you in picking out a product that fits your needs best. Our WCP representatives are also a great resource to answer any questions or concerns you have as you evaluate different sustainable food packaging options.

Keep in Mind That the Cost Per Unit May Be Different

Adopting sustainable food packaging may result in needing to buy a more expensive product. However, for some municipalities diverting waste into compost bins will result in saving money on garbage and waste fees.

Note: Food waste and liquids are the heaviest part of trash in a foodservice environment. So with garbage being charged by weight, also providing compost bins will result in less weight in the trash – which equals savings.

To-Go Food Service Guide

Want to compare different food packaging options? Browse through our To-Go Food Service Guide to see the array of food packaging solutions we carry. Click here to view and download.

Learn more

For more information on the different types of sustainable food packaging and containers and zero waste program, contact your local WCP account manager or customer service team. We can also help you with custom food packaging. Give us a call today at (877) 398-3030 to talk to our industry experts.

Source: Why You Need to Offer Sustainable Food Packaging and NACS

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