The California-based firm, Sun & Swell is distributing their natural meals merchandise in totally compostable packaging and reusable jars, making them one of many first corporations to take action on a big scale.
The corporate delivers natural, complete meals to California and the encircling area. As they grew and developed, the group grew to become involved that their use of single-use plastic packaging was additionally unintentionally contributing to international plastic waste.
Meals and meals packaging supplies make up nearly half of all municipal strong waste, in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).To keep away from contributing to those statistics, Solar & Swell got down to discover a higher packaging various.
At first, Kate Flynn, co-founder and CEO of Solar & Swell, bumped into many challenges with the brand new compostable packaging. The packaging typically confirmed extra indicators of dealing with than its plastic counterparts on retailer cabinets. Solar & Swell realized that they had been attempting to pressure the packaging into the normal distribution mannequin.
“Our larger targets had been to make an impression on the planet of serving to transition the business away from plastic. So as a substitute of forcing this right into a mannequin that’s not prepared for it … [we questioned] how can we take what we now have and be fluid with our enterprise mannequin and make it work,” Flynn tells Meals Tank.
Solar & Swell transitioned away from a conventional wholesale mannequin to an e-commerce direct-to-consumer enterprise. Flynn says that this mannequin permits the corporate to make use of the compostable packaging to its full potential and shorten the distribution chain. It additionally helps them promote their merchandise at a lower cost, scale back their carbon footprint, and supply a direct line of communication with prospects. By their in-house compost skilled, they attempt to reply prospects’ questions on dwelling composting.
Conscious that not each family can entry industrial or municipal composting, Solar & Swell additionally provides customers different choices. “We now have a send-back program so folks can ship again their compostable luggage to us. And we work with an area accomplice who will then compost the baggage so we now have an choice for folks to return it to us,” Flynn tells Meals Tank.
Flynn desires to see extra corporations transition out of plastic packaging, however understands the obstacles they typically face. Many corporations are hesitant to extend costs or frightened concerning the look of compostable packing on grocery retailer cabinets. To assist alleviate a few of these issues, she thinks it will be significant for the meals business to work collectively and to coach prospects on what compostable packaging seems like.
Whereas Flynn believes the transition to sustainable packaging nonetheless has a methods to go, Solar & Swell shouldn’t be the one meals firm tackling single-use plastics. Vivo Life packages their protein powders and dietary supplements in home-compostable luggage, and Impact Snacks makes use of cellulose-based, biodegradable wrappers for his or her superfood bars. No Evil Foods packages their plant-based meats in unbleached kraft cartons which can be each home-compostable and recyclable. And Don Maslow Coffee was one of many first espresso corporations to promote their beans in totally compostable espresso luggage, full with hermetic valves and zippers.
Flynn is worked up for what the way forward for compostable packaging know-how holds. However till then, she hopes that all the business’s requirements on what packaging ought to ship will shift, and companies will prioritize plastic-free packaging and work to accommodate it.
“I feel the most effective factor that companies can do is attempt to swap to extra sustainable practices, and particularly with regards to packaging, is to only be open-minded,” Flynn explains. “There’s lots of companies that may determine a approach to assume and work creatively to discover a means that works for the enterprise to make that impression.”
Picture courtesy of Unsplash.