Most Sustainable Food & Beverage Packaging

Most Sustainable Food & Beverage Packaging

After COVID-19, individuals have become extremely cautious about brands. Businesses have noticed this sudden shift, so they opt for sustainable practices. 

It's a primary method to reduce businesses' ecological footprint. The food and beverage industries are a crucial part of this. Sustainable packaging in these industries eliminates waste, conserves resources, and mitigates environmental impact. 

However, understanding the characteristics of sustainable packaging is crucial. It includes renewable and recyclable materials and much more. These contribute to making packaging sustainable. 

In this article, we'll look at some of the major characteristics of sustainable food and beverage packaging, their examples, and much more. So, keep reading to find a solution that aligns with your business needs. 

Why Switch to Sustainable Packaging Alternatives?

According to statistics, the world produces around 141 million tonnes of plastic annually. This plastic surrounds the oceans and landfills, which leads to the generation of several micro and nano plastics. It increases the toxins levels especially when it comes in contact with food. 

The most alarming thing is that the chemicals intentionally used to produce plastic also cause the production of non-intentionally added substances. These are found in food packages and pose a great risk of chemical toxicity. 

Because of this, the usage of environmentally friendly packaging is becoming common. The Global Sustainable Packaging Market was valued at USD 271.86 billion in 2023. This packaging is often plant-based or made from reusable materials containing no hazardous chemicals. 

Characteristics of Sustainable Food Packaging

Source: healthline

When it comes to sustainable food packaging characteristics, the key factor is its overall eco-friendliness. But you might wonder what’s the point of knowing about characteristics. Is it really important?

Yes. Because through this, you can select the right packaging material for your business. So here are some of the characteristics of food packaging you should know about. 

Remember that sustainable food packaging materials are designed to ensure no harm is done to the environment. But what will happen if you dispose of this packaging? What will be the impact?

Unlike other packaging, it'll naturally break down into harmless substances. So, it means the burden on landfills and ecosystems is reduced. This material is transformed into nutrient-rich compost in specific conditions. So here's what happens. 

Sustainable Packaging: Nutrient-rich compost → Turns into helpful substances → Contributes to soil health → Leading to fertility

This packaging is made from materials that can be easily recycled into new products. So what's the significance?

It'll reduce the need for virgin materials. Stress on finding new resources will be minimized, and resources will be conserved. 

Examples of Sustainable Food Packaging

In sustainable food packaging, many innovations and examples might surprise you. But we'll discuss the three best eco-friendly packaging practices for your business. 


This packaging material is derived from renewable sources. Cornstarch, sugarcane, and algae are among some of the popular bioplastics. The best part is that it offers comparable functionality to traditional plastics. Moreover, they are also compostable and biodegradable. 

Compostable Materials

These packaging materials are made from compostable materials. It includes bamboo, molded pulp, mycelium, or bagasse. All of these are environment-friendly alternatives to conventional packaging. These packaging materials break down naturally and are easily compostable, along with organic waste. 

Edible Packaging

Just by the name, you can tell what this packaging is about. It's made from seaweed or starch materials. It reduces waste and offers edible barriers for different food items. It's an excellent, sustainable solution for one-time packaging, which improves customer experience. 

Characteristics of Sustainable Beverage Packaging

Source: twosides

Eco-friendliness is a critical aspect of any sustainable packaging; the same goes for beverage packaging. When businesses incorporate sustainable packaging, around half of customers happily pay more. 

Now, let's look at some of the characteristics of sustainable beverage packaging. 

It has a low environmental impact. This sustainable packaging ensures the reduction of environmental impact. But how's that possible?

It's because of the entire lifecycle of packaging. Everything's done in a way that leaves minimal effect on the environment, from production to transportation, disposal to energy consumption, waste emission to its generation. 

Another crucial impact is its efficient design. Most people get worried that since the packaging is recyclable, the design might be inefficient. But that's not true. 

It reduces packaging waste but maximizes usage efficiency. It's to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and storage. Another concern of people is whether sustainable packaging is safe. Is it toxic? 

The truth is that it's non-toxic and safe. The materials in this packaging have non-toxic properties. So you don't have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your beverages. 

Examples of Sustainable Beverage Packaging

This packaging tells us about innovative solutions catering to eco-conscious customers' needs. Now, look at some examples of sustainable beverage packaging and how they are implemented. 

Plant-based bottles 

Plant-based bottles are not common, but many brands use them to their advantage. The plant-based material used for this purpose is usually sugarcane-based polyethylene. It helps create bottles that aren't only reliable but also derived from renewable sources. In comparison to traditional plastics, these bottles have a small carbon footprint.

Cartons Made From Paper 

These beverage cartons are carefully made from two materials, i.e., sourced paperboard and plant- or water-based coating. So, if you're tired of boring packaging that harms the environment, use paper-based cartons. These are safe and lightweight, and you can easily recycle them. It often comes with high renewable content.

Flexible Drink Pouches 

Traditional packages are often rigid, so here's a sustainable alternative. 

It is flexible drink pouches. 

These are lightweight because the material used in these is recyclable plastics or compostable films. It reduces the usage and overall transport emission of material. But what if the product spills? It can be a huge blunder, right?

Don't worry. There are resealable closures that minimize waste and give you control. Some of these drink pouches contain renewable or plant-based materials. It further improves the eco-friendliness of packaging. 

Brands Using Sustainable Packaging

You might wonder if any company is even using this approach. 

Then, here are three famous companies in relevant industries adopting sustainable packaging. Let's dive deeper and discuss each of them. 


Source: foodboro

Kencko is a startup that makes fruits and vegetables more accessible. But how?

It's with the help of just-add-water mixes of frozen vegetables and fruit powders that are dried. It has shown innovation by stepping up and phasing out conventional usage of plastics. They have made a great effort to minimize their carbon footprint. 

Haven's Kitchen

Source: foodboro

It is a NYC-based kitchen and event space. It seems different from refrigerated condiments and sauces. TerraCycle is their partner, and they have created a free recycling program for all of their pouches. 

But how can you do this?

All you need to do is simply request an envelope. After doing so, you'll get an order form, fill it out, and mail it to the emptied pouch.


Source: foodboro

Culina is a popular plant-based brand that makes dairy-free yogurt. But what's so special about it?

The special part is that it's made of organic ingredients such as coconut cream and maple syrup. All of these flavors come in reusable cups, which shows their dedication to eco-friendliness. These cups can be easily repurposed. You can grow flowers and many other plants in them.

5 Reasons To Choose Sustainable Packaging 

Still confused about choosing sustainable packaging?

Then, there are five reasons you should choose sustainable packaging for food and beverages. It'll change the way you think about packaging. 

  • Waste Reduction: Sustainable packaging is an incredible way to reduce waste generation. It's possible through recyclability, compostability, or biodegradability. Overall, it leads to a reduction of landfill space and environmental pollution.
  • Improves Brand Image: It can improve your brand image and reputation. This small change in your packaging shows your dedication to responsible business practices. It also attracts eco-conscious customers to your business and widens your business reach. 
  • Regulatory Compliance: The regulations and standards regarding environmental protection are increasing daily. If you adopt these practices, you can ensure compliance with legal requirements and reduce the risk of fines or penalties.
  • Saves Money: It's true that initial investment in sustainable packaging is higher. But the long-term impact is extremely vast. You can save long-term costs through reduced material usage, transportation, and waste management expenses. 
  • Consumer Preference: According to studies, customers prefer businesses that prioritize adopting environmentally friendly practices. The driving demand for sustainable packaging is a major cause of high sales and market share.

Ending Thoughts 

If you want to make your audience willingly pay high rates for your products, eco-friendly packaging is the need of the hour. It minimizes the environmental impact and is a way of telling your customer:

We care about the environment, and here's what we do to play our role. 

With the increase in demand for sustainable packaging, every business must look at strategies and methods to incorporate in their strategy for this purpose. With this, you can ensure eco-friendly packaging resonates with your audience's needs. 

Altro Labels is playing a major role in transforming packaging solutions. Our team of experts is ready to assist you with your sustainable packaging needs. Together, we can make this world greener while thriving in your business. 

So reach out to us today.