If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to package food, compostable food packaging could be just the thing.
Compostable food packaging is the ideal way to package a wide range of different types of food. Unlike traditional food packaging that gets disposed of through the main waste management system and can end up in landfills, compostable packaging can be placed in a compost system where it will completely biodegrade or rot. This has very real environmental benefits and is an ideal compromise for people who want the convenience of disposable food packaging but want to lead a more environmentally friendly life.
Types of Compostable Food Packaging
There are many different types of compostable packaging for food available. This means that there are compostable food containers available for most types of food and for most occasions. Compostable materials are made from materials such as sugarcane and corn starch. These materials rot completely away and leave little in the way of minerals or other materials behind. Some popular compostable food containers include:
- Hot drink cups - New technological developments have meant that a hot drink cup that is completely compostable is now available. This type of cup is ideal for hot drinks, such as coffee and tea, or for foods like hot soup. These are a good alternative to Styrofoam cups or cups made from other biodegradable materials.
- Cold drink cups - Clear drink cups are ideal for many cold drinks. Compostable cold drink cups are available in many different sizes and of different shapes and designs.
- Food boxes - Food take-out stores and delis will find that there are a wide range of different compostable food boxes and containers available. These are ideal for a wide range of food types and can be disposed of through the home or community compost system.
- Plates - Compostable plates are ideal for home and catering use. These plates are a good alternative to plastic disposable plates and are good for parties or other large events.
- Bags and papers - Compostable bags for food and papers to wrap food are versatile ways of packaging items. Compostable food bags can be recycled to collect kitchen waste, as the bag and the waste can be added directly to the compost bin.
Disposing of Compostable Food Containers and Packaging
It is important to refer to local environmental guidelines before putting food containers into compost systems. Some food packaging may contain cooked food scraps and this may not be composted in normal compost systems. Cooked meat scraps, for instance, may attract rats and other vermin. Stores that sell and specialize in compostable materials will give specific advice, as will local environmental groups.
Compostable and biodegradable food packaging materials offer a real alternative to traditional disposable items. They are comparable in performance and look, however have the added benefit of being 100 percent compostable and therefore they do not enter landfills. While there are still issues that need to be considered, including how environmentally friendly any disposable item can be considered, taking into account the energy used to make the items and ship them to their end destination, compostable food containers can offer a good compromise.