Australian end-to-end packaging specialist, Grounded, has launched a recyclable and carbon-negative sugarcane packaging that offers food manufacturers the same functionality as plastic.
The first to market, high-barrier material can hold food and liquid that would have previously relied on plastic packaging. Other sustainable alternatives, like compostables, have not provided the level of functionality for wet and oily items, as well as dry or preserved goods, such as coffee. The launch of the new material will support food industries in moving towards a circular model.
Known as BioPE, the sugarcane material uses up to 80 percent less fossil fuels to manufacture than plastic and is only 1.5x more expensive. Using non-toxic inks, the material can be recycled in both dedicated PE recycling and general soft plastic streams.
Ground Packaging co-founder, Ben Grant, says the brand was born out of the experience of failed sustainable packaging processes in the food industry.
“Packaging is vital in preventing wastage and prolonging shelf life, but plastic has cultivated a ‘take, make, dispose’ model that the industry has been stuck with for a long time,” he says.
“And when there are no viable alternatives, businesses have no choice but to keep packaging their goods in plastic.”
Food manufacturers have long been trying to move away from plastic bags and pouches, that contribute a significant amount to landfill, yet have had limited success.
“Creating a highly-functional sugarcane packaging for the unique needs of the food industry means doing the right thing has just become possible for thousands of manufacturers,” says Grant.
The new material has already been trialled by several brands around the world, and Grounded plans to continue expanding globally from its Australian base.