The Nature of Sustainable Packaging
Whilst packaging is one of the largest industry sectors in the world, biodegradable packaging represents a meager percentage of this colossal market. Over the last decade however the global biodegradable packaging industry has finally seen a shift in paradigm and is now moving towards efficient and advanced packaging.
Consumers’ heightened interest in environmentally responsible products and packaging, has had a lot to do with this. As we enter the next technological evolution of sustainable packaging, we are seeing a surge of new biotechnology substrate innovations inspired by nature. Many of these have led to some very exciting innovations, some quirkier than others, it has to be said!
WikiCells’ has taken natures’ own fruit packaging as their inspiration to create edible exteriors made of different nuts, fruits or seeds, which means the outer packaging is both earth-saving and nutritious. The types of food to be contained in these edible pouches include different drinks, thick puddings and even ice cream.
Once you set your mind to it, there are all manner of unusual packaging designs emerging from edible shot glasses to edible wrapping paper.
Our parent company, YFY, spent the last ten years researching and developing a patented enzyme and process to convert waste straw into pulp for paper based packaging. Two years ago they had a major breakthrough which resulted in a unique, more environmentally friendly way of breaking down the straw fiber into pulp.
Whilst traditional pulping methods employ harsh chemicals not to mention huge amounts of energy and water resources, YFY's process, which is similar to how grass is digested in a cow’s stomach, uses significantly less energy and water and no harmful chemicals whatsoever. The resulting pulp - Npulp as it is now known - can be used on its own to produce kraft paper liners and molded cushion packaging through to molded products such as paper plates and paper coat hangers.
Naturally, Interest in the straw based Npulp has been tremendous. YFY have not only managed to eliminate harmful chemicals, they also use local straw which reduces our carbon footprint. As it turns out, straw is abundant, environmentally friendly, sustainable and grows throughout much of the world, making it a truly perfect packaging ingredient.