Across Regions, Consumers, Processing, fries, chips, Sustainability, Trends

‘The great repackaging’: Snack industry’s shift towards sustainable solutions

Florencio Cuétara, previously the CEO for the Americas of Cuétara Foods, experienced an epiphany when a plastic bag from his own company’s products hit him while he was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a story written by Hannah Wallace for Bloomberg News.

Wallace writes that this realization triggered a four-year quest to find an alternative, non-petroleum based packaging solution. In 2019, Cuétara co-founded Okeanos with Dr. Russ Petrie, a company that uses calcium carbonate to create environmentally friendly bags. The technology, dubbed “Made from Stone”, makes bags composed of up to 70% calcium carbonate and the remaining part resin.

Sean Mason and Mark Green, founders of British company Two Farmers, after a five-year search, found a solution in eucalyptus cellulose for making compostable packaging for their chips. The packaging takes between 30-36 weeks to decompose in home composting systems or 11 weeks in industrial ones.

Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, has been exploring alternative packaging for over a decade, with a goal of making all packaging 100% recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, or reusable by 2025. In 2021, it introduced a bag made of 85% polylactic acid, industrially compostable and returnable to the company for recycling.

Amid consumer pressure and looming regulations, like the EU’s proposed rules to make packaging more reusable, recyclable, or compostable, snack companies are increasingly looking for alternatives to traditional plastic packaging. However, significant challenges remain, including the lack of recycling or composting facilities in many countries, and the low plastic recycling rates where these facilities do exist.

Source: Bloomberg News. Read the full story here
Photo: Credit Frito-Lay

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