Industry Articles

Companies – particularly in the food and beverage industries – are continuing the shift toward more environmentally friend, post-consumer recycled options. In fact, sustainable packaging will inevitably become the norm in the food + bev, according to Sustana, a company that recycles post-consumer content into fiber and then into sustainable products. Sustana’s EnviroLife, for example, is the only 100% post-consumer recycled fiber in North America that is FDA compliant for use in direct food contact packaging under all conditions of use, the company says.

EnviroLife provides a zero-fluorescence solution and meets FDA requirements for direct food contact without the need for a barrier. The product’s patented manufacturing process eliminates optical brightening agents (OBAs), resulting in a product which is suitable for food contact straight from production, including takeaway containers, soup containers, coffee and tea cups, coffee bags, cheese and meat interleaving paper, and bread bags. Additionally, because of this treatment, EnviroLife is free from contaminants which are present in most other post-consumer fibers, the company says.

EnviroLife is also manufactured in a sustainable manner. The company’s mills focus on energy efficiency, water conservation, advanced wastewater treatment technology, and recycling 100% of de-inking by-products. In a recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis undertaken by the AGÉCO research and consulting firm, EnviroLife’s environmental impact was much lower than that of generic North American market virgin fiber, the company says.

Commitments from companies like McDonald’s – which recently announced that it will source all packaging from recycled, renewable or certified sources by 2025 – points to the potential market opportunities of products like EnviroLife. The market for such products will continue to grow as consumers press companies to ramp up their sustainability efforts: 66% of consumers will pay more for products from companies committed to environmentally-friendly practices, Sustana points out (via Forbes).