After Plastic: New Eco-Packaging Options Underway
Frito-Lay, Campbell Soup and other major U.S. players in the food and beauty industries are talking more about sustainability these days. The result is adoption of innovative materials.
Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of recycler TerraCycle, advises, “Bioplastics are meant to be a solution for the world’s plastic waste problem. However, in most cases, biodegradable bioplastics will only break down in a high-temperature industrial composting facility, not in your average household compost bin. Plus, these are not recyclable. A better solution might be to place the focus on durable bioplastics that are made from plant materials, but can still be recycled,”
Entrepreneurs like Daphna Nissenbaum are taking action. As an Israeli mom, she chided her teenage son for trashing rather than recycling plastic water bottles. Yet then, she says, “I realized plastic bottles weren’t the main issue,” when she saw flexible packaging such as chip bags, candy wrappers and go-to containers crammed into the trash. Nissenbaum learned that most flexible packaging isn’t recycled and ends up in landfills, oceans and other places.
Once an orange peel is discarded, it disintegrates biologically and turns to compost, she saw, and committed to engineering packaging to do the same. A graduate of the Israeli Army’s elite software engineering program and with a marketing MBA, her Tipa Corporation has patented bioplastic that acts like plastic. “When composted, the material naturally breaks down in 180 days or less,” she says. Tipa now makes zippered bags, stand-up pouches and packaging for coffee, snacks and produce.
This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.