Nature-based food packaging – An innovative alternative to single-use plastic
Single-use food packaging is taking a significant toll on our natural environment – clogging and filling landfills, leaking into our oceans, and threatening ecosystems. Given this, there is a pressing need to explore alternatives to plastic food packaging. For Gracz, this was an opportunity to see whether its packaging materials, initially envisaged as an option for consumers to be exposed to fewer harmful chemicals in their food containers, could also help achieve less waste for the environment.
After extensive research, bagasse (sugarcane pulp) was found to be well-suited in packaging while also being abundantly available in Thailand from its sugar production processes. In addition, this alternative’s quality, functionality, safety, and cost are far superior to other traditional, disposable packaging products.
This product is made from natural plant fibre and can decompose back into the natural environment through biodegradation. The nature of this product and its ability to offer an alternative to packaging that can be reintroduced into the economy demonstrates a truly circular approach to resource use.
To date, this product has positively impacted the following:
- Employment: extending work opportunities for the agricultural workforce in Chinat Province, Thailand. This allows for job creation in the area, generating income for the local community.
- Health: Using natural plant fiber and materials makes containers and packaging products safer as they are free of substances that can cause cancer and other health hazards.