4 Things to Remember When Buying Compostable Food Containers

 

Food containers—who doesn’t need them nowadays? Restaurants rely on them for take-outs and deliveries. Most households use them to preserve or give away leftover dishes after special occasions. And for anyone going out, well-packaged food means fuss-free dining anywhere they go.

But for any of these, one must use only high-quality food packaging. Meaning, they should be made from durable materials and use top-class procedures. More importantly, they have to be eco-friendly, too!

What is meant by eco-friendly packaging?

The food packaging industry defines eco-friendly containers in a variety of ways, often depending on the safety they provide consumers, the impact of their production on the environment, and how easily recyclable and reusable they are, among other things.

Nowadays, however, there is a growing emphasis on the need for compostable containers, in particular. Biodegradable products decompose through natural processes and usually take longer. Whereas when food containers are compostable, they break down into non-toxic elements under specific conditions. Sometimes, this process only takes a few days. 

Compostable containers are also not to be confused with recyclable containers. The latter can make up plastic and other harmful materials that people may reprocess or reuse.


Read: Why Your Food Business Should Shift To Using Eco-Friendly Packaging

 

How do you choose sustainable packaging?

Due to their highly environmentally friendly qualities, compostable containers are being seen as ideal alternatives to the more popular types of food packaging. Before you can buy them for business or personal reasons, first, know more about how you can buy the best compostable food containers in the Philippines.

1. The material used should be sustainably sourced

Photo by ZOE SCHAEFFER


With the rise of food packaging locally, it can be easy to bypass factors distinguishing sustainable from non-sustainable containers. So, the best way to start is by checking what material they primarily use.

Plastic packaging is often the cheapest and among the most durable. But, they also often produce the most amount of toxic waste. On the other hand, paper food packaging—often seen as a safer alternative to plastic—isn’t always sustainably sourced. It also contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS.

Used in coating, PFAS help paper products become resistant to water, oil, and heat, which are essential in the food packaging business. However, they don’t break down in the environment and end up contaminating our natural resources, including water and wildlife. Given this fact, paper food packaging is far from being the most compostable and eco-friendly option many consumers believe it to be.

In place of both plastic and paper packaging, you can use ones that are made from sugarcane. This type of packaging relies on the tropical plant as its raw material. Specifically, its bagasse or tough fibrous residue that remains after factories process the sugarcane for juice and other products. Sugarcane bagasse packaging is incredibly strong, even without the addition of harmful enhancing components. What’s more, it’s 100% compostable in as fast as 45 days.

2. The packaging should be durable for the food type

Photo by JED OWEN


The trouble with using typical food containers, such as paper-made ones, is that they can be very limiting in terms of what kind of food you can use them for and in which conditions. For example, greasy or wet products are often considered the trickiest as they cause the packaging to lose its durability the longer the exposure is.

If you are a business relying largely on food deliveries in Metro Manila, durability is something that should be high up on your priorities in deciding what kind of food packaging to use. Such is true when taking into account factors like weather and courier handling, which could damage these products.

Fortunately, one doesn’t need to compromise durability in an effort to be more sustainable. In fact, sugarcane bagasse containers are quite sturdy and can retain their form better than paper. In addition, they are proven water- and oil-resistant, and they can hold out against extreme temperatures of up to 250°C and -15°C. Perfect for oven and freezer storage!

 

3. The seller or supplier should have proper accreditations

Photo by MARKUS WINKLER


With the attention sustainable businesses in the Philippines have been getting, anybody can be fooled into thinking that as long as one claims to be “eco-friendly,” they are worth putting money into. This is not true all the time.

Like how you would gauge products you put on your face and the food you put in your mouth, make it a point to examine food containers. Beyond the quality, ask yourself: Does the company have accreditation from reputable green organizations? Will I actually be safe from consuming products that don’t come with actual certifications?

For instance, companies like Econtainer, which specializes in selling sugarcane bagasse packaging in the Philippines, have accreditations and certifications from several trusted international groups. Among them, BRCGS Packaging Materials certifies that the brand is following all-around high food safety and hygiene standards. BRCGS stands for Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standards.

Econtainer is also certified by TUV Austria for OK compost Home. This means that the food service disposables are sound for composting; may it be at an industrial facility, or even in your garden at home!

 

4. The containers should come at reasonable prices

Photo by TOWFIQU BARBHUIYA


From a buyer’s perspective, going green is many a time a choice between the following: sticking to goods or practices that you are comfortable with and that fall within your price range, versus upgrading to something that is higher in cost, but worth every cent you have performance-wise.

We already talked about the biggest misconceptions in green living and how discussions about the topic are much more than the price itself. When dealing with something as fragile as food, quality and safety are two things you should never take for granted. In turn, going for the latter should never mean leaving the environment behind.

It might seem taxing at first. But given the peace of mind, convenience in disposal, and minimal cost difference you have to pay to use sustainable containers, any effort to invest in them will all be worthwhile. And remember, one small change can mean a big difference in the future as each small effort adds up!


Read: 12 Local Food Companies That Will Support Your Sustainable Lifestyle

 

Compostable packaging that ticks all the boxes

As the demand for more sustainable ways of dining grows, so do brands that guarantee high-caliber food containers that are also now environmentally friendly. However, there are a few things why Econtainer food packaging is a few steps above others:


  • We’re all about compostable food packaging that consists of a natural alternative. By using sugarcane bagasse, our products have a minimal carbon footprint and can decompose faster than most types of packaging.
  • We provide high-performance containers and other food service disposables that can handle most kinds of food, from condiments and sauces to drinks and full rice meals. We’re also oven- and freezer-friendly!
  • Our food packaging options are accessible nationwide. You can also get disposable utensils, dishes, and containers online and at a bargain price from time to time. Econtainer is open for orders via Lazada, Shopee, and their official website. For bulk orders, contact us at hello@econtainer.ph.

You may be a business or an individual, but one thing is for sure—choosing compostable food containers will do you more good than harm in your journey to become more eco-friendly. Are you ready to start shopping? Let these tips on how to buy sustainable food packaging guide you and see the outcomes for yourself.

 

About Econtainer Philippines

Econtainer Philippines is an internationally accredited wholesale supplier of food service disposables made from sugarcane bagasse. We offer eco-friendly, hygienic, and aesthetically pleasing plates, bowls, trays, and straws for businesses and personal use in the Philippines. Order or apply as a distributor now!

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