5 Amazing Eco-friendly and Compostable Packaging Options to Replace Plastic

Sustainable Travel Ireland's Tips on Amazing Eco-friendly and Compostable Packaging Options to Replace Plastic

If you’ve been looking to change your packaging so that it’s plastic-free, compostable and sustainable, we’ve put together a list of five alternative, eco-friendly packaging solutions. Use these and instead of creating plastic waste and microplastics, your waste will instead be headed away from landfill and to the compost heap instead.

1. Mushroom-Based Packaging

MycoComposite, created by Ecovative Design, is a great and compostable alternative to plastic. Furniture giant IKEA have eliminated their Styrofoam packaging and switched to this mushroom-based alternative. It uses 12% of the energy used in plastic production and 90% of carbon emissions. It is natural, durable and of course compostable. 

2. Sulapac

An innovative design by the Finnish company, this packaging is microplastic-free. This is hugely important as although we can’t see them, microplastics are now practically everywhere. Over 99% of plastic that reaches the ocean is invisible to our eyes. In fact, it was recently found that the River Thames in England currently has the highest level of microplastics in the world! Sulapac packaging is compostable and produced with sustainable plant-based raw materials.

3. Bagasse Plant Based Packaging

Instead of using plastic, Bagasse packaging is made from sugarcane pulp and bamboo. It is plant-based, compostable, natural, renewable and sustainable. It is made of high quality and strong materials. 

4. Flexi-Hex

Flexi-Hex is biodegradable and easily stored as it is light in weight and flexible due to its honeycomb geometry. It is also strong and durable due to its high compression resistance.

5. Evolve

Made from 100% recycled PET bottles and trays, Evolve is also 100% recyclable. Through using recycled materials in its production, using Evolve packaging would remove up to 1,003 metric tonnes of plastic from our landfills.

* All of the above products are compostable, apart from Evolve. However, it’s really important to check – and tell your customers – whether they can go into your regular garden compost pile or if they need to go into an industrial composter (e.g. via your brown bin.). It’s also important to let your customers and staff know that if a compostable item goes into the regular black bin waste stream it adds to landfill mass rather than reducing it, thus defeating its compostable purpose. Apparently only 1 in 400 compostable coffee cups and lids are recycled or composted correctly.

Companies in Ireland like Versatile Packaging, Down2EarthMaterials, Foxpak and Xtrupak all provide the mentioned alternative forms of packaging above, and much more. Check them out!