Environmental Packaging Choices in Food Services

Posted on February 22, 2018 by Ash Bennett

Are your customers concerned about the harm caused to the environment by disposable cups and food containers? Many fast-food outlets focus on providing quality meals and reliable customer service. Why not improve your business image and bottom line by serving takeout food in eco-friendly containers?

Australia adds one billion coffee cups each year to a growing mound of toxic litter.  These items often end up in landfills and oceans disrupting the food chain and health of many species.  You can help to clean up the environment by serving coffee, drinks and food in environmentally safe containers.

Environmental Concerns

Customers are concerned about materials used in food packaging. Are they obtained responsibly and ethically? Can they be recycled or are they biodegradable? Are non-renewable energy and other resources used to make these products? Can they be reused? Are they eligible for return under container deposit schemes? Are bio-degradable containers safe for home composting? Your business can choose packaging that addresses these concerns.

Moreover, cups and containers need to conform to the standards that people associate with your brand.  They should be leak-proof, non-toxic and lightweight. Many customers wish to warm food by microwaving or to refrigerate unused portions. Provide clear labeling on takeout containers so customers know how to handle food and drinks and dispose of them correctly.


Packaging options for coffee cups

There are many kinds of disposable coffee cups. Plastic and polystyrene cups end up in landfills and oceans. They break down, creating pollutants for fish and other creatures.  There are also paper-based cups. Some are made with wax-coated paper. Others are lined with plastic or biodegradable PLA (Poly Lactic Acid). Many recycling facilities do not have the technology to separate plastic and paper components in paper-based cups. Cups from plant-based materials are also available.

Some types of plastic lids in coffee and other drink cups are recyclable. Kent Paper & Packagin now offer lids from sustainable materials such as PLA and Biorene, a biodegradable plastic.  The Australian Packaging Covenant Organization is working to create a circular economy for disposable coffee cups.  In the near future, expect to serve coffee in cups that can be recycled or upcycled.

You can also offer reusable coffee mugs as part of the merchandise in your store. This way, your customers can continue to enjoy a warm cup of brew each day while helping to reduce waste and maintain a cleaner environment.


Packaging options for fast-food

In place of polystyrene boxes and plastic cutlery, takeout food containers of all shapes and sizes made out of natural and compostable materials are now available.  Disposable containers made out of bagasse (product of sugarcane waste), bamboo, wood waste, paper and paperboard offer safe, easy and light packaging choices for takeout food.  Utensils such as forks, knives and skewers made out of renewable plants such as bamboo and wood are also popular options.


Cups, food containers and cutlery made out of plastic and other toxic materials break down in landfills and oceans, causing harm to living creatures.  This trend needs to be reversed. If you own a food service business, you can help by serving takeout food and drinks in environmentally safe cups and containers.  Your efforts will lead to a better public image, satisfied customers and further growth of your business.

If you are interested in purchasing Eco Friendly Packaging, check out our Environmental Choice Range.

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