Packaging Innovation
November 1, 2016

3 sustainable packaging materials you’ve never heard of

Experimenting with eco-friendly packaging materials that go beyond paper, plastic and glass is key for any packaging manufacturer who wants to stay ahead of the game. This article takes a closer look at three recent innovations in natural, sustainable packaging materials.

1.     Flexible film made from eggshells

Using waste eggshells, researchers at Tuskegee University (Alabama) managed to create a sustainable film that is seven times more flexible than other bioplastics. First, the researches crushed the eggshells into nano-sized calcium carbonate particles. Then they incorporated the eggshell particles into bioplastic film made of polylactic acid or other naturally-sourced polymers, boosting the film’s flexibility thanks to residual protein present on the eggshell particles. The flexible film is completely biodegradable and suitable for both food packaging and retail packaging in general. Fun fact: researchers are also experimenting with eggshell nanoparticles for wound healing and bone regeneration.

2.     Edible six-pack rings

Earlier this year, Saltwater Brewery launched edible six-pack rings for beer packaging. That’s right, you can have your beer and eat its packaging too! Well, except the can, of course. With this new type of sustainable packaging, Saltwater Brewery aims to significantly reduce the vast amount of birds and sea animals that die from eating plastic every year. Although the rings are made from barley and wheat, they are sturdy enough to handle the weight of the average beer can with ease.

3.     Sustainable packaging made of hay

 This sustainable packaging is as natural as it gets! Completely made of compressed hay, this packaging design by student designer Julien Suzanne is a natural solution to preserve traditional dry sausages.   Inspired by Best in Packaging