Eco Friendly Takeaway Containers

Picture the average lunchtime in a city centre and the thousands of takeaway containers being purchased by hungry customers. The chances are, these will mostly be made of polystyrene and plastic, and they’ll be sent straight to landfill after use.

Increasingly, customers are looking for takeaway outlets that offer more environmentally friendly takeaway container choices. There are various options becoming popular with takeaway outlets, so let’s have a look at some of them.

1. Bagasse

 Bagasse has traditionally been seen as a by-product following the production of other materials, but this sugarcane pulp is now being made into a variety of other products including takeaway containers. As a 100% biodegradable option, bagasse is becoming popular as a replacement for plastic clamshell containers. Bagasse has heat retentive and leak-proof properties, so it’s no surprise the takeaway industry is beginning to embrace it.

2. Paperboard

Paperboard is a different material to cardboard, although the two are often talked about interchangeably. While paperboard is simply one layer of paper, cardboard is a stronger material made up of three layers. As such, cardboard takes more material to create, so it often has a larger ecological footprint. Paperboard’s useful for cold takeaway containers and can be constructed to be leak-proof, making it ideal for sandwiches, wraps and even cones of chips to be eaten immediately.

3. Bamboo

Thanks to it being a natural material, bamboo is one of those options for takeaway containers and cutlery which will biodegrade over time. It has a natural waxy surface which doesn’t need painting and so won’t be covered in toxic chemicals that might create a health hazard for use with food. So, as an option for takeaway containers, it’s a renewable and sustainable choice, but bear in mind that it might not be the cheapest option on the market.

4. PLA

Polylactic Acid (PLA) might have some of the same features as traditional plastics, but it’s derived from natural products and so is a much more sustainable option than normal plastics. Due to the composition of PLA, it’s only suitable for cold foods or those up to around 40°C, although there are some PLA-based products coming to market that have more heat resistance. Under the right conditions, PLA products are compostable, so that’s a tick for companies hoping to impress customers with their green credentials, but it isn’t simply a case of putting them in a bin. For best results, PLA containers should be composted in an industrial facility with exactly the right conditions.

Conclusion – More Choice Than Ever

When takeaway outlets are contemplating the right materials for their takeaway containers, there’s certainly more choice on the market than ever before. That’s obviously a positive thing, especially when the options are more sustainable and eco-friendlier than previously, yet it creates a whole set of new questions about what might be best for an individual company’s needs.

Ultimately, the takeaway container you choose for your business needs to tick all the right boxes – including being the right cost. But, remember, that customers are migrating towards outlets that put emphasis on saving the planet, so don’t get left behind.

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