How to identify greenwashing in the food packaging sector?

Wasteless Group greenwashing emballages alimentaires sacs coton kraft recyclable compostable

Do you wonder about the biodegradability or recyclability of your packaging? We help you recognize truly eco-friendly packaging!

To meet the new European and French ecological requirements, new products are pouring into the food packaging market. Plastic is meant to be increasingly replaced by food packaging produced from vegetable materialsBio-based, biodegradable, recyclable, compostable, are the new packaging really more eco-friendly ?

Companies have understood that this is a growing market! The less scrupulous companies then set up greenwashing actions in order to penetrate the market. How to spot them? To do this, we reveal three concrete cases of greenwashing that the food packaging sector is inevitably faced with.

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing, or eco-laundering, is increasingly used by companies! It is a marketing strategy aimed at communicating by giving itself an eco-friendly image. Of course, the practices of the structures concerned are in reality literally far from what they suggest. We could liken it to false advertising.

Greenwashing can be implemented around communication (lack of transparency or lies), product (e.g. false labels) or the packaging (green color, visuals, etc.). This practice affects many sectors: textiles, cosmetics, luxury, automotive, food … Let’s discover some cases of greenwashing in the food packaging sector!

Recyclability not always proven

There are many companies that advocate ecological food packaging, especially recyclable. Among these packaging, a large number of meal boxes, sauce pots and cups are made of kraft with a PE lamination to guarantee watertightness. Kraft alone is recyclable. The PE is too.

So what is the problem? It is currently impossible to separate kraft and PE. Therefore, the packaging concerned cannot be recycled. In addition to the absence of information on this subject, it is important to know that many companies “omit” to mention the presence of PE lamination in their food packaging.

To deal with this scourge, we offer you food packaging with corn starch lamination and therefore of natural origin (100% bio-based and industrially compostable). We also offer aqueous lamination (100% recyclable in yellow bins).

The blur around composibility

The wording “compostable” does not necessarily mean that your food packaging can be thrown in your home composter!

In reality, there is composting at home or shared depending on your location, but also composting in an industrial unit. The mention “industrial composting” is unfortunately not present on all the food packaging concerned. Did you miss our article on the different types of composting? Find it here.    

Although bagasse is theoretically compostable at home, most factories certify it as an industrially compostable material. If you have certified packaging for domestic compost, we remind you that your compost must contain a majority of organic matter and a small amount of packaging to decompose easily.

Industrial compostability is little promoted in France, and for good reason, there is currently no collection point and industrial composting infrastructure. Let’s hope that our country quickly catches up with countries that already have several suitable infrastructures.

Bio-based does not mean disposable in nature!

Bio-based food packaging are indeed of natural origin. This is particularly the case for our bagasse, PLA and kraft packaging which are 100% bio-based. These are also biodegradable, but only under some conditions! This is why it is therefore not appropriate to throw them in nature.

These packaging is indeed compostable under specific temperature and humidity conditions that can be reproduced in an industrial composting centre. For example, bagasse decomposes in about 45 days in an industrial composting unit.

You will have understood: packaging thrown away in nature decomposes much more slowly. If industrial composting centers are available in your country, why not do a good action by throwing your certified packaging in the bin provided for this purpose? This will allow you to pollute less while contributing to the recovering of your waste into compost, a rich natural and economical fertilizer.

Like most sectors, food packaging must also deal with growing greenwashingAre you a catering professional? Make sure your food packaging is fully recyclable or compostable.

Discover our eco-designed, biodegradable, compostable or recyclable food packaging. We guarantee you full transparency regarding our products! With us, you make the choice of an eco-friendly promise kept!