Alternative packaging materials are gaining variety. Palm leaves, edible six-pack rings, prawn shell plastic bags, wood pulp cellophane … they are springing up like mushrooms all across the packaging industry. And they’re promising additions to the packaging landscape.
Recently, there’s been a new development. Compostable packaging has been a thing for quite some time already, but the trend goes to packaging made from seeds that grow when planted. The trashcan might be a thing of the past – green front yards are the future.
The basic concept of plantable packaging is easy. It does not only decompose like its forerunner compostable packaging does, but it contains seeds that allow the packaging to be buried in the soil and disintegrate while flowers or herbs are flourishing.
Plantable packaging is the epitome of the zero-waste concept, that’s been gaining popularity over the last years. It leaves no trace in our environment.
The first to introduce plantable packaging was the company Pangea Organics under the slogan “Coming from the earth and going back to it”. They collaborated with Seeds of Change, the largest US producer of organic seeds, and UFP Technologies and launched a series of body- and skin-care products packaged in a 100% compostable moulded fibre box. The box needs no glues and dies and consists of 100% post-consumer paper board.
Many of the companies that go for plantable packaging match the seeds to the product that’s packaged. Ben Huttly, a Visual Communication student at the Arts University College at Bournemouth, for instance, developed a zero-waste packaging system for fruits and vegetables that is just as simple as it is genius. A wrap-up string made from biodegradable unbleached cotton binds together foods like asparagus spears. The tag doesn’t need harmful inks, but all necessary innovation is cut out of a piece of plantable paper that been formed with thousands of tiny seeds that will sprout when planted in soil.
UK designer Connor Davey created chocolate packaging that grows into the chocolate’s main ingredient when planted. It’s called Bloom Everlasting Chocolate and the name says it all. The mint chocolate packaging grows a mint plant, while the chili chocolate grows a chili plant, so the product lasts forever and their slogan “the tasty gift that keeps on giving” couldn’t be more accurate.
Greek designer George Bosnas changes up a gear with his biopack: a sustainable approach to a traditional egg crate. The packaging consists of cleared paper pulp, flour, starch and – of course! – biological seeds. The mixture is densely packed and formed into a little box that holds four eggs. As soon as the eggs are used, consumers can plant the packaging and within only 30 days the legume seeds will sprout.
Packaging that saves our environment is on everybody’s lips at the moment. Plantable Packaging is one solution, Bee Saving Paper another one. We’ll see what else the packaging industry has to offer for our planet in the future and maybe even at drupa 2020.
Did you already come across plantable packaging? If not, which other products could you imagine to be packaged in the zero-waste alternative? Tell us in the comments!