In a previous blog post, we talked about the reasons behind the recent growth in the frozen food market. One major factor contributing to frozen food’s comeback is a desire to reduce food waste—some estimates claim that 50% of all fresh produce in the US ends up in the garbage or, at best, the compost bin.
The environmentally friendly benefits of purchasing frozen food are somewhat negated, of course, if the food’s plastic packaging ends up in a landfill. Fortunately, advancements in flexible packaging technology have given producers a range of new options for environmentally friendly frozen food packaging.
Traditional Frozen Food Packaging
Older forms of frozen food packaging are not environmentally friendly—they often consist of multiple materials that end up in landfills. Bag-in-box, lay-down pillow packs, or rigid trays are only partially recyclable or not recyclable at all. The bulkier forms of frozen food packaging also take up more room in transport, requiring more fuel consumption to move them from plant to warehouse to grocery shelf.
Eco-Friendly Frozen Food Packaging: Enter The Stand-Up Pouch
Stand up pouches have multiple advantages over traditional frozen food packaging. They make better use of available retail space by presenting a much larger customer-facing graphic panel, and are much lighter than traditional rigid packaging—making them easier and less expensive to transport.
Stand up pouches also require less film to produce than other types of packaging bags. This helps to reduce the overall environmental impact of the product.
Still, many types of stand up pouches end up in the landfill as laminated packages are comprised of multiple substrates, some of which are not recyclable. Separating these layers is not practical, so the whole package gets thrown in the garbage.
Recyclable Frozen Food Packaging
Emmerson Packaging helped lead the way in developing a truly recyclable frozen food package with the introduction of SmartPack™. This sustainable option provides the premium look and performance of a traditional laminate, but uses innovative energy-curing technology to reduce the number of films needed to produce the package. SmartPack™ carries a #2 or #4 recyclability rating, making it fully recyclable in most North American municipalities.
Biodegradable Frozen Food Packaging
Emmerson Packaging took environmentally friendly frozen food packaging a step further with SmartPack-BDG™. This innovative sustainable package option is fully biodegradable, so customers can dispose of it in their household garbage. Producers love that it’s fully shelf stable and only begins to degrade in an active landfill environment, giving them the barrier control they need to succeed in frozen foods and keep their customers safe.
Even better, SmartPack-BDG™ is also fully recyclable, so customers can choose how they would prefer to dispose of the package at its end-of-life.
Conveying The Sustainable Message With Frozen Food Packaging
While not all consumers of frozen food are primarily motivated by sustainability, many are—and many more may not realize the environmentally friendly aspects of frozen food until the message is effectively conveyed by its packaging. 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods, so sharing this eco-conscious message with HD graphics could help your brand grab more wallet share in a growing market.
Our environmentally friendly frozen food packaging options use the latest technology developed and designed by our Innovation Department, and never sacrifice quality or safety to meet sustainability goals.
Does your brand need a sustainability shift to keep up with recent growth in the frozen food category? Download our free Frozen Food Packaging Capabilities Guide right now to learn more about the environmentally friendly frozen food packaging options highlighted in this post, along with our award-winning approach to graphic and functional design.