Let this statistic resonate with you just a minute: each year at least eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean and it is predicted that if we continue to produce plastic at this same rate, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.
We are a culture of waste and every piece of plastic that has been produced still exists and harms our environment today. This is one of the reasons why surplus food company Snact and sustainable packaging company Tipa have collaborated to create the solution to our plastic packaging problem that biodegrades just like orange peel. At PPMA Total 2016 – a packaging and processing show, Snact announced that its products will be sealed in Tipa’s biodegradable packaging. The unique technology means that even laminates and labels that are fully compostable and takes 24 weeks to fully decompose.
Snact ( @SnactNow ) like TIPA ( @TIPACorp ) is a company devoted to tackling waste. In 2013 the London based firm was originally set up to combine healthy food with sustainabiltity. Snact was started by Llana Taub and Michael Minch-Dixon who collected surplus fruit at London wholesaler markets to then be turned into healthy snacks in their kitchen in Hackney. Snact is aware that supermarkets have a criteria when it comes to selling food – they may be too big, too small or too ugly. But the surplus snack firm wants to put a change to this and argues that tonnes of good fruit and vegetables are rejected by shop shelves for no reason. The co-founders first started their business by collecting fruit by hand and now three years on they have grown enough to save fruit by the tonne rather than the kilo.
Taub, Co-Founder of Snact, said: “We launched our new packaging in December last year with traditional plastic as we struggled to find an environmentally-friendly option that had the functional properties required as well as being food safe. We were introduced to Tipa through another company and quickly realised it was the perfect option to build on our environmental and social ethics.”
Tipa are an Israeli firm who first started business in 2010. This is the company’s first collaboration with the UK market and CEO and Co-Founder of TIPA, Daphna Nissenbaum said Snact is "a worthy brand in the fight against food waste". Further information on the brand can be read in a previous article covered by BioBased World News.
Tipa maintains that its unique packaging solution is just as firm and impermeable as normal plastic alternatives. The only difference is its ability to decompose within 180 days and become an additional fertiliser for soil. With both companies’ main focus to improve food and sustainability it looks like this will be the perfect pairing. However, now Tipa have tapped into the UK market, Nissenbaum also stated her clear amitions for the future of their sustainable packagaing: “We’re currently trialling our products with a number of UK brands within the grocery retail sector and hope to see further partnerships announced as brands recognise the benefits of our technology.”
Tipa has an extensive range of packaging moulds and products including standalone and printed coextruded high-transpoarent cast films ideal for fresh produce, bakery and grain-mill products. Whist their transparent and non-transparent laminate series is offered for a variety of food segment applications such as granola bars, potato chips dried foods and vitamins capsules, as well as a range of non-food packaging applications including apparel, bags and pillow packs.
“We know that many consumers would prefer to treat their food packaging as a natural part of their kitchen waste. Over 9.6 million tonnes of plastic waste is sent to landfill every year in Europe and something has to change. At TIPA, we have the solution that will be a game-changer for the industry. We look forward to the beginning of a new era in packaging where for the first time, viable end of life solutions are available on the market.”
What does the future hold for sustainable packaging?
US researchers are currently undergoing trials to produce packaging that is not just bio-degradable but also edible according to a report by American Chemical Society. The packaging is made from milk proteins which will preserve food by preventing oxygen entering the packet, but most importantly it will be sustainable.
This technology can be used as plastic pouches, wraps and now the casein coating is being developed so it can be sprayed onto food like cereal flakes or bars. The spray also has the potential to line pizza and other food storage boxes to keep the grease from staining the packaging, or to serve as a lamination step for paper or cardboard food boxes or plastic pouches. The whole feature can be read here.
The partnership between Snact and TIPA is hoped to signify the first change towards how we package our food to make it as sustainable for the environment as possible.