Next-generation sustainable food packaging solutions

Next-generation sustainable food packaging solutions

The environmental footprint of packaged food is being focused on by companies worldwide. Maintaining quality while being ecologically conscious is increasingly becoming integral to the food packaging industry’s goals. Innovative sustainable packaging for food preserves its quality and reduces waste and food safety issues like food-borne diseases and contamination.

Future food packaging is poised to be smart, reusable, and personalized due to the advancements in sustainability efforts, digitalization, and IoT (Internet of Things). Sustainable advancements in packaging could include sensors to alert the consumer when food is spoiled before its expiry date or avoid food waste by informing them that the food is still safe to consume even though the expiry date has passed. Some more examples of next-generation sustainable solutions for the packaging of foods are discussed below:

Biodegradable flexible packaging

With the increased consumer demand for eco-friendly and reduced plastic usage, companies are focusing on innovative biodegradable options to pack their products. Biodegradable or compostable packaging breaks down and decomposes in a way that is more environmentally friendly than plastic. As it is made from plant-based, recycled materials, it can return to earth quickly and safely (within 90 to 180 days) as soil when disposed of under the right environmental conditions. It requires less carbon to produce and reduces waste sent to landfills.

This eco-friendly flexible packaging is the future of the packaging industry. It is widely used for packaging food, coffee, tea, snacks, candy, garments, and digital accessories.

Recycle-ready and low-carbon solutions

Companies are exploring recycle-ready films made from polyolefin-based resins with EVOH to achieve their sustainability goals. These films can be recycled through recent technologies, though they are yet to be widely available. Some products may include up to 50% recycled content. This type of packaging also generates a lower carbon footprint for a range of products in the food and beverage industry. These may be used for coffee vacuum packs, beverages, puree, sauce pouches, shredded cheese pouches, protein packaging, and more.

Recycled packaging material
Recycled packaging material

According to Transparency Market Research, due to the steps taken in favor of the environment, such as banning plastic retail bags, various firms are leaning towards using recycled materials in packaging. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recently made it mandatory for brand owners, importers, and producers to recycle up to 50% of the single-use plastic used or produced by them over the next three years.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has given the go-ahead to use recycled plastics for food packaging. As per the Plastic Waste Management (Second Amendment) Rules, 2021, carry bags or products made from recycled plastic are allowed for storing, carrying, dispensing, or packaging ready-to-eat or drink food items.

This has led to companies adopting products that are designed to be recyclable, use recycled content or biomaterials, and reduce the carbon footprint of packaging. A few sustainable, flexible packaging examples include sustainable double-gusseted bags made from eco-friendly materials, sustainable single serving packs, and sustainable dry food packaging solutions designed for recycling and made from mixed polypropylene/polyethylene structures or mono polypropylene.

Mamata Manufactures Machines with Huge capabilities to handle recyclable mono material films that will help the indicate to address the demand for sustainable packaging.

Reduced size of packages
Reduced size of packages

The reduced size of packaging material has an environmental impact. It results in fewer delivery trips, reducing the carbon emissions from transport vehicles. Overpacking can be avoided to save on packaging and shipping costs. Shipping containers that can be folded to reduce the size of the container while returning empty save space and transportation costs.

Catering to this need, Mamata’s Pick-Fill-Seal Machines (PFS-250 / 300) offer pouch packaging ranging from 125 mm to 300 mm, allowing companies to address for single serve and consumer size packaging.

The next generation of food packaging must reduce the wastage of food as well as packaging material. By promoting the market adoption of innovative packaging solutions that enhance the shelf life of foods, a 50% reduction in food waste at the consumer and retail level is expected by 2050.

Mamata Machinery - Providing optimum performance with sustainability

Considered one of the top five companies in the world in the bag and pouch-making machine market, Mamata Machinery is taking steps to be a part of the global sustainability revolution. It manufactures customized co-ex film plants, pouch and bag making, and packaging machines with technological advantages. Mamata’s new generation HFFS Pouch Machines (Vegapack M-Series (150/200/250/300)) balance high line speed with a small footprint and process both laminate and co-extruded films with ease as well as offer quick and repeatable changeovers.

Pick-Fill-Seal Machines (PFS-250 / 300)

According to the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), flexible packaging is the fastest-growing segment within the US packaging industry and around the world. Flexible pouches occupy 4% less cargo space than glass containers for the same food quantity and require less transportation. This leads to lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Mamata Machinery’s premade pouch-filling machine Vegapack 250/300, offers flexibility, hygiene, and efficiency, making it the suitable choice for the food packaging industry. Its key features include:

  • Pouch packaging ranging from 125 mm to 300 mm addresses retail to club-size pouch packaging needs.

  • Up to 3 filling stations + MAP station to adapt to multiple fillers on the same machine.

  • Future conversion to a Rollstock HFFS from a premade pouch filling system onsite

  • Format changeover under 15 minutes on premade pouch machines increases uptime & efficiency.

  • Mechanical speeds of up to 65 CPM

  • Production efficiency of at least 90% on premade pouch machines

  • 304 SS frame as standard with the option of 316 L all-stainless-steel frame, high hygiene & corrosion-resistant design.

  • Carousel design for filling section v/s walking beam making changeovers quick and easy and less mechanical moving parts.

Serving the flexible packaging industry for over 30 years, Mamata Machinery offers next-generation technology to help companies cope with the extensive demand for recyclable and eco-friendly packaging material. To know more about their latest offerings, get in touch with the Mamata Machinery team to discuss the best options suited to your packaging requirements.