The Best Things We Saw At SPC Impact 2018
By: Casha Doemland
SPC Impact is a 3-day affair from Sustainable Package Coalition, a membership program dedicated to sustainable packaging, where individuals and brands from around the world come together to talk shop, network and discover ways to create a greener tomorrow. Throughout the conference, 400+ attendees ranging from big companies like Target and CalRecycle to smaller organizations like Amy’s Kitchen come together to take part in Master Class workshops like the Aesthetics of Sustainability, listen in on riveting talks and tour facilities like USDA Western Regional Center, which allows attendees to get an inside look at the development of new food and industrial products from renewable resources.
Overall, the conference focuses on reducing the impact we have on the planet, promoting change not only in our communities but around the world while also producing top-notch packaging that leaves little to nothing behind in waste.
During our time at the conference, we discovered five companies who are changing the game of sustainable packaging by eschewing traditional materials with plant-based and 100% recyclable plastics as well as biodegradable pulps.
If you checked out our profile of ReGrained, then you’re familiar with NatureFlex, a cellulose film made from sustainably harvested wood fibers. According to Chris Mitchell, Commercial Vice President of Futamura, the company who spearheaded the project, NatureFlex is certified for at-home compost, which means you can throw the wrapper or container, which feels just like plastic, into the soil and watch it decompose. Thus leaving no trace that the product even existed, resulting in a circular economy.
Foopak is the solution Starbucks has been seeking but somehow has yet to discover. Launched earlier this year, the Foopak Bionatura Cup is 100% free of plastic that decomposes within 12 short weeks once placed into an at home bin or industrial compost facility. "Foopak Bionatura Cup is made with 100% virgin pulp and coated with a water-based coating that is 100% compostable," says Edna Englund, sustainability & stakeholder relations at APP. Not only is the cup PFO-free with no optical brighteners or bleach, it can even house beverages between -18 and 175 degrees Celsius.
Be Green Packaging
Be Green Packaging is committed to leaving no trace with their Cradle to Cradle Certified, compostable packaging made of 100% plant fiber like bulrush, bamboo and bagasse. Currently, the company is creating biodegradable packaging for the food industry from bowls and plates to clamshells and utility trays. Available in every color on the Pantone color spectrum, all of the containers are oven, microwave and freezer safe.
Printpack has developed packaging made of disposable water bottles that are recyclable for store drop along with your plastic grocery bags. This packaging is perfect for a variety of foods like granola, candy and dog food as well as laundry detergents. The flexible packaging generates fewer CO2 emissions, consumes less energy and fewer natural resources, which results in a higher product to package ration. Additionally, the packaging allows conveniences for consumers like extended shelf life, easy storage and even microwavability.
By creating packaging made of bioplastic materials such as plant starch, Greenpack is biodegradable and requires no special waste handling. The material can be used to produce utensils, plates and food packages and even film products like grocery and garbage bags. Based on the thickness of the product created, products can decompose in an at-home compost or industrial compost facility in as little as six months.
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.