A report on food packaging centers on an assessment of different materials. Spoiler alert: Plastics do not fare well, but neither do metal and paper.
First came the notion of the Beer Print, when Packaging Digest reported on Molson Coors’ sustainability efforts that centered around that idea.
“Beer Print is the notion that every time a beer is lifted up, there’s an imprint left behind,” explained Kim Marotta, global senior director of corporate responsibility. “We want to make sure it’s a positive one on our communities and environment.” (see Molson Coors shrinks plastic packaging’s Beer Print, published December 2019)
My interest was piqued when I saw a parallel approach to that at the FoodPrint website, which published a paper, The FoodPrint of Food Packaging. It’s based on a March 2019 report, Safer Materials in Food Packaging, by Safer Made. Commissioned by Forsythia Foundation which “promotes healthier people and environments by reducing harmful chemicals in our lives,” Safer Made’s 49-page study discusses the needs for innovation in food packaging and showcases innovative companies and potential solutions to the sector’s health and environmental challenges.
FoodPrint’s document is comprehensive 30-page PDF that cites 86 footnoted sources for the data and information. Among other things, the report shows how harmful chemicals in single-use plastics and other wasteful packaging leach into food. For example, it found that…
• Styrofoam use is on the decline due to environmental concerns, but its precursor, polystyrene, remains widely used despite also leaching petroleum-based chemicals into food.
• [Paper] fiber