- BASF is partnering with Schuster Karton to create a recycled cardboard material geared toward the fast-food industry.
- The packaging is derived from previously living organisms and is biodegradable. The companies tout the polymer coating as 90% bio-based, recyclable, and compostable.
- The material, known as Ecovio PS 1606, will allow a higher number of packaging used in the fast food industry to be recycled.
Using recycled cardboard in the fast food industry has previously been limited by the potential of harmful components seeping into food. Some inks used in printing are comprised of mineral oil, plasticizers, and UV printing ink. Generally, when these substances are incorporated onto packaging, some residue can transfer from the cardboard to the food, and the process is intensified when used for heated, greasy, or liquid items.
One Brazilian fast-food company developed an intriguing innovation by taking sustainable packaging a step further, introducing edible packaging. Although used as a marketing promotion, edible packaging could be more prevalent in the future. Two companies in the U.S. have expressed interest in the material.
And waiting in the wings for new technology that would render styrofoam cups obsolete is Dunkin Donuts. The coffee and doughnut chain is searching for recyclable alternatives to its current disposable material of choice, the polystyrene cup. The company hopes to find a replacement to the foam that can be used for hot beverages and offers recyclability and performance while being cost-effective.