We spoke to Troy Swope, CEO of Footprint, about the efforts that are being taken in the packaging industry to become more sustainable.
How are companies becoming more sustainable?
Consumer and regulatory trends are helping prompt more companies to make a visible change in replacing everything from plastic and foam food cups to clamshells, utensils, bowls and meat trays. The EU is banning foam cups, as are 20 other countries, numerous U.S. states, many U.S. cities and college campuses. We see major companies, retailers and emerging brands like Beyond Meat embracing new sustainable materials from Footprint to meet their company and customer commitments.
How do you navigate between sustainable practices that have a real impact and pop-up trends?
Pop-up trends are still problematic. When you hear bioplastic, it’s still plastic! Biodegradable is another tricky term – technically something can biodegrade – but not necessarily into harmless matter. So, as we’re working with customers on real solutions that are end-to-end sustainable, we have to factor in the use case: how much of the packaging touches food, what barriers for oil, moisture, or air are needed to perform safely and extend shelf life, and at the “end of life” will nature be able to digest it?
What advice do you have for companies looking to make packaging more sustainable?
Many companies have made aggressive climate pledge commitments, yet few solutions exist to help them meet those commitments. Footprint is the only company that is offering plant-based fibers with Footprint Barrier Technology that preserves food, performs like plastic and can be digested by the earth.
This article has been paid for by Footprint.