Plant sources are fantastic for biodegradable food packaging. And there are so many to choose from! From bamboo, to wood, to recycled paper, plant starch, and even, as mentioned, sugar cane! And most of the time the products look just like ‘regular’ ones made of plastic. With one major advantage: they are completely eco-friendly.
This post is divided up in two parts, so as to offer a bit more detail for each source.
Bamboo is ideal for disposable food items. As a very fast growing plant, once it is cut down it makes for a fantastic renewable resource. Bamboo items are compostable, so they can be added to a home or commercial compost heap and will feed the soil, and help other plants grow. Make sure the bamboo comes from FSC certified sustainably-sourced forested areas. Bamboo is also biodegradable if exposed to bacteria, moisture, and heat.
Wood: Wood Cellophane
Wood cellophane, also compostable on a home compost heap, might sound like a made-up term, but it is very possible to create a clear product out of wood. Regenerated wood, cotton, or hemp cellulose are used to make wood cellophane. What makes wood cellophane ideal for food packaging is its ability to have a high barrier to air, grease, and bacteria. It can be also heat sealed, ensuring food safety. Ensure the wood cellophane used comes from FSC certified sustainably-sourced wood pulp. Wood cellophane products include bags, sheets, and rolls.
Birchwood is a great material for disposable cutlery. Birchwood trees are fast growing, and is a renewable resource. Make sure the Birchwood used comes from FSC certified sustainably forested areas. Birchwood is compostable, it can be added to a home or commercial compost heap and will feed the soil, and help the plants grow. It is also biodegradable if exposed bacteria, moisture, and heat.