What if the takeaway cup for your morning latte could start to dissolve when you finished the coffee? Or what if you could eat the paper your sandwich was wrapped in instead of throwing it in the bin? Well, we’re not there yet, but in the future packaging might be both edible and self-destructive. Packaging designers are already experimenting with edible materials like agar-agar, crane sugar and biomaterials based on algae. Such packaging would also have the advantage that it could be recycled with food waste.

One thing is for sure, with food comes a lot of packaging and we can all help by recycling, re-using and cutting down on waste. And even though many of us are good at recycling, there’s still a lot to do when it comes to cutting down on the amount of packaging and securing a circular economy. What if we all could reconsider disposables – are they all necessary? Maybe we just keep on using them out of habit?

One very important step in a world with less packaging waste is to remove plastics. Did you know that 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic, weighing 269,000 tonnes in total litters our oceans?

Plastic straws are one example. A recent study estimated that as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world's beaches. These tiny things might be easy to stick into your juice or smoothie, but do they really have to be made of plastic? And how can we avoid having plastics end up in the nature, where it doesn’t belong?

Well, there is some good news! On March 27, 2019, European Parliament passed a new law that prohibits plastic disposables within the EU, starting in 2021. As a food company, we welcome this new law We want to be involved in this development – together with our customers, partners, suppliers and the scientific community. We will follow the legislative decisions closely and act in accordance with the developments, but we want to start taking action already today.

It should be easy to make good choices in our restaurants and we have already begun our journey to cut down on plastics and shift to recyclable and renewable packaging materials.

Here are some examples:

  • In 2018, we stopped using plastic bags in our restaurants.
  • Now the journey continues: we will gradually replace plastic straws, plastic cutlery and coffee cup lids, with more sustainable options.
  • The long-term goal is to only use renewable and recyclable packaging, that is fibre-based and biodegradable, i.e made from wood and not from fossil oil.

Completely eliminating plastics in the food sector is not yet possible. Plastics may still be needed for a long time as the best option, for example to protect products and keep them safe. Good packaging can also reduce the amount of food waste. Food that is packaged well has, for example, less chance of ending up in the bin because it’s gone bad.

“As a modern, sustainable food company, removing fossil-based single-use disposable plastics is one way we can help our guests to make more sustainable choices,” says Sanna-Maria Hongisto, Senior Manager, Nutrition and Sustainability at Fazer Food Services.

“With this action, we also hope to encourage consumers to rethink their consumption of single-use plastics and inspire them to reduce and recycle packaging,” she adds.

Want to learn more about our sustainability approach?