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Making A Better World With Plant-Based Containers (PLA)

Spira Farms PLA based packaging

We all know that plants are the main source element for staggering and ever-growing options of consumer packaging and products. You may think that going green is nothing more than a dying trend. However, it is something that most businesses will use to package nutritional superfoods like microgreens in the coming years.

Plant-based packaging and products are made from renewable resources. It also reduces organic wastes from landfills, decreasing the long-term effects on the environment. Moreover, the greenhouse gas emission will soon decrease if we transfer to PLA packaging instead of plastic products.

But, are there more benefits that can save the environment? Indeed, there is! PLA products and packaging are more than what meets the eye! Let us break things down and dig deeper into this topic!

How Plant-Based Packaging Can Save The Environment?

As the world is slowly rejecting plastic containers, the need for plant-based packaging is rising quite fast. But, what is it about PLA containers that makes it such a vital and environmentally friendly step for a healthier future? 

Without further ado, let us have a look at the benefits and how they can save our planet!

1. Renewable 

As the name suggests, these PLA products are made from biodegradable ingredients grown on plantations using water, carbon dioxide in the air, and sunlight. These packaging and products are not only biodegradable but also renewable.

For example, Bagasse is a substance formed from sugarcane pulp. Instead of burning it, this substance can be collected and reused in the foodservice business before being composted. Afterward, it will find its way to the soil to give nutrients to even more plants.

This cycle will help open the door to a renewable source of consumer products that will be more than just saving our environment. 

2. Reduces The Organic Wastes From Landfills

Secondly, the issue with standard one-time foodservice products is that they are almost hundred percent of the time impossible to recycle. This is mainly because of food contamination. As a result, both the organic waste and packaging winds up in our trash bins.

On the other hand, plant-based packaging allows for a simple collection of waste. The added bonus is that it leads to decreasing the long-term effects on the environment due to organic materials piling up in landfills. 

The USA food industry generated over 80 billion tons of food waste in 2020. That equates to 40% of all food that year. By using PLA packages, businesses can help manage this huge amount of waste. 

3. Decreases Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In landfills, organic wastes lack much-needed oxygen. As a result, greenhouse gas emission takes place once it breaks down.

For instance, one of the greenhouse gasses, methane, is a lot more toxic to our environment than carbon. In fact, if the total output of gases from landfills counted as a country, it would take the third rank right behind the United States and China!

Since we are in a time where tackling climate change has been harder than ever, PLA containers and packaging could be the huge help we need. Nevertheless, plant-based packaging and products will be an excellent alternative to decrease greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Furthermore, composting is a way to reduce CO2 emissions while storing it in the soil where it belongs.

4. Reduces The Demand For Fossil-fuels

Unlike the PLA products, fossil-fuel plastic materials have been around for as long as we can remember. Not to mention, these harmful materials will not break down as easily as you might think.

It does not matter if they wash up in oceans or landfills, they would not decompose. Besides, rising evidence from scientific research suggests that there is plastic almost everywhere in our ecosystems. Not just ecosystems, but there as well as our bodies!

So, all these should be enough of a reason to avoid using fossil-fuel-based plastic products. Plant-based products, on the other hand, will naturally decompose on their own. 

5. Enriches Soils And Other Environment Benefits

In today’s climate, ecosystems all around the world are grasping at straws because of global warming. To make things worse, additional pollution and overpopulation are being massive headaches. And in order to make things even, composting could be a great place to start.

It helps and benefits plant, animal life, and soils in a lot incredible of ways:

  • It improves the soil structure and enhances the quality. This allows both plants and animals to thrive while also maintaining water levels.
  • Composting will encourage the growth of microorganisms that are beneficial to making our soil more productive and fertile.
  • It helps eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers, reducing the effect of toxic water flow in our marine areas and rivers.

All of these benefits make PLA packaging an excellent option to save the future of our planet. 

Types Of PLA Packaging Used In The Industry 

Nowadays, companies are turning to more plant-based fibers instead of plastic materials for sustainable packaging. Meanwhile, the growing interest in compostable and biodegradable materials is skyrocketing. Here are some of the types of plant-based packaging already in use in the industry: 

1. Sugarcane

Many environmentally aware brands are making their service products using sugarcane plastic. It is super friendly to the environment because it comes from the sugarcane plant, which is a renewable source.

Bagasse, a substance from sugarcane plants, is the key element in the majority of sugarcane-based sustainable product solutions. Not to forget, it is highly tolerant to heat, and as well as biodegradable.

2. Mushroom

Big companies like IKEA are shifting to better, sustainable packaging options that promote mushroom-based packaging. Mycelia can be found in a mushroom’s roots and outer shell. 

When combined with natural substances such as oats, the ingredients mix together to make a flexible solid. Unlike plastic-based materials, sustainable packaging made from mushrooms and many other natural substances can biodegrade within a few weeks!

3. Coconut

Have you ever thought of saving the shell of the coconut after drinking from it? If not, you definitely should! 

Coconut shells can be readily molded together using an organic glue to create unique boxes for vegetables, fruits, and even eggs! As it turns out, they are a hundred percent biodegradable.

Now, it might seem like a unique option for containers. However, this environmentally friendly packaging features durable waterproof padding. 

This keeps fresh food safe during shipment. In addition, the tough exterior is so strong that it can survive fifty feet drop without breaking!

4. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is also biodegradable, which makes it an ideal choice for sustainable packaging to carry items with a short shelf life. In simpler words, it is an excellent alternative for the superfood packaging industry.

It is possible that you have noticed containers for take-outs without even knowing that the main ingredient of the product is cornstarch. The best part is that it is a fantastic choice for protecting and supporting objects during shipments.

Conclusion

It is safe to say that plant-based packaging and products are an essential step to a more green and healthy future. PLA packaging is the next face of the foodservice industry. Whether it is for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing soil quality, or tackling plastic pollution, the environment we know and love will benefit from it.

That is why we at Spira Farms use PLA containers for our microgreen products. Our mission is not just to provide healthy foods to our customers but also to play our part in reducing carbon emissions and also use environmentally safe packaging. Our mission is to create an environmentally clean business so that we can inspire others to do the same. 

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