– are taken to new heights –
Grab and Go convenience trays have been taken to new heights. Backed by the pandemic, the carry-out food industry is booming more than ever and containers need to perform well in order to effectively carry the food to your door. People long for restaurant quality food to be safely enjoyed in the comfort of their homes. According to Business Wire, the food delivery service is on the rise since the Covid-19 lockdowns have occurred. Doordash, Just Eat, Postmates and UberEats are just a fewof the many services that navigated contactless delivery options in order to negate the risk of spreading the virus between consumer and the driver. The Food Institute recently published that Doordash reported a revenue of $1.9 billion on increased consumer demand for quick delivery during the pandemic. Not only has the delivery service companies increased their employees, but the increased number of restaurants that began offering home delivery to stay afloat during the pandemic has also increased.
Sustainable Containers are the Future
Home delivery containers have also been experiencing a transition as they move away from plastic and sustainably into using molded fiber trays as a means for carry-out food delivery. The style and performance, just like in anything, can differ. After all, pulp is fiber and without any assistance, can leak through saucy foods. This eco-friendly option can be laminated to ensure sauces remain in the container and not on your lap. Now the question remains, why use plastic laminates? There are a variety of films that can be used. For example, PLA (polylactic acid) is different than most thermoplastic polymers in that it is derived from renewable resources like corn or sugar cane. Most plastics, by contrast, are derived from distillation of non-renewable petroleum reserves. PLA is industrially compostable. Another laminate that is used is PET (polyethylene Terephthalate) and is best recognized as the clear plastic used for water and soda bottles. The laminate used on a pulp container is very thin. With advanced pulp technology, there is a remedy through a patented procedure that although it is not perfect in a sustainable world, it is close. Click here to learn more; https://www.thermofibre.com/products/food-packaging
As molded pulp containers increase their popularity, they have also increased their capabilities as a sustainable packaging model. There are manufacturers that have containers that can be frozen, microwavable, ovenable and heat sealable. Again, there is a variation from supplier to supplier in the capabilities as well as the aesthetics of the tray. Recently, I microwaved a frozen entrée packaged in a molded pulp bowl with a heat seal lid. When I peeled the plastic film off, the pulp edge pulled off as well, leaving me with a shredded bowl to eat out of. My second encounter with another product packaged in a pulp bowl with a thin PLA laminate offered a much cleaner and aesthetically pleasing dining experience. After all, frozen entrees are perfect for a quick meal but even if your time is limited, the packaging should not deter the overall experience.
The pandemic has brought around so many changes across the globe. A significant difference to benefit the environment can be made with a conscientious change to sustainable take away containers for the home delivery and restaurant take out business.