Compostable, microwavable plant-based packaging addresses Canada’s proposed single-use plastics ban
Just ahead of the proposed ban, Vancouver-based bioplastics maker Good Natured Products is introducing compostable microwavable to-go containers.
For businesses faced with the impending single-use plastic ban in Canada, Vancouver-based bioplastics maker Good Natured Products Inc. has come up with what it says is a solution: compostable microwavable to-go containers.
The backdrop – in case you missed it – is the Canadian federal government’s announced plans to regulate and/or ban certain single-use plastic items starting in December 2021, including a proposed ban on foodservice ware made from “problematic plastic that is hard to recycle”, such as black take-out containers used frequently by restaurants and grocers. The proposed ban also recognizes “innovative technologies to improve the environmental outcomes of some single-use products. For example, the use of compostable, bio-based, or biodegradable plastics”.
“Packaging made from renewable materials that can be commercially composted at the end of its useful life is considered a viable option to create a closed loop, zero-waste solution,” officials with Good Natured Products said. “This is especially true in foodservices applications, where traces of food and oils on packaging can make them problematic for easy recycling, regardless of the material they’re made from.”
Compounding the recylability issue, some traditional petroleum-based plastics have been found to contain chemicals of concern, like BPAs and phthalates, which pose the risk of leaching when heated. Heat resistant plant-based options with no chemicals of concern were not previously viable due to high price points. In an environment where restaurants are fighting to survive, absorbing substantially higher costs in operations is simply not an option.
Working with its recently acquired, Ontario-based in-house manufacturing facilities Shepherd Thermoforming & Packaging Inc. and extrusion sheet maker IPF Holdings Inc., Good Natured Products will be presenting its new microwavable to-go containers at the Grocery and Specialty Foods West virtual trade show.
According to Good Natured Products, these containers are designed to be compostable, are made from 97 per cent plant-based materials, contain no chemicals of concern that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment, and are suitable for hot foods and microwave re-heating. “This is one of the first available hot food packaging options on the market that combines the zero-waste benefits of commercial composting with affordable price points, and has ‘Canadian innovation’ written all over it,” the company said.
The company is launching the most popular 16-, 24- ,and 32-ounce formats in a variety of trending 2021 colours with interchangeable leak-resistant lids – a crystal clear lid for grocers to maximize product visualization and a translucent lid suitable for microwave heating, which is particularly appealing for restaurant and take-out applications.
Founded in 2006 and formerly known as Solegear Bioplastic Technologies Inc., Good Natured Products is a plant-based products and packaging company that designs, produces, and distributes bioplastics for use in packaging and durable product applications. The company changed its name to Good Natured Products in 2017.