Increasingly, packaging is becoming recyclable or compostable. This way, its impact on the environment is reduced. It’s also an interesting selling point for brands. They can promote their conscience towards sustainable development and environmental conservation.
To go even further towards the ideal of “zero waste,” many creative businesses are getting into edible packaging, which is explained in this Guardian article. Edible glass, edible packaging and consumable water bottles are an interesting solution. Pushing the logic this far, we can solve the problem at its source. If one can consume the container of the contents which one wants to eat or drink, then packaging won’t be thrown out and, therefore, won’t pollute.
The idea is ingenious. Glasses made of agar (gelatin made from seaweed) for cocktails, water bubbles rigid enough to prevent leakage and membranes made of biodegradable polymers to protect bite-sized foods are a few examples of this new movement. Of course, the processes are at the experimental stage and packaging seem a ways away from being produced. But it’s the idea itself that opens new perspectives.
On the other hand, some questions need to be asked. If the packaging is edible, does it fulfill its intended role of packaging? The point of packaging is to protect from microbes and bacteria, from moisture and dust, in particular. If protective packaging ends up being ingested, is the protection itself accomplished? It’s hard to say, but the idea is great and will undoubtedly inspire many businesses. In the meantime, you can always turn to recyclable or compostable packaging available on the market.