Food packaging is traditionally expensive, wasteful and bad for the environment. But what if there was a way to produce that packaging so that it’s actually cheaper, more sustainable and won’t lead to overflowing landfills?
The answer might be simpler than you’d think. Researchers are currently working to create packaging that consumers can just eat along with their food. The new edible packaging is made from milk proteins that have no taste. And if you don’t want to eat the packaging, it’s also biodegradable.
In addition, the U.S. already produces more milk than the population can consume. So this solution could actually solve multiple problems at once. And if those factors weren’t enough, it turns out that milk proteins actually keep out oxygen better than plastic packaging. So using it could mean that food would spoil slower than it does in the packaging we currently use.
Product Innovation Must Benefit Consumers to Be Successful
That last point is important, because if the only benefits were to the environment but not to consumers, the idea might not take off. However, this solution seems to be one that benefits all sides. So it shows just what type of innovation can be possible with some creative thinking and a willingness to try something completely different.
The new packaging isn’t likely to actually hit shelves for at least another three years. But the possibility could lead to some big things for food producers in the future.
Image: Newsy via American Chemical Society