Ekoplaza Sends Ripples Through Food Packaging Industry

Back to NAM Blog

Ekoplaza Sends Ripples Through Food Packaging Industry

Ekoplaza Sends Ripples Through Food Packaging Industry

Recently it was announced that Ekoplaza, a Dutch supermarket chain, has opened a plastic-free aisle in one of its Amsterdam stores, a first in the world.  Considering consumers all around the world have become more aware of the impact of plastics on the environment and the importance of sustainability, it's no surprise that environmental campaign groups are urging other supermarkets to follow in Ekoplaza's footsteps.

 
While the existing processes food manufacturers currently use won't have to undergo significant changes, they will need to reconsider packaging materials used for foods and beverages to remain relevant.
 
What food packaging materials will be prominent in coming years?
 
According to reports, glass will make a comeback because it is popular among consumers and infinitely recyclable.  Aluminum is another material that can be recycled over and over again and is sustainable.  Another benefit of aluminum is that it can be safely used in the majority of microwave ovens to heat foods.  Food manufacturers who have been relying on plastic trays for single-serve microwaveable meals can make the switch to aluminum.
 
Another possibility for manufacturers who require the pliability of plastics is biopolymer alternatives including plant-based polymers which degrade far faster than plastics, sometimes over a few months' time.  Plant-based polymers are usually derived from potato starch or sugarcane, and produce PLA or polylactic acid which accounts for quick degrading when exposed to the elements of nature.  Other biopolymer alternatives originate from keratin derived from chickens, casein from dairy products and other by-products.
 
Hopefully we will see food and beverage manufacturers following Ekoplaza's lead in the coming months and years, one day all but eliminating plastic.
 
Markem-Imaje is a global leader in industrial coding and marking technologies, delivering innovative coding solutions to food/beverage, pharmaceutical, confectionery and many other industries.  From paper-based containers and liquid cartons to glass, metal, aluminum, flexible packaging and other substrates, we offer cost-effective printing systems that reduce downtime and offer many advantages.  From TTO and continuous inkjet printing to thermal inkjet, laser and digital printing, we have your product, case, or pallet coding solution!

January 10, 2014
Markem-Imaje Announces Acquisition of CSAT

Markem-Imaje Announces Acquisition of CSAT
Back to top