Why did we Change our Packaging and what is the impact on the environment. The most important Question in the food manufacturing industry.
We went through a lengthy thought process with regards to our packaging change. It was not one we took lightly. However some individuals did crucify us for it. It looks perhaps deceiving, but do we actually see what is really there?
Our packaging journey- We used to have a cardboard sleeve, made from recycled material by a non green company, but we turned it inside out. We had to stick 5 labels on each sleeve. Each label came on a plastic backing that was non recyclable. We also made use of double sided tape on the inside of our box again non recyclable and closed it with sellotape, again non-recyclable. To achieve shelf life and attempt to keep an already Low Carb, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Preservative Free, Additive Free product crisp and fresh, we had to have special packets made up with an oxygen protection layer which meant non recyclable. We still did not achieve long standing freshness and looked in oxygen absorbers.
This helped keeping the product fresher and crisper for
longer, BUT...again Non recyclable...So now we are facing
a dilemma. Customers perceive our packaging as green, but
is it really, as majority of our packaging is NOT recyclable.
On top of that we were sitting with
nearly 30 - 40 bags of packaging waste from the
backings of our labels that was directly impacting the
environment and we could not face this any longer.
And lastly our products and packaging could not withstand
the travel required both nationally and internationally.
We wanted a 100% recyclable product that we feel good about and that is better for the environment. Again we faced the same challenge!
"How to ensure a crisp fresh product for the required shelf life by retailers and customers without adding a preservative".
Preservatives are completely against our company ethos. We decide to team up with one of the oldest and greenest printer companies on our door step called Boland drukpers. They recycle everything even their ink cartridges. They printed our boxes on 100% recyclable material and we had to package our products in single and twin packs. Reasons Being:
1. The first and foremost important reason being to maintain our products freshness, and crispness without having to add any form of preservative. Packaging is our only key to keep the product fresh. If we put it in big packets the product effects each other and together they absorb moisture. Our Products are already gluten free, sugar free ,low carb, preservative and additive free. Now anyone who knows anything about low cab baking will know it is a nightmare to get a crispy dry product and keeping it like that.
2. Stay fresh packs just gave us great results meaning the customer receives the product exactly the way it left our factory. No more soft products or inferior quality, and it acts as a shock absorber.
3. We did not have to add any preservatives to ensure shelf life.
4.You can now have the correct servicing size as per serving suggestion on our box and resist over indulging.
5. Moms can grab it on he go, and it is ideal for single people or where not every member if the family follows this lifestyle.
6. No more broken products.
Lastly, but most importantly! The film we use to package the product now is 100% recyclable as we did not have to add added barriers.
We are still hoping that a brainy person will come out with a biodegradable film that does have the require shelf life capabilities needed in food manufacturing and by the customer.
We are working with the Drakenstein Municipality and have managed so transform our factory into a fully compliant recycling factory. From our 30 - 40 bags of direct waste we have reduced it to only 3 bags a week and we recycle all the rest in conjunction with the Municipality.
Together we fight for a greener South Africa one step at a time.
We as companies are responsible to educate
our employees. It is our obligation
to create a better nation. We teach them about
recycling in the hopes that they too will make a
difference at home and in their community
and that it will be passed down from
generation to generation and create a
greener nation one step at a time.