Top Materials for Eco-Friendly Food Packaging

Eco-friendly food packaging is the future of the food industry. Customers have grown more aware of environmental issues and they want to support sustainable and eco-friendly food brands. Since food packaging plays a major role in this regard, there is a rapid shift to sustainable alternatives.

However, it all starts with the materials of the food containers. Let’s discuss the top eco-friendly food packaging materials, so you know what’s what.

But first...

Glass, Metal, Paper, Card, & Plastic

When it comes to food packaging, disposable is the name of the game. An overwhelming majority of food packaging is one-time use only, even those made from glass and metal materials. But this does not mean there are no sustainable or eco-friendly options.

While plastic has a bad reputation, you can find plastic food containers that can be repurposed, recycled, reused, or even composted. On the other hand, paper and card materials are much more eco-friendly, because they are widely recyclable, compostable, and degradable, which means they can break down into harmless compounds.

Glass and metal, on the other hand, are tougher to produce, recycle, and degrade. They can be reused but they are very expensive, so we wouldn’t recommend them.

That being said, let’s dive into our top eco-friendly materials starting with the best, most eco-friendly one.

 Biodegradable Materials

Biodegradable materials like biodegradable paper, card, or plastic (PHAs and PLA) are the most eco-friendly materials for food packaging. This is because they can easily and naturally break down into harmless elements or compounds.

However, most biodegradable plastics still leave some harmful compounds in the landfills they degrade in. Disposable food containers and cups made from biodegradable materials are typically labeled to be “green”.

 Compostable Materials

Compostable materials are a subcategory of biodegradable materials and they are the next best thing. They can compost and decay with ease, leaving no harmful compounds behind. Mostly, compostable materials for food packaging include compostable paper and car, making them highly sustainable, but not very durable.

 Degradable Materials

Degradable materials for food packaging include degradable glass, metal, plastic, paper, and card. These materials can be recycled and broken down into eco-friendly compounds by chemical intervention.

 Post-Consumer Recycled Content Materials

Post-consumer recycled content materials are made from glass, metal, plastic, paper, or card that has been recycled once before. Many modern standard disposable cups and food containers are made from such materials, because they are fairly durable and inexpensive.

 Recyclable Materials

Recycled materials include the most common types of materials used for food packaging. They include glass, metal, plastic, paper, and card materials that can be recycled, but these are virgin materials that include almost all packaging materials.

They are the least sustainable and eco-friendly material to use, but still better than non-recyclable materials.

Final Thoughts

Consider these eco-friendly food packaging materials for your food brand or business. They can help you reduce the waste produced by the food industry and reduce your brand’s carbon footprint.

We highly recommend opting for a trusted supplier for eco-friendly food packaging like Custom Cup Factory.

Feel free to get in touch through email at or call at 818 732 0099 to get started with your eco-friendly food packaging today!