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Why Cornstarch Packaging Is Beneficial To Your Business

The global movement towards sustainability is gaining momentum across all industries. Consumers are demanding eco-friendly packaging solutions, and businesses are actively seeking ways to meet these demands while maintaining high-quality product presentation. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into one of the most popular biodegradable packaging options: cornstarch packaging. If you haven’t already made the switch, here’s everything you need to know to take the leap toward more sustainable packaging efforts.

Sustainability efforts are on the rise across all industries. Businesses worldwide are striving to meet sustainable consumer demands while maintaining high-quality product packaging. The restaurant industry, in particular, has seen a significant influx of sustainable packaging options, such as biodegradable and recyclable materials.

What is Cornstarch Packaging?

Cornstarch is a biodegradable packaging material that can replace polystyrene (Styrofoam) and plastic. Available in transparent and opaque materials, cornstarch packaging is versatile and most popular for takeaway food. Common cornstarch packaging options include trays, lids, bags, plates, bowls, and containers. Unlike petroleum-based plastic, cornstarch containers are biodegradable and renewable, making them an excellent choice for eco-friendly packaging.

What is Cornstarch Packaging

How is Cornstarch Packaging Made?

Cornstarch packaging is part of a broader movement of emerging bioplastics derived from agricultural waste or byproducts. Companies create environmentally safe alternatives to plastics using renewable resources like vegetables, oil, fats, recycled food wastes, and cornstarch. Cornstarch containers use polylactic acid (PLA) plastic, made by fermenting plant sugar and starch. PLA plastic is much more environmentally friendly and sustainable compared to traditional plastics, releasing fewer greenhouse gases during production and excluding toxic materials.

How is Cornstarch Packaging Made

The Cornstarch Packaging Production Process

The Cornstarch Packaging Production Process

  • Fermentation: Cornstarch is extracted from corn kernels and undergoes a fermentation process to convert plant sugars and starch into polylactic acid (PLA) plastic.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Compared to traditional plastics, PLA production releases fewer greenhouse gasses and utilizes no harmful toxins.
  • Biodegradable Advantage: When disposed of correctly, PLA plastic breaks down in a matter of months, unlike traditional plastics that can take hundreds of years to decompose. PLA can even serve as fertilizer, further minimizing environmental impact.

PLA Plastic Options

  1. 2002D: Ideal for thermoforming applications
  2. 3051D: Well-suited for injection molding
  3. 4032D: Perfect for film production
  4. 6201D: Used to create staple fibers
  5. 7000D: Excellent for making bottles

Cornstarch packaging is cost-competitive with traditional plastics, using the cheapest commercially available sugars, and the FDA has approved PLA for use as a polymer, making it 100% food safe.

The Lifecycle of a Cornstarch Packaging Box

Cornstarch packaging begins its lifecycle from renewable resources, unlike petroleum-based plastic. During its processing and manufacturing phase, cornstarch plastic emits fewer greenhouse gases than traditional plastic. Once it reaches the consumer, it is used like any other product before moving into the disposal phase.

The Lifecycle of a Cornstarch Packaging Box

The main characteristic of biodegradable cornstarch packaging is that it naturally degrades or can serve as fertilizer, leaving no negative environmental concerns or hazardous gases. Within months, cornstarch plastic can break down into carbon dioxide and water, reducing the carbon footprint of both consumers and businesses.

The lifecycle of cornstarch packaging highlights its significant environmental benefits:

  • Renewable Resources: Derived from readily available corn, unlike petroleum-based plastics.
  • Reduced Emissions: PLA production releases fewer greenhouse gasses.
  • Biodegradable Breakdown: Breaks down into harmless materials like carbon dioxide and water within months.

The Cornstarch Packaging Market

Due to the exponential growth in the environmentally friendly movement, starch packaging materials and other bioplastics are quickly gaining market share. According to Globe News Wire, the biodegradable cornstarch packaging market will reach USD 126.85 billion by 2026. Bio-based materials have many environmental benefits over time, and being renewable makes them a superior alternative to less eco-friendly options. As more companies pledge to change for a healthier planet, identifying and scaling sustainable packaging options is crucial for product and business success.

The Cornstarch Packaging Market

The Pros & Cons of Cornstarch Packaging

Using biodegradable packaging material offers many benefits, especially as a replacement for conventional plastics.

Pros

  • Renewability: Corn is affordable and readily available, ensuring a consistent supply.
  • Biodegradability: Starch packaging materials are 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and compostable.
  • Safety: Cornstarch contains no harmful toxins, making it safer for production and use. It is 100% food-safe, has a high aroma barrier, and resists food fat and oils without additional coatings or chemicals.
  • Low Flammability: Cornstarch packaging has low flammability and works well for printing applications, allowing businesses to brand their packaging without environmental harm.

Cons

  • Infrastructure: The current infrastructure does not fully support corn starch packaging. Only a few facilities can accommodate composting PLA plastic, and improper disposal can lead to cornstarch packaging ending up in landfills.
  • Customer Behavior: Proper disposal relies on customer behavior. Many customers do not compost the material properly, which can cause environmental issues.

Why You Should Switch to Cornstarch Packaging

Despite its drawbacks, cornstarch packaging is much more eco-friendly than plastic. Corn starch packaging can significantly benefit your business and the environment, making it a worthwhile investment. It helps your business become more socially responsible and attracts eco-conscious shoppers focused on supporting eco-friendly businesses. Consumers are increasingly aware of greenwashed packaging and knowledgeable about materials in the industry. Using cornstarch is an excellent start to help market your brand effectively and establish a more authentic connection with customers.

Why You Should Switch to Cornstarch Packaging

CrownPackages Your One-Stop Shop for Sustainable Packaging Solutions

We go beyond cornstarch packaging to offer a comprehensive selection of eco-friendly options:

  • Recycled Cardboard Boxes: Our sturdy cardboard boxes are made from recycled materials, providing excellent protection while minimizing your environmental impact.
  • Customizable Paper Bags: Create a unique brand experience with our selection of customizable paper bags made from recycled content.
  • Sustainable Foodservice Packaging: From compostable plates to recyclable cutlery, we offer a variety of options to meet the specific needs of the food service industry.

Cornstarch Packaging-One-Stop Shop for Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Conclusion

With impending bans on single-use plastics looming, switching to more sustainable options is fast becoming a necessity rather than a choice. Using more environmentally friendly and innovative options such as corn starch packaging materials or other biodegradable options helps you stand out and highlights your commitment to sustainability. As we continue to learn more about the fate of plastics, exploring biodegradable and sustainable packaging materials is vital for long-term brand success.

Contact CrownPackages today! Our team is here to answer your questions, discuss your specific needs, and help you create a sustainable packaging strategy that aligns with your brand identity and values.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of starch-based packaging?

Starch-based packaging offers several benefits:
1. 100% Biodegradable: Corn starch packaging naturally decomposes into elements like water and carbon dioxide, making it environmentally friendly.
2. Sustainable: It is made from renewable resources, reducing reliance on petroleum-based plastics.
3. Cost-Competitive: It is cost-competitive with traditional plastics, using the cheapest commercially available sugars.

What should I do with cornstarch packaging after use?

Cornstarch packaging is compostable rather than recyclable. However, composting facilities for cornstarch packaging are limited. It is recommended to compost cornstarch packaging where facilities are available.

Is cornstarch packaging edible?

Yes, cornstarch packaging is made from corn starch and is edible, with a consistency similar to plastic.

Is cornstarch environmentally friendly?

Yes, cornstarch is a sustainable material. PLA made from cornstarch is biodegradable, carbon-neutral, and even edible. It can be composted under the right circumstances, returning nutrients to the soil.

Why is cornstarch packaging good for my business?

Cornstarch packaging is beneficial for businesses because it is biodegradable and renewable, making it an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based plastics. This can enhance a business’s sustainability credentials.

What are the benefits of using cornstarch instead of polythene for carrier bags?

Cornstarch bags are biodegradable and made from renewable resources, making them more sustainable than polythene bags. They help reduce environmental impact and reliance on non-renewable resources.

Is cornstarch packaging cheaper than plastic?

Cornstarch packaging is cost-competitive with traditional plastics, using the cheapest commercially available sugars. This makes it a viable, environmentally friendly alternative without significantly higher costs.

What are the disadvantages of cornstarch packaging?

Some disadvantages include:
1. Methane Emissions: If left to decompose in landfills, cornstarch packaging releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
2. Soil Acidity: Composting large amounts of cornstarch can make the soil acidic.

What is the process of making cornstarch packaging?

Cornstarch packaging is created by mixing cornstarch and sugar and subjecting the mixture to fermentation. The packaging is then molded and set while cooling down. The production process generates fewer greenhouse gases compared to traditional plastics.

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