In the past few years, quinoa has made its mark in the health world as a nutrient-packed super grain that can be enjoyed by those that lead gluten-free lifestyles as well as those who do not. Up until now, however, this amazing foodstuff has been packaged, just as any other product is, using materials that will most likely end up in a landfill – and ultimately end up in the ocean.
In an effort to challenge this detrimental practice, Alter Eco Foods, in conjunction with a coalition of environmentally-responsible companies called the Organic Sustainable Community, has created a pouch that is made from renewable plant-based materials. They debuted their innovative packaging at one of the largest natural product trade shows, Expo West.
The pouch is made of two layers. The exterior from eucalyptus and birch trees that have been certified by The Forest Stewardship Council. The inside layer is made from a certified commercially compostable resin called “Mater-Bi,” which was produced by an Italian research company dedicated to environmental alternatives to polyethylene-based plastics. The researchers used non-GMO corn starch and compostable materials to make the material. Even the ink is good for the planet as it is made from pigments which have been tested for toxicity, eco-toxicity, heavy metals, and even disintegration.
The pouch, coined the “Gone4Good” pouch, is not meant to be recycled. As Alter Eco Food points out, recycling the materials would actually cause issues in standard paper recycling systems. Instead, once the quinoa is consumed, the bag is meant to be thrown in a composting system that will disintegrate the materials.
The constant increase of plastic pollution in the ocean and in our landfills is something that needs to be tackled by recycling methods as well as complete transformations of company practices. Considering that only 14 percent of plastic packaging actually gets recycled, Alter Eco knew that they had to step out of the recycling system entirely for their solution. We hope that other companies will follow Alter Eco Food’s suit and start to rethink their packaging. Until then, we’ll just have to continue doing our part, on the consumer level, to minimize our waste impact.
Image Source: Alter Eco Foods/Facebook