A guide to sustainable food packaging

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Choosing sustainable food packaging is important, not only for the environment, but also because of the health implications it can have on the public. In this guide, we’ll explain some of the things to avoid when choosing your food packaging and how to choose sustainable food packaging.  

The risks of non-environmentally friendly food packaging

Choosing non-environmentally friendly food packaging can be brand damaging whilst also having obvious negative effects on the environment. Some of these risks can include health concerns – increased exposure to microplastics links to various health conditions including cancer and chronic inflammation. What’s more, it’s actually less cost-effective to use non-eco-friendly packaging as it’s more expensive to produce.  

What types of sustainable food packaging are there?

Sustainable food packaging is made from renewable or recyclable materials and is designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. Some examples of sustainable food packaging can include the following.  

Biodegradable food packaging 

Biodegradable food packaging consists of packaging that completely breaks down – for example, water-soluble plastic. Although it completely breaks down, biodegradable products are not necessarily great for the environment, as if they are made from biodegradable plastics, they can still release microplastics and reduce soil quality.       

Compostable food packaging

All compostable packaging is biodegradable, but not all packaging is compostable. Compostable packaging is packaging that breaks down via a natural chemical reaction leaving Co2 and water – there are no harmful particles left behind. Some examples of compostable packaging include cardboard and paper.   

Edible food packaging

Edible food packaging consists of packaging made from food sources like seaweed or milk protein. As edible packaging can be eaten or composted, it has a low carbon footprint. Although it’s not without its disadvantages – edible food packaging can be less robust than compostable packaging or non-eco-friendly versions.  

Sustainable food packaging with Lesters

Here at Lesters, we provide a wide range of sustainable packaging suitable for food packaging and for the growers market.   


Our Octabins are sustainable and affordable and are designed to hold loose products, or powders. Learn how Octabins have been used in food packaging by reading our pumpkin case study

Corrugated Cartons 

Corrugated Cartons are ideal for holding and transporting food products, as they are strong, compostable and can be manufactured bespoke to your needs. 

If you are looking for sustainable, innovative and cost-effective food packaging, get in touch with our expert team today to find out more or discover our wide range of products to find your ideal packaging solution.