We recently covered the announcement by the Canadian government’s initiative towards banning single-use plastics by the end of 2021, but what happens next?
If your business is currently using single-use plastics, it’s time to make the switch to other alternatives. We highly recommend corn starch packaging!
Over the past few years, corn starch has been dominating the packaging industry because of it’s plastic-like properties!
Don’t believe us? Read on to find out how you can replace your plastic packaging with corn starch!
What is Corn Starch Packaging?
You’ve probably already seen or used corn starch packaging in your daily lives! It can be transparent or opaque and is a direct substitute for polystyrene (Styrofoam).
Ideally, it’s for items with limited use such as takeaway food packaging. Examples include: flatware, cutlery, bowls, straws, cups (hot and cold), water bottles, trays, lids, bags, plates, food storage containers (“clamshell” containers used by take-out restaurants).
Its material is developed using polylactic acid (PLA), made by fermenting sugars of the plant. In turn, when disposed of correctly, the material will break down into carbon dioxide and water within several months.
There are a number of PLA grades that are available for commercial customers which can be used for a number of different applications. This includes:
- 2002D – Thermoforming
- 3051D – Injection molding
- 4032D – Film
- 4042D – Thermoforming and Film
- 4060D – Film
- 6201D – Staple Fiber
- 7000D – Bottles
Characteristics and Properties
There are many benefits to using corn starch PLA over conventional plastics.
Most importantly, it’s a renewable material because the main raw material in use is corn, which is cheap and readily available.
Likewise, because the corn starch is 100% biodegradable, it can be reintegrated as an agricultural fertilizer. In turn, it’s less likely to pollute the environment,
In comparison to traditional plastics, corn starch packaging doesn’t contain harmful toxins such as polyvinyl chloride or dioxin and releases less greenhouse gas emissions during production.
Consequently, it is much safer to produce because it doesn’t require the use of petroleum products and is very cost competitive as well.
In addition to its benefits, it’s very versatile thanks to the following properties:
- Food safe
- Resistant to food fat/oils
- Low flammability
- Good for print applications
- High aroma barrier
- UV resistant
- Recycled by regrinding
As a matter of fact, did you know that corn starch packaging can be edible? Although, that’s not its recommended use, if children or pets accidentally ingest corn starch packing peanuts for example, it’s completely safe.
Why Should You Switch to Corn Starch Packaging?
Corn starch packaging can be very beneficial to the environment and your business.
Firstly, by switching to corn starch PLA, you can improve your brand by positioning yourself as a socially responsible and eco-friendly company. As a result, you can expect an increase in overall marketability because you’ll effectively be able to attract environmentally conscious customers.
Likewise, you can achieve a greater relevance in your industry because you’re successfully able to keep up with the latest packaging trends related to sustainability.
Most importantly, given the fact that the Canadian government is actively trying to implement a nationwide ban on single-use plastics, there isn’t much leeway for businesses to continue using conventional plastics as restrictions will continue to increase.
However, by switching early on, you can gain a competitive edge as your product and service offerings will stand out from your competitors who are still using conventional plastics!
How to Stand Out from Your Competitors
By now, it’s clear why corn starch packaging is popular and why more businesses have started using this material.
It’s expected that as more details will be released in regards to the plastic-ban, the number of businesses who’ll make the switch to biodegradable packaging materials will continue to rise. So how can you expect to stand out from your competitors?
Although it may seem that everyone will be using the same plain packaging, you can still differentiate yourself by customizing it! With the use of eco-friendly vegetable inks you can easily customise your packaging to set yourself apart!
Interested in finding out more? Stay tuned for our blog post on eco-friendly printing ink.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our previous blog post where we further discuss popular alternative packaging materials!