Posted on

Choosing Packaging Responsibly

deli wrap and stickersWe’d like to start this year getting people thinking about how to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they’re using. According to Cape Town Green Map there is very little demand within the recycling industry in South Africa to recover plastics from post-consumer sources, which means they currently end up at a landfill site.

At GreenHome we would prefer goods to come with as little disposable packaging as possible, but we realise that’s not always practical so we are offering a guide for food vendors and people who are thinking about what packaging to choose their packaging in the most eco conscious way.

We suggest you tackle the problem in this order.

1. How can I avoid and reduce food packaging as much as possible?

Less is more. Loads of packaging is traditionally used a marketing tool to look professional but these days, its not so cool. Reduce packaging to the bare minimum of what is necessary. Can you use bottles of tomato sauce instead of sachets? Does each knife fork and spoon need to be individually wrapped? Does it really need to come in a plastic bag or wrapped up in clingfilm?

2. What reusable packaging options have I got?

Can you serve your food in a reusable container and encourage people to return it for a deposit or charge a premium for disposable packaging?

3. What can I use that is biodegradable and compostable and how do I ensure it ends up in a compost facility?

GreenHome has a wide range of products from takeaway boxes and clamshells to eco friendly greaseproof paper. If you aren’t sure what to use, call us. We would love to help you choose the right thing and brand it if you need to. We really encourage people to not only use our products but also to make sure they end up in a compost heap. We have a whole part of our site dedicated to composting solutions to help you choose one that suits you.

4. If it can’t be compostable, what recyclable options do I have available to me?

Here is a list of what can and can’t be recycled. The general rule is to favour tin, paper and glass over plastic and if it has to be plastic choose PET, HDPE and LDPE or the number 1 inside the recycling triangle.