Chomping on the packaging 

As sustainability has become such a major trend, this feature will assess how edible and biodegradable packaging needs to be adopted further by the bakery packaging sector. 

The bakery sector involves the widest range of packaging items available within the food industry markets. But because of the vast amount of non-renewable packaging entering the bakery sector, there have been calls for bakery giants to adopt new forms of renewable packaging. For that reason, this article is going to establish the various biodegradable packaging hitting the market and will also grasp the new edible packaging that is shaping the food industry. Through understanding these packaging developments, we can then understand how this will affect the bakery world.  

Sustainability and popular bakery packaging  

Packaging is single-handedly one of the most devastating materials plaguing our environment and climate. Plastic packaging in particular, though a great material for its longevity and protective abilities, is also destructive for those same reasons. The invention of plastics correlates all the way back to Henry Ford. Ford, along with scientists, developed plastics for the usage of automobiles with the desire to create robust and effective products. Ford was willing to explore the world of plastic packaging further, however once the World Wars occurred, the focus on a variation of plastic packages was swapped for the production of warfare machinery.  

Plastics have the most severe impact when it comes to land and ocean pollution as it is known to cause suffocation, entanglement and if ingested can lead to fertility issues and ecological food chain disasters. In fact, it was recently discovered that microplastics have been found in human blood for the first time. One of the researchers, Prof Dick Vethaak commented what this could potentially mean questioning, “Are the particles retained in the body? Are they transported to certain organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier? And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger disease? We urgently need to fund further research so we can find out”. The biggest anxiety is that these plastics can clog organs leading to a danger to human life. Therefore, it is imperative that new forms of biodegradable, recyclable and innovative forms of packaging are adopted by the food sector. One innovation that is occurring is the use of edible packaging – so how would this be defined and how is it made? 

Biodegradable and edible packaging  

To put it simply, biodegradable substances are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms and thereby avoid pollution. These substances usually include the substances found in day-to-day usage such as tree leaves etc. Biodegradable packaging is a well-established process that many individuals in the bakery sector and the general public have grasped. Examples in the bakery sector of biodegradable packaging include compostable sandwich bags, platter boxes and even greaseproof sheets. 


To read the full article see our latest issue here.

Media contact

Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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