As an increasing number of students eat on the go, innovative, portable packaging for snacks and meals is increasing in popularity. This has coincided with growing focus on eco-friendly practices in schools, as younger generations become more aware of and passionate about protecting the environment around them. Here we take a look at the growing trend for portable packaging, and why compostable alternatives could be a cost-effective and eco-friendly switch for schools.

A little waste becomes a big issue

Keeping schools clean and tidy is no mean feat – in fact, over £80million is spent each year on the task of caretaking and cleaning at educational establishments. Food to go packaging and waste generated by wrappers from snacks significantly contributes to this issue, and the wider problem of reliance on landfill over sustainable alternatives such as recycling and composting. Recycling bins alone often aren’t enough, as facilitating a shift to sustainable practice depends on there being non-plastic, recyclable packaging on offer within the school itself.

What are the benefits of compostable packaging alternatives?

The primary benefit of compostable packaging is clear – a safer, more ethical alternative which doesn’t contribute to the harmful rise of non-biodegradable litter and single-use plastics such as straws, cups and polystyrene containers. Instead of adding to landfill, certified compostable packaging can be fully composted and turned back into soil in less than 12 weeks via ‘In-Vessel’ composting. They can then be actively employed to help fertilise crops on a small or large scale.

Schools play a very important role in raising awareness and teaching younger generations about the importance of sustainability. Intense press coverage and media focus on recycling and the dangers of single-use plastics for the environment here in the UK and further afield has served as a catalyst for many businesses and organisations who are now adopting a kinder and more conscious approach, starting with compostable or recycled packaging. “In the UK there is an even stronger awareness of the impact our actions are having on the environment,” says Sam Walker, Business Development Manager at Biopac. “Schools educate on the importance of sustainability and the various sustainable practices that can be adopted. Leading by example is a great way of doing this and therefore any disposable packaging used by the school should be sustainable.”

A more diverse food offering for healthier, happier students

Food served in schools is diversifying greatly compared with the familiar old ‘school dinners’ of the past – and it seems younger generations have a taste for ‘grab and go’ street food, providing inspiration for delicious, wholesome choices from around the world. Street food generally needs portable packaging – and this is where schools can make a difference both environmentally and financially.

At Biopac, we recognise the need for packaging that works beautifully, looks great and most importantly has minimal impact on the environment.

Compostable products work exceptionally well in closed environments, and schools are generally a closed loop. All food purchased at school is likely to be eaten within the school grounds – therefore the schools have more control over the disposal of the packaging used. If using compostable packaging, standard collection bins can be placed around the schools for all food waste and compostable packaging so they can be disposed of together – reducing costs and also providing a streamlined waste collection service.

To learn more about Biopac’s diverse range of eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging products get in touch today or view our range here.