Does ‘Going Green’ Mean Buying Brown?

In recent years we have seen an enormous global push for the foodservice industry to collectively improve upon its sustainability efforts. With this, consumers’ perception of packaging has shifted and customers have developed strong ideologies around what is acceptable or ‘green’. Resoundingly, consumers are rejecting plastic/ foam and demanding kraft, begging the question- is brown the new green?

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In the absence of outward government or brand education around packaging materials & sustainability, many have filled in the gaps themselves and deemed brown or ‘earth-toned’ packaging as environmentally friendly. This broad perception has influenced purchasing decisions particularly in the takeaway sector- think brown paper bags, brown wooden cutlery, fluted board, brown napkins and brown clamshells, trays & containers.

In a recent study, more than half of consumers (57%) say they are willing to change their purchasing behavior “to help reduce negative environmental impact”. 

So, we know customers prefer it- but is it really more sustainable? While in some instances brown packaging can actually contain environmentally harmful dyes, fluted board, wooden packaging, and bagasse are almost always recyclable or even compostable- making it an obviously superior alternative to plastic & foam. In short, yes, brown usually is more sustainable!

Here are our top pics this month for cafe’s & restaurants:

Did anything in this blog surprise you? What do consider ‘green’ packaging? As always, we’d love to hear from you! 

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