This Amazing Innovation in Sustainable Packaging Might Mean the End of Single-Use Wraps

Sustainability moves forward thanks to consistent, ongoing innovation. We always need to be thinking about ways to eliminate waste from our processes—and a recent article on the site Interesting Engineering talks about a fascinating new development in that effort.

A team of scientists has come up with a biodegradable and antimicrobial food packaging solution that they say could eliminate plastic food packaging altogether. The most surprising part—this product comes in the form of a spray.

This eco-friendly package is actually a plant-based coating that is applied directly to food items. It protects the food from microbial contamination, and it even provides protection during transport. Scientists at Harvard and Rutgers University are working together to develop this amazing technology.

The material is a biopolymer that the researchers developed using pullulan, a naturally occurring carbohydrate (polysaccharide) obtained from the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans and water (as solvent). Both these ingredients were processed through a focused rotary jet spinning system (FRJS) that turned the mix into antimicrobial pullulan fibers (APFs). The APF coating is a biodegradable and non-toxic biopolymer that does not impact the quality of the food, and, according to the researchers, it can be easily washed off from a food item using water and takes only three days to completely decompose in the soil.

The team that developed the spray is thrilled with the results. One of them, Philip Demokritou, Associate Professor at Harvard School of Public Health, is quoted in the article. “What we have come up with is a scalable technology, which enables us to turn biopolymers, which can be derived as part of a circular economy from food waste, into smart fibers that can wrap food directly. This is part of the new generation, ‘smart’ and ‘green’ food packaging.”

Read all about this incredible development on Interesting Engineering here.

Packaging is one of the most exciting areas in all of sustainability, and we at AMGRAPH are proud to be a part of it. It might be a while before an innovation like this packaging spray will be widely available, but you’d be amazed at what we can do today. If it’s important to you to incorporate green packaging solutions into your brand, give us a call! We’ll help you make that a reality.