Eco-friendly paper and its application for food and beverage packaging

Eco-friendly paper and its application for food and beverage packaging

In the food and beverage industries, eco-friendly paper is replacing plastic as a preferred packaging material. Read the following article before switching your business to eco-friendly paper packaging.

What is eco-friendly paper?

Eco-friendly paper also known as sustainable paper is a type of paper that has a lower environmental impact than traditional paper. Using recycled fibers, getting from sustainable forestry, or using less energy in the manufacturing process are some criteria for evaluating a type of paper as environmentally conscious.

Are disposable paper plates recyclable?

Differences between eco-friendly and traditional paper:


Traditional paper

Eco-friendly paper

Raw materials

Wood pulp

Recycled materials or sustainably harvested wood

Energy required to produce



Environmental impact



 The following are the most common types of eco-friendly paper:
  • Recycled paper: paper generated from post-consumer waste, such as wasted paper, cardboard, or magazines. These types of recyclable paper are quite common and widely used in daily life. 
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper: This is a type of paper made from wood that has been certified by the FSC. FSC is a global organization dedicated to sustainable forest management and use. 
  • Alternative fibers: This paper is made from alternative fibers such as bamboo, cotton, mulberry, etc.


    Why is eco-friendly paper important?

    Eco-friendly paper is important regarding environmental protection for a variety of reasons, including:

    • Lower greenhouse gas emissions: Eco-friendly paper has a lower carbon footprint than traditional paper. To be more specific, traditional paper requires the act of cutting down trees and processing wood. However, eco-friendly paper is made from recycled paper or wood that has been sustainably managed. 
    • Saves water and energy: In the paper manufacturing process, recycled paper and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper use less water and energy. 
    • Reduces pollution: Eco-friendly consumes less energy and releases less pollution into the environment. Furthermore, the ability of paper to decompose in a short period does not harm the environment. Can be used in soil fertilizer.
    • Reduce waste: Using eco-friendly paper instead of plastic products, such as paper boxes and paper bags instead of plastic boxes and plastic bags, helps to reduce plastic waste in the environment. 
    • Encourage sustainable forestry practices: FSC-certified paper ensures the origin of the paper and that paper manufacturing is done sustainably. This promotes sustainable forest development and management.

    Application of sustainable paper

    sustainable paper has numerous applications in everyday life. Here are a few examples of popular applications:

    • Food & beverage packaging: Eco-friendly paper is utilized for producing a variety of products such as paper bags, food containers, cereal boxes, coffee cups, coffee lids, straws, and so on. 
    • Personal care and beauty product packaging: Eco-friendly paper is utilized for packaging items such as essential oils, soap wrappers, cosmetic boxes, and so on.
    • Household product packaging: Cleaning goods, laundry, or toilet paper,... are typical applications of eco-friendly paper in homes. 
    • Shipping packaging: eco-friendly paper can be used for making paper boxes, envelopes, and various other products. 
    • Printing and writing paper: eco-friendly paper can be used as writing paper, office paper, notebooks, books, etc. 
    • Other applications: some well-known items that can be created from eco-friendly paper including wrapping paper, tissue paper, or paper filters.

    Eco-friendly paper in food and beverage packaging

    Application of eco-friendly paper in packaging products in food and beverage

    Paper-based food packaging has grown in popularity in recent years as consumers have become more aware of the waste of plastic food packaging.

    Eco-friendly paper is widely utilized in the food and beverage industries for a variety of packaging applications. The specific table is shown below:

    Eco-friendly paper type

              Food and beverage packaging products

    Recycled paper

    Food bags, food containers, shipping boxes, cereal boxes, granola bar wrappers, disposable tableware, coffee cups, coffee lids, straws

    FSC-certified paper

    Ice cream cartons, yogurt cups, cereal boxes, granola bar wrappers, shipping boxes, pizza boxes, beverage cartons

    Alternatives fibers

    Food containers, shipping boxes,…

    Benefits of using eco-friendly paper for food and beverage packaging

    For customers:

    • Healthier food options: Eco-friendly paper reduces concerns about toxins being released when hot plastic items are exposed. In addition, paper packaging goods keep food fresher and more delicious than plastic packaging. 
    • Reduced environmental impact: Customers today are becoming more conscious of the importance of buying ecologically friendly items. Customers can lower their carbon impact by using eco-friendly paper.

    For business:

    • Improve brand image: Businesses that utilize eco-friendly packaging can present a more sustainable and environmentally friendly image to their customers. This can help to attract new clients while boosting trust among current customers.
    • Cost savings: While eco-friendly packaging is sometimes more expensive than traditional packaging in the short term, it can save businesses money in the long run by reducing waste disposal costs. Customers are more inclined to recycle or compost eco-friendly packaging, decreasing the quantity of garbage that ends up in landfills.
    • Compliance with regulations: Many governments are introducing measures to restrict the use of single-use plastics. Businesses that use eco-friendly paper packaging may stay ahead of the curve and avoid having to make costly modifications in the future. The prohibition on single-use plastic in Canada went into force in 2022.
    eco-friendly paper packaging

      How to choose eco paper for food and beverage packaging

      Here are some elements to consider while purchasing eco-friendly paper for your business.

      • Eco-friendly paper types: Choose the best type for the type of food that your business offers. Paper coffee cups, for example, will have different properties than paper cups designed for food. Check with the provider in detail to determine the best type of paper you need. 
      • Price: Buying in bulk can help you get the greatest price for your business.
      • Product shelf life: Don't forget to research the product's storage conditions and shelf life.
      • The business's branding and marketing objectives: Paper packaging products have been popular with many customer groups, such as Generation Z or vegetarians. Determine specific customer groups to select acceptable packaging products. Furthermore, paper products can be customized or tailored with logos to assist businesses in conveying messages on special occasions or in daily operations. 
      • Look for certification: Some certifications, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation and the Compostable Packaging Alliance (CPA) certification, could help you identify eco-friendly paper. 
      • Test the paper: If you are unsure about the quality or performance of a particular paper, test it with your food or beverage product before using it in production.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Is parchment paper eco-friendly?

      Yes, because it is biodegradable, parchment paper is environmentally friendly. This means that the parchment paper is going to break down over time. To make it more eco-friendly, use recycled paper or reuse it whenever possible.

      Are paper towels compostable?

      Yes, even if they are wet or stained with food, vegetable oil, or grease, towels made of paper can be composted. But keep in mind that paper towels containing bleach, dyes, or other chemicals should be avoided. It was also necessary to cut and shred paper towels into pieces before composting.

      Is shredded paper recyclable?

      Shredded paper is, in fact, recyclable. However, do not shred paper into too little pieces, and avoid shredding coated or laminated paper.

      Is wrapping paper recyclable?

      It depends on some factors, including what kind of paper, the existence of any non-paper decorations, and the policies of your local recycling center. Plain wrapping paper is 100% recycled. Wrapping paper covered with non-paper materials is not recyclable.

      How to do paper disposal?

      Paper can be disposed of in several ways, including shredding, burning, composting, and recycling. It is determined by the type of paper and the best approach for your organization.

      In brief, because of its numerous amazing benefits, eco-friendly paper is one of the most popular and widely used materials. Switching to eco-friendly paper is a future tendency, especially among food and beverage businesses.

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