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The Future of Green Food Packaging Market in Resisting Plastic Pollution

21 May, 2024 9:32am

In recent years, the food delivery industry in China has developed rapidly. It is understood that in 2018, the scale of the Internet catering market grew by 112.5% year on year. But nowadays, most takeout packaging is made of plastic, and the rapidly expanding takeout market has also brought considerable pressure to the environment. In order to reduce environmental pollution issues,

Biodegradable packaging is becoming a new trend in the food delivery packaging industry, and paper lunch boxes are one of them.

The food delivery industry in our country developed early, and the packaging of food delivery has undergone significant changes. Overall, China's food delivery packaging has gone through three stages: foam food boxes, PP plastic tableware, and biodegradable paper food boxes.
1. Foam lunch box. Takeout originated from food packaging, and the emergence of foam lunch boxes has changed the way food is packaged in plastic bags. After the development of food delivery, foam food boxes naturally became a popular choice among many food delivery merchants. The advantages of convenience and aesthetics gradually led to foam food boxes occupying the food delivery market. According to data from the China Plastics Processing Industry Association, as of the late 1990s, the production of foam lunch boxes had reached 5 billion units and had been exported in large quantities to countries such as the United States, Europe, and South Africa.
2. PP plastic tableware. With the advent of the food delivery era, the requirements for food delivery packaging have become increasingly high. PP plastic tableware has quickly become a new favorite in the food delivery packaging industry due to its high temperature resistance and durability. But whether it's foam lunch boxes or PP plastic tableware, they cannot escape the essence of "plastic".
3. Biodegradable paper lunch boxes. With the strengthening of people's environmental awareness, biodegradable paper lunch boxes have begun to enter the takeaway packaging market. From an environmental perspective, paper lunch boxes are prone to degradation and have low environmental pollution; From the perspective of safety ingredients, paper lunch boxes are non-toxic and harmless; From the perspective of packaging texture, paper meal boxes make takeout appear more high-end and of higher quality.
Although food delivery packaging is constantly developing and people's environmental awareness is also strengthening, the current market penetration rate of biodegradable paper meal boxes in the food delivery market is very low. Recently, media conducted a questionnaire survey on takeout packaging to 100 consumers of different age groups. The results showed that 66% of respondents received transparent disposable plastic lunch boxes during takeout; 21% of the respondents received foam lunch boxes; Other packaging accounts for 12%, while biodegradable paper meal box packaging only accounts for 1%.
It is not difficult to find that currently, most Chinese food delivery merchants still use non degradable plastic products as their main packaging. But with the increasing pursuit of environmental protection and food delivery quality by consumers, biodegradable paper meal boxes will become a new trend in food delivery packaging, with huge market development potential.
In addition to market demand, some measures taken by food delivery platforms are also driving the development of the biodegradable paper lunch box market. At the end of last year, Ele.me launched the "Anxin Plan" for takeaway packaging materials, collaborating with disposable food box production enterprises, catering enterprises, and the China Packaging Federation to review and screen disposable food boxes, and successively released three batches of takeaway packaging "Anxin List", including paper food box production enterprises. The "Safe List" project aims to solve the pollution problem of takeout packaging from various aspects such as reduction, reuse, and recycling, and improve the market utilization rate of paper lunch boxes.
Meituan and the China Environmental Protection Foundation established the "Qingshan Plan Special Fund" in 2017, with the aim of addressing environmental issues related to takeout packaging. The special fund has carried out a series of effective work around promoting public environmental awareness and reducing plastic in takeout packaging, which is also conducive to improving the utilization rate of biodegradable paper lunch boxes.
The food delivery industry is becoming the fastest growing sector in China's food industry, but its rapid development has also brought many problems, and the environmental friendliness of food delivery packaging has become a hot topic at present. Overall, the environmental protection level of China's food delivery market is relatively low, and there is huge development space for biodegradable paper food boxes and other food delivery packaging. I believe that with the efforts of multiple parties, the food delivery packaging industry will gradually shift towards environmental protection and greening, and the future of food delivery packaging will become increasingly optimistic.

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