Zume has introduced a new plant-based packaging system, as part of its efforts to eliminate plastic in fresh foods and food delivery.


Image: Zume has launced plant-based packaging system for fresh foods and food delivery. Photo: courtesy of Zume.

The new system, Zume Source Packaging, is claimed to be the first-of-its-kind packaging technology that uses plant-based materials to create a cost-competitive alternative to plastic.

Zume Source Packaging is said to repurpose agricultural waste from sources such as bagasse (sugarcane fibre), bamboo, wheat, straw and other organic fibres.

The firm’s compostable packaging will break down into organic material and can be used again to regenerate soil or other organic matter.

Zume is working with major global food brands to reduce plastic and styrofoam in fresh foods and food delivery.

Initially, the company has set a target to replace one billion plastic and styrofoam food containers by 2020, helping to reduce the number of single-use plastics from entering waterways and landfills.

The firm uses a set of formulas and forming and finishing processes to create mouldable fibre, which is aimed to maintain the freshness and quality of perishable food compared to paper-based packaging.

In 2016, the firm first introduced Zume Pizza Pod, which is a 100% compostable pizza box made of sugarcane.

Ellen Macarthur Foundation estimates that plastic production is expected to double in 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050.

Zume’s CEO and chairman Alex Garden said: “A more sustainable food future must start with packaging. That’s why we’re teaming with some of the world’s leading food brands to reach our goal of eliminating plastic and styrofoam in fresh foods and food delivery.

“Food delivery is upending the food system as we know it, and we believe that the powerful consumer demand signals it generates can be a force creating a more sustainable world.

“Food packaging is a huge part of this equation because it provides critical consumption data, and also provides information from the farm where its materials are sourced to the final disposal.”

The company has also acquired Pivot Packaging, which offers sustainable packaging solutions to its customers.

In addition, Zume has announced the opening of a 70,000ft² manufacturing facility in Southern California, one of many planned manufacturing facilities by the company in the US.