If you were starting up an organic food company (or any CPG company for that matter) and you had the option to package your product in compostable packaging, you would do it, right? Even though this sustainable product exists on the market today, very few companies are taking advantage of this resource.
Bearded Brothers has been in business for over five years now and has been wrapping their bars in compostable wrappers for the past three, and the first two years in business we featured a resealable wrapper that we encouraged people to reuse. So, sensitivity to the environment has always been a concern of ours.
Compostable, planted based materials are really not that new to the market. Whole Foods, for example, features compostable salad containers, plates, and utensils in their prepared foods section. Brands like Boulder Canyon have been packaging their chips in compostable bags for the past six years.
The industry as a whole has been slow to adopt this. Perhaps it comes down to cost. For a large multi million dollar companies a $0.01 increase in their packaging costs would dramatically decrease profits. Other issues have been the way the packaging runs on manufacturing equipment. Bearded Brothers has seen from personal experience that there are challenges, but it’s not impossible.
The beautiful thing about being a small company like us is that we can execute on things we are passionate about, such as compostable packaging. Sure we are profit minded, we have to run a company and support our families, but at the same time we don’t have a large group of investors or stockholders to please. These types of decision come easy for us.
There has also been some question in the industry over the term “compostable.” Bearded Brothers packaging is certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI); but what does that really mean? Basically it means the package will break down in commercial, and home compost piles. I have even personally seen one break down in my home flower bed (although it took several months).
It is my hope, that the Consumer Packaged Goods industry as a whole will move toward compostable packaging, and that companies would stop using cost and machinery as an excuse to not do what is best for the environment. If a small company like Bearded Brothers can figure out how to utilize existing technology to wrap their bars, surely large multi million dollar companies can figure out how to reduce costs and retool their machines to run compostable packaging.
With more and more municipalities providing composting programs, and residents building home compost piles, we can reduce the waste we put into landfills by packaging the products we use daily in compostable materials.
By: Caleb Simpson — CEO/Co-Founder of Bearded Brothers