The innovative solution that focuses on sustainability without sacrificing functionality.

Sponsored by Huhtamaki

With bans on foam and single-use plastics becoming more prevalent across the U.S., quick-service restaurant operators face increasing pressure to adopt more sustainable packaging. Navigating these changes while ensuring packaging meets both functional needs and sustainability goals presents a critical choice for operators. 

“Policy dictates packaging choices,” says Michael Hodges, vice president of sustainability and communications at Huhtamaki. “New bills and legislation impact packaging options, and constant policy changes pose a great challenge for operators.” 

Many states and cities, such as Oregon and Los Angeles, have implemented bans on expanded polystyrene products, impacting foodservice establishments. The bans target non-recyclable foam items like takeout containers, cups, and bowls. Measures aim to curb environmental impact and pollution, pushing businesses towards adopting more sustainable alternatives amidst evolving regulations.

Huhtamaki, a global food packaging specialist, is committed to providing sustainable packaging solutions. Huhtamaki offers packaging options that are recyclable or compostable and produced with recycled content or made from renewable resources that meet both environmental concerns and functional needs. 

“We monitor sustainability regulations closely and advocate to ensure the importance of packaging is understood,” says Bradon Cross, sustainability specialist at Huhtamaki. “Collaboration with our customers is essential due to the evolving nature of these laws. We provide perspective and information to help our customers make informed decisions about their packaging choices.” 

Huhtamaki offers a range of sustainable packaging options tailored to the needs of quick-service restaurants. “One of our primary product lines is our folding cartons, extensively used for packaging food,” Cross says. “We aim to make all our cartons compostable or recyclable, ensuring a sustainable end-of-life solution and diverting food waste from landfills.”

Cost is one hurdle for restaurants transitioning to more sustainable packaging. “In many cases, sustainable materials are still in development stages,” Cross says. “We are exploring a wide range of these materials for our sustainable solutions with cost and affordability being at the forefront of the discussion. We know that customers want more sustainable products but can’t sacrifice cost and performance.”

Operators opting for compostable or recyclable packaging not only signal a dedication to sustainability but also invite customers to engage in the circular economy, fostering a sense of environmental responsibility. 

With a comprehensive understanding of regulatory requirements, Huhtamaki is poised to provide cutting-edge packaging solutions. “We have many goals, but our primary goal is to achieve 100 percent compostable, recyclable, or reusable packaging by 2030,” Cross says. “We track our progress every quarter and strive to align with the goals of our quick-service partners, ensuring collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable future.” 

To learn more about Huhtamaki’s packaging solutions, visit their website

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