Craste uses crop residue to create tree-free packaging

As someone who manages ecommerce stores and is also a frequent consumer of products from various online stores, I see a lot of waste when it comes to packaging. There are a lot of single-use plastics lying around our office and my house that I often feel guilty about contributing to all that waste. While we still try to re-use what we can, I do hope that there will be better packaging solutions that can be adapted by the general public.

Designer: Craste

Craste is a company based in India that is the country’s first 100% tree-free packaging solution. Since the country produces 500 million tonnes of crop residue every year which contributes to 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere, they thought of using crop waste to create eco-friendly packaging. They collected crop residue from the farmers and then convert it to tree-free pulp through a circular fiber technology (whose patent is still pending). This process uses less water consumption and Zero Level Discharge from the unit.

The pulp is then turned to high-quality paper that can be used for different kinds of packaging like boxes, paper bags, envelopes, etc. The packaging created is also food-grade so it’s safe for food products. It is also strong but flexible that it can retain the form and shape of the packaging it is turned into. They also aim to create “highly durable, environmentally friendly, cost-effective, wood-equivalent crop residue derived straw panel board with a formaldehyde-free adhesive”.

One issue with alternative packaging of course is the cost. Things like single-use plastic, bubble wrap, and the likes are pretty cheap and the more eco-friendly options are more expensive. Hopefully if companies like Craste can create more sustainable packaging for brands, we’ll be able to have better packaging consumption in the next few years.

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