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Sustainable Fish Packaging: Exploring Eco-Friendly Options

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

A school of fish

Consumers and manufacturers demand more sustainable and eco-friendly products in today’s more ecologically conscious world. From the products themselves to the packages they come in, it is becoming increasingly important to society that we take a more earth-friendly approach to consumerism.

One of the products that most urgently needs more sustainable packaging is seafood.

When people think of sustainable seafood, their minds tend to go directly to the fishing process itself. And while that’s important, the packaging it gets sold in is just as relevant. To reach peak sustainable fishery practices, companies need to identify and utilize sustainable fish packaging options.

Find out about the state of the current fish packaging business, its sustainable alternatives, and how Cruz Foam’s products are the answer to both.

What Are The Most Common Packaging Solutions Used By The Seafood Industry Today?

Before we look into the future of sustainable fish packaging, let’s look at the past and present. The five most popular materials for packaging seafood products include the following:

1.Cold Chain boxes

These containers are used by seafood companies to ship to fish retailers, restaurants, and directly to consumers. Many sustainable seafood companies specialize in home frozen seafood delivery. Today, most of these containers are manufactured from expanded polystyrene.

2. Skin packs

Skin packs are hard plastic panels that get fish filets placed on them and then vacuum-sealed with transparent plastic skin.

3. Flexible pouches

These stand-up plastic pouches usually come with sealable tops for containing frozen prawns, lobster claws, shrimp, scallops, and more.

4. Polypropylene strapping material

Also known as PP, this strong strapping material is used to secure large pallets of food containers, oftentimes seafood.

5. Cans

Metal cans are a common packaging solution for sardines, tuna, mussels, clams, salmon, and more.

The vast majority of fish packaging options used today are made from plastic and tin metal. Neither of these are sustainable materials, and most of them end up adding to the mountainous landfills we’re growing here on Earth.

Using eco-friendly options is essential if you work for, or run a company that stocks seafood or any short-shelf-life food products.

The fishing industry already receives a lot of negative attention for its destructive impact on the planet. But by investing in sustainable and innovative fish packaging alternatives, your business can gain a clear competitive edge over industry peers while contributing to a greener world.

What eco-friendly alternatives are available for fish packaging?

Many modern fish product companies want to reduce their carbon footprint but aren’t sure where to start. Well, the packaging is not a bad place. Aside from sustainable fishery practices, eco-friendly packaging is one of the best ways to “greenify” your fish business.

Some of the best materials for sustainable fish packaging include the following:

1. Compostable foam-combined products

This is what Cruz Foam’s Cruz Cool(™) cold chain boxes are made of. 100% compostable foam and recyclable corrugate. The product as a whole is curbside recyclable (check with your local waste handler). Standalone Cruz Foam is backyard compostable.

2. Wax-coated cardboard boxes

Natural wax-coated cardboard also makes a good alternative to plastic seafood packaging.

3. Reinforced cardboard boxes

Cardboard, in general, is really the center point around which sustainable fish packaging converges. Reinforced cardboard, sometimes filled with dry ice, is another reliable, eco-friendly alternative to plastic fish packaging.

One of the biggest concerns that fish suppliers and manufacturers have is safety. One of the main reasons why plastic has been used so widely and consistently across the board is that it is hygienic and odorless.

Consumers want to know that their seafood products are 100% clean and safe to eat, and plastic just happens to be a material that they associate with familiarity and trust.

But sustainable fish packaging is just as safe, food-grade, and effective as plastic packaging, with the huge added bonus that it doesn’t play a role in the degradation of the environment. By educating consumers on the benefits of sustainable alternatives, they can develop a healthier relationship with eco-friendly options.

How can companies integrate sustainable fish packaging into their supply chains and operations?

Switching from unsustainable fish packaging like plastic or tin to sustainable options like Cruz Foam is largely a matter of changing your supplier.

But in terms of integration, there are some other processes that may need to be put into place, such as:

1. Brand adjustments

In order to facilitate a seamless brand transition to completely compostable packaging, you may benefit from making some minor adjustments to your logo, physical brand design, and maybe even overall messaging.

2. Consumer Education

Consumers will benefit from some insights and information about the reasoning behind your new packaging choice. It will help them trust the new packaging more and motivate them to follow in your green footsteps.

3. Employee body education

It’s not just your consumers who can benefit from information about this new packaging product. Make sure that your employees are fully informed about the why, how, where, and what of your sustainable packaging choices.

Other than that, integrating sustainable fish packaging into your seafood business is a mere matter of budgeting, ordering, and implementation.

Cruz Foam’s approach to sustainable fish packaging

Cruz Foam is a third-party tested packaging company that provides a range of completely sustainable, curbside recyclable packaging alternatives. The range includes cushioned, insulated cooler boxes, flexible wrap packs, and block-and-brace solutions that can be customized.

What makes Cruz Foam’s approach to sustainable fish packaging different is the fact that the entire cooler is curbside recyclable, and the insulation is made from natural, compostable foam.

While other sustainable fish packaging alternatives might claim to be recyclable, a fraction of the expanded polystyrene packaging ever ends up successfully recycled, and some even escape the waste stream to pollute the very oceans that sustainable fisheries rely on for their livelihoods.

This makes Cruz Foam’s products much more accessible, flexible, and eco-friendly than the other sustainable packaging options in its field. The customization options also make it work for big and small manufacturers needing specifically-sized packaging.

Joining other companies to switch to sustainable options like Cruz Foam can also benefit from cost-effective benefits. When considering modern consumer demands, brand competitiveness, and environmental tax, opting for sustainable packaging can be much more affordable in the long run.

The Takeaway

Finding ways to reduce your business’s carbon footprint is essential to surviving in the modern world. This is especially true for fishery businesses, which already draw a lot of speculation around sustainability.

By switching to innovative seafood packaging materials like Cruz Foam, your seafood business can appeal to a much wider audience while helping promote a more sustainable planet. Don't miss out on the opportunity to revolutionize your business and make a positive impact on the planet. Take the first step toward sustainable success—contact Cruz Foam today.

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