Beeswax: the smart new solution for zero-waste packaging
The main purpose of food is for eating, right? But what if there were more things we could do with food products? For example, turning them into product packaging – an idea that has become a growing trend among innovators in the food industry. Packaging can now be made from fish bones, coffee grounds – and even 100% pure beeswax. It’s like the perfect circle of food recycling– food products that are packed in zero waste packaging made from… organic food products! So how does it work?
Straight from the beehive
Innovators in the food industry are looking at new and different ways to food items, inspired by trends in sustainability and waste management. That’s how a honey pot, designed by Lithuanian designer Aurimas Kadzevičius, came to life. This honey pot is organic, renewable, edible, biodegradable, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial – and, most importantly, recyclable.
The inspiration behind Bee Loop lies in the many stories Aurimas heard from his father. Most of these were, indeed, about beekeeping. As a concept, the honey pot embodies the idea of the organic cycle of nature: bees build honeycomb out of wax, which is where they store their honey. The honey is later harvested by the beekeeper, who stores it in a natural honey pot made from beeswax – which can then be reused to make future honeycombs. According to Aurimas Kadzevičius, wax feels like a very fitting container for honey – as if it’s back in its natural home. This zero-waste honey pot embodies the cycle between people and bees, and has won various design accolades, including the Adobe Sustainable Design of the Year Award.
Food-derived packaging solutions – a growing trend
The idea of making packaging out of food products stems from the philosophy of zero waste.
Following the principles of sustainability, the honey pot is made from 100% natural wax, with no extra ingredients included. The pot is also label-free; the brand logo is embossed on the pot itself using a hot stamp. The only additional material used in Bee Loop is organic linen, which serves as a string to open the honey pot. This is how Bee Loop combines the philosophy of nature and beekeeping traditions, with smart design and zero waste principles. The honey pot comes in three different shades – yellow, green and red –the colours of Lithuania’s national flag, a reference to the designer’s Lithuanian roots. The organic honey pot is not the only zero-waste solution Aurimas Kadzevičius has created. He has previously created an edible label for beer – a sustainable solution that serves as both a label and a snack.
But packaging and labels are not the only innovative solutions making creative use of food products. Ekofrisa, a producer of buckwheat based in Lithuania, has developed a range of organic household products – pillows or mattresses stuffed with buckwheat hulls left over when the grain is processed. Not only is this solution organic, but also perfect for a hot summer’s day, because buckwheat hulls have a great cooling effect – the material doesn’t accumulate the warmth of a human body. It’s a smart solution that not only manages manufacturing waste, but also creates additional value and comfort for consumers.
Photos by Kernius Pauliukonis and Marius Linauskas
The new industrial revolution often called Industry 4.0 sets a new standard for countries, and it seems like Lithuania is prepared quite well. What about Germany? Even though it’s one of the industrial leaders of the world, there are some things where Germany is still lacking. Let’s have a look at things that Germany could learn from Lithuania while making Industry 4.0 a standard of today instead of a standard of the future.
Many consumers choose organic products not just because they are healthier, but also because they are grown without chemical fertilisers. AUGA group, a Lithuanian business that is the largest vertically-integrated organic food company in Europe, believes that businesses can do more for the environment than simply producing eco-friendly products – they need to operate sustainably. To ensure its place in the current market and fulfil the needs of today’s customers, AUGA group is going the extra mile to make sustainability relevant to the food industry.