German green living company creates compostable snack packaging prototype

Anyone with experience picking up garbage knows that wrappings for snacks are extremely wasteful and tough to dispose of. However, thanks to the efforts of German company Baden Aniline and Soda Factory (BASF), the world might be one step closer to creating a packaging that can be successfully composted.

BASF's prototype utilizes a biopolymer-based design that allows the packaging to degrade naturally, as opposed to traditional designs that can take years to break down. Designers eschewed commonly used plastics in favor of ones that would wear down more easily.

The company, according to its website, plans on marketing the product through a partnership with the Seattle Mariners. It received its grand unveiling on September 5, when the first 10,000 attendees of the Mariners-Boston Red Sox game that day were given a complimentary bag of peanuts.

BASF officials, including marketing manager Kimberly Schiltz, predicted that this development will spawn more innovation in the snack industry as more customers expect products that can be disposed of without endangering the environment.

"It means that popular snack foods can be brought to market in compostable packaging that delivers needed shelf-life at a competitive price point, with a more sustainable 'end-of-life' solution than with conventional packaging materials," she said.

Scott Jenkins, the Mariners' vice president of operations, added in the release that the new design would help the team achieve its goals of becoming a zero-waste franchise, an initiative which includes reducing the amount of garbage produced during games and practices.

"If all of the snacks sold at Safeco came in compostable packaging, it would represent a significant savings of time and money for the team and get us a whole lot closer to achieving zero waste," Jenkins said.

The BASF product could hold the key to a more sustainable consumer culture in the United States, promising a solution in the quest for widespread low impact living.

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