Overview — When BAR-U-EAT formed in 2019, it was created with the idea of setting the standard for sustainability within a very unsustainable food and beverage industry. More specifically, it recognized the sweeping popularity of snack bars and the unrecyclable, multi-layered plastics which the vast majority of brands use.
Every year over 8 million tonnes of plastics find their way into the ocean, the equivalent of dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. With over two billion snack and energy bar wrappers being sent to our landfills every year, this means that a large percentage of that number is from our snack and energy bar consumption.
Moreover, we recognize that the factories typically used to produce snack bars and their subsequent machinery require a lot of energy and the logistics for shipping and the materials used in those processes are often far from sustainable.
As avid outdoors people and environmentalists, we at BAR-U-EAT are absolutely committed to seeking out the most sustainable packaging options that are currently available and investing in sustainable business practices to prove to industry leaders that sustainability and profitability are not two diametrically opposed concepts.
Current Sustainable Practices:
- Individual bar wrappers: 90% plant-based. Made with virgin paper and wood cellulose from FSC certified and sustainably managed forests along with a bioplastic made from sugarcane. All individual materials are certified compostable including the adhesive and ink. This structure is substantiated ASTM D6868 Industrial Compostable. The ink is both home and industrial compostable, Certified to the EU standard, EN 13432. Packaging is non-recyclable.
- Bites Packaging: 51% plant based. Made with wood cellulose from FSC certified and sustainably managed forests, as well as a bioplastic partially made from corn. All individual materials are certified compostable including the adhesive and ink. The films and adhesive are Industrial Certified to the US standard, ASTM D6400. The ink is both home and industrial Certified to the EU standard, EN 13432. Packaging is non-recyclable.
- Shipping + Display Boxes: Made from 100% recycled cardboard or paper.
- Tape: Contains a natural latex glue adhesive and natural kraft paper. 100% recyclable and compostable.
- Philanthropy: Donate 1% of all revenue to environmental non-profits.
- Advocacy: We've linked up with Prana to join them and a host of other brands to advocate for more sustainable packaging. LEARN MORE.
Goals — BAR-U-EAT’s goals are based on currently available technology and will continue to re-evaluate our packaging and practices as new technology becomes available.
- Eliminate the use of all plastic in shipping materials by 2020
- Use 100% industrial certified compostable packaging by 2021
- Use 90% plant-based wrappers from FSC certified forests in all products by 2023
- Power our manufacturing facility by at least 75% renewable energy by 2024
- Use contained black water and greywater treatment paired with snow and rain collection systems to reduce waste and water consumption by at least 75% by 2025
- Use home certified compostable, biodegradable, or omnidegradable plant-based packaging by 2026
- Power our manufacturing facility by 100% renewable energy and be completely off-the-grid by 2028
Discussion — Currently there are few options for food and beverage packaging which allow for a stable shelf life and the ability to break down. While we believe that our plant-based compostable packaging is currently the most sustainable solution throughout a wrapper’s lifecycle, we recognize that in the post-use stage, there is a low probability of our packaging being composted properly, leading to waste from our product still sticking around in landfills. However, because our packaging is made from renewable resources that are sustainably managed, we believe that our packaging is the current best option against their non-renewable, non-plant-based and petroleum-based counterparts.
As we grow as a company and packaging technology continues to advance, we will be looking to invest in plant-based biodegradable and omnidegradable packaging that will break down in any environment. This will be the most pivotal shift in the sustainability of our packaging because most consumers do not have the will, access, or ability to compost. With the greatest threat to environmental sustainability being convenience, making our packaging ‘fool proof’ to dispose of properly, will allow us to achieve our goal of having the most sustainable packaging through the entirety of its lifecycle.
We also plan on exploring reusable and packageless options for retailers and immediate consumption. We believe that this could reduce our need for packaging by 5%, saving millions of wrappers from having to even be created in the first place.
We also have the ambitious goal of creating the first “off-the-grid” bar manufacturing facility which is powered by renewable energy and uses snow/rain water collection as well as blackwater and greywater treatment to be the most sustainable manufacturing facility in the world.