In 2018, the healthy meal-kit service Sun Basket swapped out their recycled plastic box-liner material for Sealed Air TempGuard, a liner made of recycled paper sandwiched between two sheets of kraft paper. Fully curbside recyclable, even when wet, it allowed Sun Basket to reduce its box size by about 25 percent and reduce the carbon footprint of shipping, not to mention reduce the amount of plastic in their shipment. Customers were pleased. “Kudos to your packaging folks for coming up with this concept,” one couple wrote in.
It was an admirable move toward sustainability, but the truth remains: The meal-kit industry is one of many e-commerce sectors that still rely on (a frankly astonishing amount of) plastic packaging — way more pieces than you would ever bring home from the grocery store.