Leading the Sustainable Revolution: Sonoco's Eco Friendly Food Packaging

As the world grapples with the alarming consequences of climate change and environmental degradation, businesses - especially those in the packaging industry - have a crucial role to play. Sonoco, a key player in this sector, is fully committed to this responsibility and is dedicated to pioneering sustainable food packaging alternatives.

Practically, we can already see a growing trend to maximise recycled content in packaging, or at least use sustainably-sourced renewable plant based materials like cardboard and paper, or recyclable plastic packaging. At Sonoco, we strive to continuously increase the usage of environmentally-friendly packaging materials to protect our planet and consumers around the world.

Sonoco's Unwavering Commitment to Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Impact of eco friendly food packaging on enviroment

EnviroCan™: Made Made with 100% Recycled Fiber Paperboard

Sonoco's innovative and sustainable practices take shape in our commitment to sustainable food packaging. Leveraging decades of experience and steadfast dedication to the environment, we have developed flexible food packaging options that strike a balance between environmental responsibility and business performance.

Our flagship product, EnviroCan™, is the epitome of our commitment. Composed of 100% recycled fiber, of which 90% is post-consumer material, EnviroCan™ is designed to address the ongoing challenge of balancing responsible materials sourcing with product and food safety. This recyclable container can help food manufacturers achieve their environmental goals, providing a smart packaging solution that assists brands in achieving their sustainability objectives.

onoco Asia Sungai Buloh Plant FSC® Certification

Sonoco Asia: A Testament to Sonoco's Commitment to Sustainability

Sonoco Asia, a subsidiary of Sonoco (NYSE: SON), received the esteemed Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certification, marking a critical step in our ongoing sustainability journey. This certification represents our commitment to sustainable forestation practices and reducing environmental impact. We pride ourselves on guiding our operations by the principle that "People Build Businesses by Doing the Right Thing", and this extends to our endeavor to lower the environmental impact of our packaging solutions and help our clients reduce their waste.

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is a response to the alarming rise of pollution and environmental toxins often caused by non-degradable plastic packaging. It encompasses environmentally-friendly packaging, compostable food packaging, and recyclable food packaging. Designed using recycled or sustainable materials, it ensures safety for both the environment and consumers globally.

Generally, sustainable food packaging is made from recycled materials that are safe and sustainable for the users and the environment and produces little to no environmental waste. Additionally, environmentally-friendly packaging is designed to optimise materials and energy, while meeting market criteria for performance and cost.

The Impact of Sustainable Food Packaging

Sustainable food packing

At Sonoco, we are fully committed to ensuring that all our products contribute to a more sustainable future. We offer a wide range of recyclable food packaging materials, including paperboard, cardboard, and biodegradable food packaging options. These carefully chosen biodegradable materials are specifically engineered to break down rapidly, effectively minimizing the amount of waste that finds its way into landfills.

Our primary goal is to provide sustainable, food packaging materials that not only prioritize the environment but are also economically viable. By opting for our packaging materials, you can be confident that you are making a positive difference in reducing the ecological impact.

In addition to our diverse range of recycled materials, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer creative solutions for packaging projects that require custom designs or special sizes. Our team of experts is dedicated to addressing your unique packaging needs while maintaining our steadfast commitment to sustainability.

Through our unwavering focus on eco-consciousness and innovative problem-solving, we aspire to revolutionize the industry's approach to sustainable food packaging, including reducing the use of plastic food packaging.

Sonoco's Eco-friendly EnviroCan™: A Journey Towards Sustainability

Sustainable food packing manufacturing


At Sonoco, we strive to create packaging solutions that are both sustainable and environmentally friendly. Our eco-friendly food containers are no exception! From sourcing materials to delivering the product to our customers, each step of our process is designed and monitored with sustainability in mind.

Sourcing Responsibly

Our eco-friendly food containers use responsibly sourced materials from renewable sources. We are constantly adapting our manufacturing processes to ensure they use the least amount of energy possible, reducing our carbon emissions and helping protect the environment. In addition, we are committed to reducing or eliminating hazardous materials in our packaging design and production process.

Manufacturing with Care

At Sonoco, we believe that efficiency isn’t just about minimizing costs, but also protecting the environment. Our eco-friendly food containers are produced using the most efficient and sustainable production methods available. From optimizing resources to reducing waste, we strive to produce high quality packaging solutions that meet our environmental goals.

Through each step of this journey, Sonoco remains dedicated to promoting sustainability and reducing environmental impact. By choosing our eco-friendly packaging, you can be confident in making a conscious choice for a greener future.

Types of Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable Packaging containers

Rigid Paperboard Container

At Sonoco, our rigid paperboard container is made from 100% recycled fibre and 85% post-consumer recycled content. Our paper-based packaging has high consumer appeal due to its sustainability and design. Suitable for recycling in the steel stream, this type of packaging can be tailored to product and supply chain needs across various markets.

Recycled and Reusable Packing Materials

Recycled cardboard is an industry-standard reusable packing material and made from earth-friendly organic materials. At Sonoco, we believe that using reusable packing material can instantly positively impact the environment, as millions of tons of cardboard boxes are thrown away as garbage every year.

Recycled Plastics

Plastic, while environmentally-degrading, has long been the number one option for items that require extra support. Fortunately, you can easily use recycled plastic from other plastic materials that have been discarded if that is the case. 

Organic Materials

One of the organic materials that are widely used is mushroom packaging. With mushroom packaging, agricultural waste is added to mushroom roots to make organic packing materials. As it’s made from organic waste, this is an excellent biodegradable packaging option that won’t impact global food supplies!

Organic Fabrics

Some businesses use plastic bags for packing the items, though this is very harmful to the environment. However, they can always opt for organic fabrics, which are an excellent sustainable packaging option to consider. These fabrics include recycled cotton, hemp, tapioca, palm leaves and more. 

Exceeding Standards: Sonoco's Compliance and Innovation

Sustainable food packing by SonocoSonoco exceeds industry standards for sustainable and environmentally friendly food packaging. We rigorously comply with regulations, select sustainable materials, conduct life cycle analyses, hold certifications, and foster innovation through collaboration. Our commitment to excellence ensures that our eco friendly food packaging not only meets requirements but also surpasses expectations, contributing to a greener future.

By choosing Sonoco, you can trust that our packaging goes beyond compliance and sets the benchmark for sustainable food packaging, positively impacting the environment.

Sonoco's Powerful Partnerships

Sonoco recognizes the power of partnerships and collaborations in driving sustainability in the realm of food packaging. By joining forces with industry leaders, we strive to enhance the sustainability of our packaging solutions, particularly in the areas of sustainable food packaging.

One noteworthy partnership is with Kellogg's and Sustana. In this collaboration, we are working together to prove the recyclability of paper-based materials used in food packaging. By combining our expertise, we aim to develop packaging solutions that are both sustainable and recyclable, reducing waste and promoting a circular economy.

These partnerships and collaborations exemplify Sonoco's commitment to driving innovation and sustainability in the food supply chain, food manufacturing, and the packaging industry. By joining forces with industry leaders and leveraging collective knowledge, we strive to continuously improve the sustainability of our food packaging solutions. Together, we aim to create a more sustainable future by developing packaging options that are both environmentally friendly and meet the highest standards of performance and functionality.

Benefits of Sustainable Food Packaging

Benefits of Sustainable Food Packaging

Reduce Carbon Footprint

If it's made from recycled products, the carbon footprint of your packaging will be significantly reduced, eventually leading to a healthier environment. Typically, packaging made from natural materials such as paper or cardboard, the growth of such products draws carbon out of the environment. If you're looking to make your business carbon neutral, sustainable paper packaging is the way to go.

Easily Disposable

The essential thing in doing your part to more sustainable planet earth is choosing easy to dispose of items. Sustainable Packaging made from degradable materials is the way to go as they can be quickly and appropriately recycled.

Zero Harmful Toxins

Non-sustainable petrochemical resources such as crude oil, which is used to make most plastic, are incredibly harmful to the environment in terms of extraction, refinement, distribution, use, and disposal. Sustainable Packaging has none of these issues over its lifespan. As it degrades, harmful chemicals such as the ones produced by plastic are not present.

Easily Reuse & Recycle

Part of what makes packaging eco-friendly is its ability to be reused or recycled. Encouraging the reuse of packaging means that its lifespan is extended, which reduces the need for new materials, further lowering its carbon footprint. If the packaging is of good enough quality, it should be reused for packaging, storage and even arts and crafts.

Examples of Sustainable Packaging

Corrugated Bubble Wrap

Suitable for cushioning delicate and fragile items, bubble wraps are a pliable transparent plastic material that is regularly spaced, protruding air-filled hemispheres (bubbles).

Cornstarch Packaging

As the name suggests, the primary resource used in the packaging is corn starch. It holds a consistency of plastic and produces polylactic acid (PLA) from corn starch in the process. This explains why corn starch-based plastics are also known as PLA plastics.


Polybags are used to ship, protect, hold and store just about everything from candy and food to clothing, books, nails, tools and automotive parts. Polybags are usually transparent or opaque and can also be printed with images or brand logos.

Sonoco: Making a Difference in Sustainable Food Packaging

At Sonoco, our packaging is made from recycled, sustainable materials that are ensured to provide users with convenient storage and functional packaging that is appealing and easy to carry. Additionally, our packaging is manufactured in various sizes using sustainable materials and is exceptionally safe for the environment.

Founded in 1975, Sonoco Asia has provided a solution tailored to the consumer brand’s identity and needs for markets and audiences in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia. We serve six market segments: snacks and confections, powdered beverages, toddler needs, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and constructions.  

Talk to us, or share your contact information to learn about our products and corporate responsibility initiatives in moving towards a safer and sustainable community.