At AGN roots, we strive to elevate the standard of Grass-Fed Whey Protein through our passion for environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and truly grassfed farming practices.
This passion extends beyond our high-quality whey protein to include details such as our product packaging. By using standup pouches, also known as “flexible packaging,” versus large plastic tubs, we reduce our environmental impact.
This article explores the benefits of our flexible packaging, including environmental and product quality.
What Is Flexible Packaging?
Flexible packaging is an eco-friendly packaging alternative to the large plastic tubs commonly found in the protein industry (also known as “rigid” packaging). Flexible packaging stems from easily pliable materials using any combination of paper, plastic film, or foil. When filled, the pouches can readily change shape.
Rigid packaging is just that, stiff and hard. More from dense materials such as hard plastics, rigid containers are typically molded or blown to a shape that, without permanent deformation, is not flexible when you think of rigid packaging, picture 3-5lb plastic tubs of whey protein lining the grocery shelves.
Like most plastics, rigid protein tubs originate from a petroleum derivative commonly known as High-Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE), a thermoplastic polymer. It is one of the more versatile plastic materials making it a common packaging choice in the industry. In addition to protein tubs, HDPE is everywhere within the food and healthcare industry, providing the transport protection everything from jugs to shampoo bottles.
Historically, the shift has been from glass to rigid plastic to reduce weight and shipping costs. Now, there is an increasing trend towards flexible packaging alternatives, particularly in the food and beverage industry, due to the environmental & sustainability benefits.
Environmental Benefits of Flexible Packaging
In terms of the “total life cycle” of flexible packaging, from initial production to the landfill, the environmental benefits greatly outweigh the typical rigid, hard plastic containers.
Reduced Packaging Waste
Flexible packaging requires much less material to produce, making it more environmentally friendly. The packaging industry refers to this as the product-to-packaging ratio.
Approximately half the amount of packaging is required for the same amount of product when comparing our pouches to plastic tubs. With our flexible packaging, AGN Roots is providing more grass-fed whey protein with less packaging material per unit than our plastic tub competitors, which equates to less resource consumption and less waste!
Lower Carbon Emissions
Our flexible pouches are lightweight and ship flat, which, in turn, require less transportation and storage space. Fewer pallets and fewer trucks result in reduced carbon emissions and fuel consumption during transportation.
For example, when referring to the supply chain phase where the raw packaging components are making their way to the co-packer, a single pallet of flexible packaging can hold approximately 25,000 units vs. ONLY 180 rigid plastic containers (5.9” x 5.9” x 11”). Even with a conservative estimation, a single truck-load of flexible-pouches is equivalent to more than 100 of the same truck-loads of rigid-plastic containers!
As the saying goes, it doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to conclude that flexible pouching reduces energy consumption and carbon emissions!
Less Landfill Space
When picturing the storage space required for a flexible pouch vs. a plastic tub as described above, fast forward to the last step in the packaging “life cycle”… the landfill.
Though many of us don’t often think about what happens to our waste once it leaves our trash cans, the harsh reality is that many empty protein containers ultimately rest in a landfill. Two 3-pound plastic tub containers require the same amount of space in a landfill as 180 flexible pouches.
Consumer Benefits of Flexible Packaging
AGN Roots Grass Fed Whey is packaged using a high-barrier, lightweight, flexible material that provides both convenience and increased product protection.
Flexible Packaging Retains Product Freshness
Flexible packaging is leading food packaging trends because of its protective properties. The metalized sheets offer both chemical and thermal shielding. The heat-sealed closure provides an airtight barrier shielding the whey protein from light, water, vapor, and air.
Being airtight ensures the freshness, moisture content, and microbiological integrity of our grass-fed whey throughout the life of the product. You will not find similar protective qualities in most hard, plastic tub containers.
Before having AGN Roots Grass-Fed Whey, how many protein enthusiasts dealt with the struggles of storing the bulky, large plastic tub containers on top of the refrigerator? Or on the floor in the pantry?
It is an increasing trend among food & beverage consumers to choose flexible packaged products because of the convenience (in addition to the many environmental benefits).
Our packaging is lightweight and portable. It is much easier to store at home because it can readily change shape to fit inside your cabinets or on your shelves!
By using flexible packaging for our grass-fed whey protein, AGN Roots continues to demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability beyond our high-quality whey protein sourcing practices.
To learn more about our commitment to sustainability, check out our article entitled - Certified Sustainable