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When storing ice pops for retail customers, I need to package them in a freezer-safe ,clear wrapping. I would like for it to be compostable, but apparently the compostable cellophane options are not freezer safe, and ruin the flavor of the contents inside. I have looked into polypropylene which is recyclable but not biodegradable. I've also looked into wax paper, butcher paper, and all of them either seem to absorb too much moisture or cannot protect from freezer burn. Can anyone shed some light on something that may be more sustainable?

Thanks in advance.

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  • Welcome to Sustainable Living! From what I've seen plastic suitable for freezing is always made from traditional non-compostable plastic. I'm not sure if compostable plastics exists for these purposes. Perhaps something that can be washed and reused is an option? Small glass jars for example?
    – THelper
    Aug 23, 2018 at 8:13
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    For an ice pop, do you care about freezer burn? They aren't going to be in your freezer long enough, and I think the FB effect would only concentrate the flavour on the surface. Also: Are you selling frozen ones ready to eat, or liquid ones that people take home to freeze and eat later? Sep 3, 2018 at 17:16
  • Glass. Infinitely recycleable, non-toxic
    – LazyReader
    Jul 19, 2021 at 7:17

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It's always tough coming up with alternatives to plastic. Modern merchandising and consumer expectations demand it. So sad!

When I was growing up, popsicles came in waxed paper, inside a waxed cardboard box. Yes, they got freezer burn if they were stored too long!

So I think the job for modern sustainable packaging users is consumer education. You need to manage their expectations, while telling them why they are such good people for using your sustainably-packaged product!

We managed to do a plastic-free farmers market operation, and we did a lot of value-added products, in addition to fresh farm goods. A "big think" for us was how to distribute dried goods (peppers, tomatoes, etc.) in sustainable packaging, in a way that was appealing to consumers.

The other vendors were all using ziplock bags for such things. Good! This is called "product differentiation!" We just had to explain "why."

First off, we made signs for our tent that touted our sustainable packaging. Then, we displayed our dried goods in large, four-litre glass jars, and sold them by weight, typically 40 grams. Your average consumer doesn't know anything about weight, so we chose that weight so we could easily compare it to something: "about the size of a lunch-box bag of potato chips," we'd tell them, and if they looked sympathetic, we'd snarkily add, "but without a piece of plastic going to the landfill."

Then, we weighed them out into brown paper bags, exhorting the consumer to take them home and put them in a glass jar with a rubber-sealed lid, as soon as they could, to preserve their crispiness and flavour.

I'm guessing that you have a "boutique" or "artisanal" product, as we did. Your customers are already paying extra for what they perceive as a premium product, so they are already receptive to messages like, "Best consumed in a week" or similar.

We also did fruit preserves, packed in reusable glass canning jars. They had less than a third of the sugar in commercial "jam," which meant they didn't last as long without going mouldy — sugar is a preservative! So we carefully mentioned that they should be consumed it "three weeks or so," because (minus snark, of course!) sugar was put into jam by evil industrialists so that it would last forever, so they could make more money, because sugar is cheaper than the extra blackberries they got from us!

If you have a receptive clientele, you'd be surprised at the minor inconveniences they'll endure to have what they perceive as a superior product. Yea, nothing works as well as plastic! Your job is to manage perceptions and expectations, so that your customers not only understand that, but see it as a benefit.

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