Supefood Waste: Sunfood and Navitas

When I’m in the grocery store, I have to show restraint as I pass by the Sunfood display: acai powder, cacao butter, matcha, Golden Milk Super Blend — I’m a real sucker. I mean I haven’t even heard of half the stuff, but I still want it. Acai Maqui Bowl mix anyone? Lucuma powder?

Dean’s Natural Market in Chester, NJ has the best Sunfood selection ever.

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Sunfoods Instagram showcases the smoothies of my dreams. The colors, the flavor combinations, the addition of so many picture-perfect toppings.

But with all this hype, it is time to ask the question. Sunfood, what is your packaging made of?

Hi!

I was wondering if I could have some information about the packaging of your products.What is your standard package made from (the packaging used on most of your superfood items).

Is this packaging recyclable?

Thanks!

I received a thoughtful response:

Hello Chelsea,

Thanks for your message. The products that come in glass or PETE plastic containers, such as our Coconut Oil or lotions, will be recyclable. Our bags will not carry a recycling designation due to how they are manufactured with multiple layers of various materials, including polypropylene, PVDC, foil, and other polymers that make them unrecyclable. All of our packaging is FDA approved for food safety and for ensuring that our products stay optimally fresh for the duration of their shelf life, especially since we do not use preservatives in any of our products.

Please be assured that we are always investigating more eco-friendly bags and packaging as part of our company mission. They do exist, but the major problem with them is that they fail to provide excellent barrier protection, which means that they do not keep oxygen and moisture away from the products very well. This severely impacts the quality and freshness of the products and reduces their longevity and nutritive qualities.

I hope this is helpful. Please let us know if we can answer any further questions you may have.

So there ya have it. It doesn’t seem likely that Sunfood Superfoods will have recyclable packaging anytime soon. The barriers seem to come from maintaining freshness, not from a lack of desire.

I also took a look at Navitas, a brand that supplies similar products in brighter packaging.

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Navitas actually has information about their packaging on their FAQ page.

Q.What is your packaging made of?
Our bags are made of 100% BPA free, non-GMO and food-safe layered plastic film. The current “resin identification code” is a #7 and reflects the type of material used and can help recycle centers sort by type. While this material is recyclable, many municipalities do not yet have the technology to handle multi-layered film packaging. Your local municipality can provide more information on their capabilities.”

I’m pretty sure this is code for “you can’t realistically recycle this packaging.”  I will let you know if my recycling program ever starts accepting #7 plastics.

Buying Sunfood or Navitas products would have been an impulse buy for me in the past. Now that I buy mostly in bulk, I am saving a lot of money by avoiding unnecessary packaged impulses. I’ll write more on this later.

Of course, there are plenty of so-called “superfoods” that you can buy without multi-film packaging: dates, chia seeds, quinoa, apricots, walnuts, sweet potatoes, green tea, fruits, vegetables, and so much more 🙂