Raising the bar: LivBar throws compostable packaging challenge into the fray

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

LivBar has challenged snack bar producers to transition to compostable packaging. Pic: LivBar
LivBar has challenged snack bar producers to transition to compostable packaging. Pic: LivBar

Related tags LivBar Clif bar Kind snacks compostable packaging Environment Organic single-use plastics

The battle of the snack bar brands continues as 100% organic snack bar brand LivBar throws down a gauntlet of its own, challenging all bar manufacturers to move to 100% compostable wrappers.

Wade Brooks, LivBar’s CEO, acceded ‘Open Source Organic’ is a great start, referring to Clif Bar’s challenge to Kind Snacks to transition organic ingredients.

However, he added, “if we want to be authentic stewards of the environment, ‘Open Source Composting’ cannot be overlooked.”

He admitted that swapping out conventional wrappers for compostable ones is not easy.

“Compostable wrappers are more costly than traditional plastic wrappers, which is challenging as a smaller business.

“However, we do not want to see our wrappers littering our favorite hikes, clogging up our local rivers or swirling in the ocean, so we decided the investment is more than worth it.”

Single-use plastic

According to UN Environment, food wrappers are the fourth most common single-use plastic found in the environment.

In 2018 alone, two billion snack and energy bar wrappers were sent to landfills, with a very large percentage finding its way into our oceans.

During her address at Waste Management’s 2019 Sustainability Forum, Valerie Craig, deputy to the chief scientist and VP of Impact Initiatives for the National Geographic Society, further stressed that one of the biggest challenges associated with food wrappers today is their lightweight characteristics.

“It allows the problematic plastics like films and bags to be carried in the water and by the wind to where it doesn’t belong,”​ she explained.

The biggest offenders, in her opinion, are snack and energy bar wrappers, typically made with a variety of materials layered together.

“Once you layer a bunch of different materials together, what are you going to do with it? It’s nearly impossible to do anything with than landfill,” ​she said.

However, she did note that, while it is not applicable for everything, compostable plastics are a viable option for single-use items.

Solvable problem

“It is undeniable that [plastic] has changed our lives for the better. But, it has also created a pollution problem at an almost unimaginable scale. It’s a problem that’s visible; we know it’s harmful, it’s global, but it’s also solvable,” ​said Craig.

According to LivBar, the company is thrilled to be part of the solution, using only 100% compostable wrappers made from cellulose, a naturally occurring organic material, for its products.

Their wrappers are certified to both ASTM D6400 and EN13432 by Vinçotte, Din Certco and the BPI.

Like Clif’s offer to assist Kind transition to organic,​ Wade noted the LivBar team is ready to share its expertise.

“We will share everything we’ve learned about using compostable wrappers with any manufacturer concerned about the environment,”​ he said.

“Everyone wins when we work together toward a better planet and more corporate social responsibility.”

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