In this age of renewed environmental awareness, few things are as frustrating as receiving a package and being left with a pile of foam packaging. According to KTM Industries, their biodegradable foam that literally dissolves down the drain has been gaining traction.

This week, Perdue Farms launched a new e-commerce website allowing shoppers to buy chicken and other meats directly from the company. But tucked into the announcement was news about how these frozen orders will be shipped to consumers: “All packaging from online orders is 100 percent recyclable,” Perdue wrote. “The foam insulation is made from water-soluble cornstarch, which can be composted or even disintegrated under running water and safely rinsed down a kitchen sink.”

Green Cell Foam is a corn-based foam packaging replacement that is being billed as offering “the most flexibility and convenience in disposal options of ANY packaging material—going far beyond just recycling.”

KTM Industries, which produces the “USDA Certified Biobased Product and 100 Percent Compostable” foam, says you can compost it, dissolve large pieces in a bucket of water, or even “put small pieces in the sink and watch it ‘melt’ safely down the drain” in under 60 seconds. “Green Cell Foam is safe for drains, septic tanks and waste treatment centers,” the company further explains.

Perdue isn’t the only big name that’s jumped on the Green Cell Foam bandwagon: In the past year, Jenny Craig, Crowd Cow, and Canada’s NIKU Farms have all added the packaging—which purportedly also “requires 70 percent less energy and produces 80 percent less greenhouse gases than petroleum-based foams.” So the likely explanation as to why this biodegradable foam is gaining visibility now is that more companies are looking for sustainable options and they want to show off those credentials once they have them.

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Author: Mike Pomranz, Food & Wine
Photo: Green Cell Foam