AFC Materials Group’s No Waste technology platform allows it to adapt paper to be suitable for different products, while maintaining recyclability, depending on the needs of each individual customer, said William Chandler, AFC’s business development manager.

“The paper we supply to a carrot packer will be different than what we supply to a company packing dry pasta.”

AFC paper is the only coated-paper solution that’s certified curbside-recyclable in three continents: North America, Europe, and Australia, Chandler said.

It’s also won an SPC award for food waste prevention due to AFC’s demonstrated ability to extend the shelf life of potatoes and carrots beyond the current plastic solutions by up to two weeks.

The major hurdles AFC’s customers face when trying to balance the need for packaging with the need to be sustainable, Chandler said, are ease of implementation and cost.

“Our goal as a supplier is to make any transition to sustainable materials as seamless for our customers as possible.”

The theme of convenience also translates to end users as well, he added. Companies should prioritize solutions that are curbside-recyclable over something like store drop-off to reduce the consumer burden and maximize the material recovered.

In North America, consumer demand is driving the surge in sustainable packaging options, Chandler said.

While the demand has been slower to grow than in Europe, where laws have dictated the rapid pace of change, AFC believes that the change in North America is indicative of a market trend that has true staying power.