Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meet the compostable candy wrapper

Posted By on Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 2:09 PM

dark_sun_cups.jpg

Last week, while shopping at Vitamin Cottage, I picked up a new-to-me product (actually launched last October, I later learned) from Boulder-based Seth Ellis Chocolatier. It's pictured here to the right: a sunflower butter and dark chocolate, nut- and gluten-free Sun Cup.

It turned out to be super-delicious, and also comprised of Rainforest Alliance-certified Ecuadorian organic chocolate that's fairly traded. But the most interesting again-new-to-me aspect of the product is its wrapping, which looks just like typical plastic wrap on every other snack or candy bar in the world. But it's not.

I spoke to company founder Rick Levine briefly, who explained that the packaging is actually a home-compostable film (many other compostable products require a municipal composter that uses high heat and chops items), made from sustainably farmed eucalyptus cellulose. Levine gets the unique film from a U.K.-based company called Innovia, and wraps and distributes his product from Boulder.

Levine says the film will break down in your home compost in about 35 days, and he believes Seth Ellis is the only food candy company in the world currently using this film. He felt strongly about putting plastic around his specialty chocolates, which inspired him to search for a creative alternative.

Look for new mint- and caramel-flavored Sun Cups soon, he says.

Now that this film is on the market, let's hope other candys-makers follow Seth Ellis' lead and switch to this eco-friendly wrapper. (Sun Chips is doing something similar, too, in the bagged-snack arena.)

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