Apifilm, an alternative to plastic food packaging

This beeswax impregnated food packaging is ecological, reusable and compostable. The product, 100% French, will be awarded at the international catering trade fair, Sirha, which begins this Saturday in Lyon.

The war on plastic is raging and alternatives are flourishing. After banning plastic cutlery and containers by January 1, 2020, other products could be threatened, such as.

The solution could come from Isère, in Saint-Just de Claix, near Grenoble. It is in this town of just over 1000 inhabitants that lives Delphine Sève, a long-time environmentalist. This beekeeper manages the “Atelier Miel de Delphine” shop. Passionate about bees – she has owned 40 beehives for three years – since September 2017, she has been producing ecological and sustainable food packaging made from honey.

100% natural

This alternative product to plastic film consists of a woven fabric of natural cotton to which beeswax collected by the beekeeper is integrated. To this naturally antibacterial wax, Delphine Sève adds Landes pine resin and coconut oil, the latter having antifungal properties.

Apifilm has several advantages, first from a practical point of view. It adapts to containers and can be molded as desired. You can wrap an onion, an open apple or your sandwich before a picnic, and it can withstand the cold of the freezer without any problem. It is suitable for all foods, except raw meat and fish.

Then, from an ethical point of view: this packaging has the particularity of being reusable and having a shelf life of one year, at the end of which it can end its life in compost. It is hand washed in cold water. And in addition to being 100% natural, most of the raw materials come from France. The factory which produces the packaging is based in Villers-Cotterêts, in the Aisne.

An idea from North America

Apifilm will be awarded this Saturday January 26 the special “green” mention of the 2019 Innovation Awards from the catering and hotel trade fair, which expects nearly 200,000 visitors in Lyon until January 30. This is the first time that this term has been used for a product.

“The organizers of Sirha have decided to highlight ecological initiatives,” says Delphine Sève, “they even plan to open a 100% green show next year, for the first time.” According to her, the ecological awareness of recent years has allowed the development of an organic food market, and especially its democratization. “Organic stores are extremely successful and they are opening en masse, which is very encouraging.”

The idea is not new, however. Delphine Sève, who is an agricultural engineer specializing in the environment, was inspired by the “bee’s wrap” trend that emerged ten years ago among environmentalists in North America. As the development of the packaging was relatively straightforward, the trend was to create your own packaging using natural materials.

“I knew this trend,” she explains, “so I thought I was going to do the same with the wax I collected. I did some packaging for myself, then for my girlfriends. As the demand grew, I had the idea of ​​marketing the packaging ”. For Delphine Sève, the most important is in the recipe: “there are a lot of tutorials on the internet that explain how to make homemade packaging, but it’s more complex than it seems, you have to know how to dose the wax”. Delphine has the idea of ​​adding pine resin to prevent the wax from breaking or coming off.

Growing development

The small business is still in its infancy. “The production is still in its infancy, admits the beekeeper, for the simple reason that the cutting of packaging is artisanal and there are only two of us doing it”. Currently, Delphine Sève sells around a thousand lots of Apifilm per month, knowing that a lot consists of three packages of three different sizes. The saleswoman estimates that two lots correspond to the needs of a family.

Currently, Apifilm is distributed in around sixty bulk sales depots. “But I intend to extend production, hopes Delphine Sève, to organic stores”.

Above all, the beekeeper seeks to reduce production costs. Currently, Apifilm packaging sells for between 14 and 17 euros, “which is double compared to the average consumption of food packaging in a household”, admits Delphine Sève. The solution would come from replacing beeswax with vegetable, carnauba or soy wax. For now, the time has come for research. But above all, for Delphine Sève, “the main stake is to make the product known, and that people realize that, yes, there are alternatives to plastic”.

SERVICE:


Le Figaro

Society, health, environment, education, energy


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