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Special Project

Special Project
From the 1st Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Alter Eco

Entered in Food & Beverage


As a company deeply rooted in the food industry, Alter Eco has seen the continual evolution of food packaging, and plastic pouches are one of the newest, convenient and most sought after formats on grocery store shelves. Recently, plastic pouch use has become incredibly widespread, showing up in virtually every aisle of the grocery store from cereal, to crackers and snacks, candy, baby food and supplements. But few of these pouches are recyclable and none are made with non-GMO compostable materials, and it's creating a silent environmental issue that we refuse to accept. Most consumers do not realize plastic packaging makes up one-sixth of the waste in U.S. landfills and outnumber sea life in our ocean 6:1.

As a leader in full-circle sustainability, Alter Eco's objective is to spark the change we want to see in the world and our revolutionary Gone4Good™ compostable quinoa pouch* is a first step to shine a light on this issue and show consumers there is a better way. We don't have to accept a packaging format that negatively impacts the planet. Our goal is to provoke a conversation among manufacturers and consumers alike to address how the food industry can better produce packaging that delivers all the convenience consumers demand, but is better for our planet and truly sustainable. Alter Eco's sustainable packaging solution was made to help reduce the 17 billion plastic pouches in 2013 that ended up in landfill across the U.S. and the projected 24 billion by 2018.

Strategy and Execution

Strategy: Plastic does not decompose and therefore emits climate changing methane gas, and by offering consumers a more sustainable packaging solution strategically placed on retail shelves - along with increased viability and availability online - we've shown them that there's still a convenient, affordable option. Our supporting marketing tactics further educates consumers to make better purchasing decisions, which the food industry can't ignore.

Implementation: When we decided to move forward with our compostable Gone4Good™ quinoa pouches*, one of our biggest challenges was finding the right converter and supplier partners who were aligned with our vision, and who were willing to take risks. We needed to make sure we ended up with a package that printed and looked as good as our current pouch, performed as well in distribution and on shelf, and of course protected the product. We had a goal of making sure all inputs had compostable certifications, as well as the materials themselves being non-GMO and from sustainably managed forests. Years of research, design and testing went into this solution, sponsored and supported by a group of companies dedicated to environmental responsibility, OSC2 – One Step Closer to Organic Sustainable Community. With the support of OSC2, we were able to reach our gold standard goal.

Key Features: Alter Eco Gone4GoodTM compostable quinoa pouch* is made from birch and eucalyptus wood pulp, non-GMO corn and printed with non-toxic ink, and is the first-ever laminated plant-based compostable pouch* available nationwide. Each Gone4Good™ pouch is created with two layers held together with a compostable adhesive, with each layer and individual components being certified compostable and have passed tests for composability. Our Gone4GoodTM pouch has passed all required ASTM D6400 disintegration and eco-toxicity tests for commercial composting and is not suitable for home composting at this time.


Since the launch of our Gone4Good™ compostable pouches*, our consumers have shared their passion for supporting a shift in this reality toward a more sustainable future. Our role as a sustainably focused company is to inspire consumers to educate themselves, while demanding the change they want to see in the world. If a small, passion-driven company like Alter Eco can do it, we believe anyone can. If we fail to change our harmful ways on this earth, we put generations to come at risk, and it's our job as food companies to not only change the way in which we produce food and packaging, but to educate consumers to make better purchasing habits. And our consumers are thrilled! They see this as a necessary change, and for the consumer not as environmentally inclined we feel we have introduced a platform and the start of a very important conversation.

Although the release of Gone4Good™ is a step in the right direction, we still feel the food industry as a whole has a long way to go. As a company we are working towards developing a long-lasting, sustainable packaging solution to globally transform the food industry and are currently working towards the goal to house a line of 100 percent compostable packaging. We're seeking a solution that gets manufacturers and consumers talking about trash to find the best possible resolution for a better earth – whether it's compostable or recyclable packaging – and we've been successful in sparking the conversation.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

RKPR, Alter Eco


Entry Credits