The Story of Solanyl – an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Packaging Solution for Candy

Candy bars are integral to any celebrations especially the ones filled with fun, thrill, and excitement like the Halloween parties.  Personalized candy bar wrappers rank top among the novelties of a party that create a special moment for the occasion. Candy bars created with a personal touch adds a special dimension not only to the occasion but also lifts the mood of guests who feel privileged to get some special treatment. The personalization of wrappers stretches much beyond winning the hearts of guests as it effectively captures the sentiments of the occasion and creates many memorable moments. Most importantly, candy bars are as good to eat as they look good too.

A threat to the environment

The humble-looking candy wrappers are not so humble in the way it affects the environment and pollutes it. The threat increases many more times when users might dutifully discard it in recycle bins little knowing that the chances of recycling are very bleak and the materials that are not so eco-friendly finally goes for landfill. The unwillingness of people to recycle wrappers is due to the nature of the material that is very difficult to recycle. Therefore, the threat to the environment from poorly disposed wrappers is always very high.

Not good for recycling

The materials used for wrappers are a combination of plastic, paper, and foil which are hard to separate. Unlike glass bottles and readily recyclable aluminum cans, the small wrappers are tough guys that are not amenable to recycling. The cost and effort involved in separating the elements of wrappers make it commercially unviable. There is another problem too because even if the plastic is recovered, the quality of plastic does not have enough demand in the market.  Moreover, the volume of wrappers generated as scrap is another problem because compared to market expectations, is just too low. Simply put, the economics of recycling wrappers do not make it a case fit for recycling which is the opinion of some experts.

Bio-based packaging

Since it is difficult to find proper recycling solutions for candy wrappers, candy manufacturers are working on alternative packaging materials by trying out some eco-friendly biopolymer material.  A company in Holland, Rodenburg Biopolymers, a leading name in the industry is partnering with many candy makers including some leading players to develop a bio-friendly packaging for candy.  The results of the project are quite encouraging as it culminated in the discovery of Solanyl, a food grade and starch-based polymer filled compound. The new material is not only food grade and biodegradable but also compostable and consists of a third of the materials derived by using energy oils.

The new eco-friendly packaging has received a rousing welcome in the market since it made its first appearance in Europe in 2016 and it is likely to spread to the US soon.  This is good news for all as the sooner the new packaging material becomes the norm in candy wrapping, better it is for all of us as well as the planet.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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