Eco-friendly replacement for the plastic meal tray designed for the Indian meal
India uses over 800,000 disposable plastic meal trays per day. 99% of these trays end up in landfills.These trays are made up of a mixture of polymers, the main component being Polypropylene (PP), which makes it non-recyclable.
Bizongo has over 550 restaurants as clients across India which use plastic disposable meal trays on a regular basis.
With the shift of the market preference towards biodegradable material over PP and PET, especially due to the plastic ban being gradually enforced in the various states of India, an eco-friendly replacement for the plastic meal tray was the need of the hour.
Taking into account, the specific design needs for the curry-based Indian cuisine as well the consumer experience, the cornstarch, spill-proof, 5 compartment meal tray was created.
The clientele in consideration, are the urban market, the food delivery take-away joints, caterers and restaurants which primarily target the fitness-aware population residing in the metro cities of India. We were not only looking at an ecologically conscious packaging design but also a befitting functional product that would enable the storage, transport and support of Indian cuisine.
There were two aspects associated with the design of this disposable Meal Tray:
The material and the process: The main consideration was to make sure that the product was bio-degradable as well as cost-effective so as to enable easy manufacturing and efficient large-scale production. A composition of 71% cornstarch and 29% PP was used for the same . The mixture made the product completely eco-friendly. The trays were manufactured using the process of thermoforming.
The Form and Communication: The product needed to possess a certain degree of familiarity while still holding its own ground. There were grooves placed along the edge as well as between compartments so that the various elements of an Indian meal (often gravy-based) would not mix or spill. The natural colour of cornstarch was kept intact. The form was made softer and more rounded. A single line of text, informing the consumer of their decision to use a eco-friendly product, was added. This text was debossed. The rounded lip extensions enabled the user to remove the lid with ease.
Through this packaging design, we aimed to bring together innovation, an understanding of the Indian psyche as well as a large-scale solution to the persisting issue of plastic waste management.