Eco-friendly packaging innovation has the potential to help brands and retailers save money, tread lightly on the planet and start positive conversations with consumers. In fact, 52% of respondents in The Grocer’s packaging survey expect manufacturers to prioritise the reduction of packaging, so the time is now.

Here are three green packaging developments leading the way:

Eggs and eco-soldiers

On October 3, Waitrose launched new egg boxes made from half ryegrass and half recycled paper for its Waitrose Duchy Organic eggs. Green in colour as well as in spirit, the boxes have made it to shelf two years after Waitrose joined forces with Bangor and Aberystwyth universities, along with other industrial partners, to investigate the potential for ryegrass packaging for its fruit & veg. Sixy per cent less water is used during the production of the cartons, with CO2 release down 10%, and the new boxes are fully recyclable.

“We’re delighted with the smooth transition from 100% pulp to our 50% ryegrass packs,” says a Waitrose spokesman. ”We have a review planned for February 2016, and we will then be able to make an informed decision on introducing this packaging to other products within our own-label assortment. Further green packaging innovations are also planned.”

Notta Lotta Bottle

Coca-Cola’s bioplastics packaging initiative PlantBottle launched in 2009 as what the company says was the first-ever fully recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle made partially from plants. Those currently in use incorporate 30% of renewable plant materials (made up of sugarcane and waste from the sugarcane manufacturing process) and in the UK PlantBottle is used to package Coca-Cola’s Glaceau Smartwater.

The company estimates that, since launch, the technology has helped save the equivalent annual emissions of more than 315,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The full switch to the existing PlantBottle format is planned for 2020, and in June Coca-Cola unveiled a 100% plant-based PET prototype at World Expo Milan.

Do the Lite Thing

Up to 80% lighter than glass, with savings on logistical cost and carbon footprint, ThermaLite PET jars were first used by Marks & Spencer in autumn 2013 on pickle lines produced by G’s Fresh. Manufacturer Plastipak, formerly APPE, continues to win awards (including a Starpack sustainability gong) for the 100% recyclable clear jars, which are suitable for pasteurisation and hot filling. M&S’s new enchilada kits include sauce in a ThermaLite jar, says Plastipak, while other customers include French prepared food company Raynal & Roquelaure, which has launched pasta sauces in three sizes of ThermaLite, and Spanish foodservice company Helios. Closer to home, Global Green will launch ThermaLite-packed pickled onions and gherkins in November under its Naturefield brand.

“We have a number of advanced shelf-life trials and discussions ongoing across Europe with retailers and food producers,” says Plastipak Europe’s marketing manager Kinza Sutton.