Ice cream cones were way ahead of their time

  • A new solution to food packaging waste may be good enough to eat. Dr David Edwards of Harvard University is working on a project known as WikiCells, which aims to develop edible packaging for drinks, yoghurt and cheese.
  • Whilst ideas for edible packaging have been around for some time, Dr Edward’s fresh perspective goes someway to making the idea more attractive. A key concern surrounding edible packaging is hygiene. Edwards cleverly compares the packaging to natural products, arguing that consumers can simply wash the packaging, as they would an apple.
  • Additionally, by making the packaging represent the contents (e.g. a fruity membrane for yoghurts or, an orange membrane for orange juice), customers may be more connected to the product.
  • The idea is being sold as a luxury lunchtime experiment in Paris at present, but if issues surrounding storage, variable conditions, and large-scale production are overcome, the technology, coupled with clever marketing, could persuade consumers to ditch traditional packaging and make the move to edible wrappers.

By jumping on current consumer trends for natural, organic, sustainable, and luxury products, government and industry may be able to overcome common hygiene fears associated with the technology and influence behaviour change.

For more information, visit:

About Julia Chatterton

Systems modeller with a particular expertise in food, farming and agricultural systems. Working with life cycle assessment methods for over 4 years to assess and analyse the environmental burdens associated with food and other production systems.
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