The team at Campers Pantry is passionate about all things outdoors, and one thing we are constantly striving towards is how can we recycle our used food pouches.
Freeze-dried food is like a sponge. It wants to absorb oxygen and moisture if it gets the chance. Because of this, our packaging needs to have an oxygen barrier to stop this process. The nutrient-dense food is also sensitive to light, so the pouch needs to include a foil barrier to block out light. Because of these packaging attributes, recycle processes are possible at a cost.
We have been talking with Terracycle about recycling our used pouches, but we are still too young a company at this point. Using Terracycle is the only way of recycling a three-layer mylar pouch used for freeze-dried food.
Great Upcycling Ideas
What can you do with your bags after you've eaten?
Here are a few ideas from our staff and our customers who like to upcycle where possible.
Seedling pots: Fold the pack flat at the base and use a hole punch to add some drainage holes. Then plant with your favourite herbs and veggies!
Kitchen scraps: Home worm farms are a fantastic thing enjoyed by kids, adults and especially your garden. Put a pouch under the sink and put all your kitchen scraps in there. Don't worry! It won't stink!
Rubbish Bag: Most of us know about this and do this on the trail. Because the pouch has an oxygen barrier, they are fantastic for packing out your rubbish.
Tinder Pack: Cooking food over the fire when camping is one of the best experiences, and we've been doing it for thousands of years. Lighting the fire with flint and steel is even more fantastic. Having a small pack of dry tinder in the 4WD is very handy when getting the fire going. Your fire starting kit should fit in one pouch nicely!
Dry Bag: These pouches are made of 3 layers and are watertight. If push comes to shove, they make great drybags when canoeing, kayaking or rafting or, hiking in the rain.
Meal Pack: Reusing these packs to carry ingredients for trail meals is a great idea. Buy the needed ingredient items and add everything needed for one meal to one pouch. When it's time to cook, pour the ingredients into your pot of boiling water.
Bait Pack: If you love throwing a line in when out exploring and use bait, you'll know all about the smell of stinky fishing bait. We use ours to pack salted pilchards and squid for remote trips where bait cannot be kept on ice. No stink, no fuss!
Ultralight Dog Bowl: Cut the pouch in half and fold it flat. Tear the two bottom corners apart, so the base is broader. Fill with water for Fido when out and about. Light, compact, functional and less than 10 grams!
*Wash the bags and dry them thoroughly before use.
If you have an awesome upcycling pouch idea, we'd love to hear from you.
This recycling process of our pouches is a high priority for Campers Pantry, and we are hoping to get to a point very soon where we can use Terracycle to recycle all our pouches. In the meantime, the above ideas could be an option for you?
Happy Adventures in the outdoors!