mardi 23 juillet 2013

Green Packaging in the BIG EASY: Pilot Conducted in New Orleans Fish House

New Orleans seafood is going green. Global Green USA’s Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) joined forces this past week with the New Orleans Fish House to test recyclable coated corrugated boxes as methods of transporting locally caught seafood. These innovative boxes, made by CoRR members Cascades Industrial Packaging and Interstate Container, are designed to be recyclable, unlike the paraffin-coated packaging typically used, and also withstand the icy seafood packing process.

“It may seem unusual to get this excited about cardboard boxes, but we are thrilled to highlight these recyclable products,” said Global Green USA’s Lily Kelly, interim director of CoRR. “If we were to replace all the unrecyclable packaging used across the country for seafood, produce, poultry and meats, it would be the equivalent of shutting down an entire coal-fired power plant with no loss of energy, and a tremendous gain in savings and revenue for grocers and restaurants.”

“From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense,” said Eddie Gonzales, Sales Representative at the New Orleans Fish House. “Our customers don’t want to bear the costs of landfilling boxes, so recyclable packaging is an added value that we can offer. It’s the next step in our evolution.”

The pilot began at the New Orleans Fish House, where seafood and ice were placed in the recyclable boxes, palletized, and loaded onto their delivery truck. Representatives from Global Green USA and the packaging companies followed the truck as it made deliveries in the Baton Rouge area, observing the unloading of the seafood at an event venue, a large hotel, and a restaurant. At each location, the recipients of the boxes confirmed that the boxes were performing well, and expressed excitement that they were recyclable. “It will save us time and keep costs and waste down. I love them,” said one recipient.

This pilot marks a step toward more sustainable food systems: greens, vegetables, seafood, and meats are often transported in paraffin-coated cardboard, generating 1.45 million tons of solid waste that must be sent to landfills or burned. If these boxes are designed for recycling, and recovered, retailers and restaurants could realize a net benefit of combined cost savings and revenue of $200 million nationwide.

The boxes, which were donated for testing by Cascades and Interstate Container, are recyclable in accordance with the Fibre Box Association’s recyclability and repulpability protocol for wax-alternative coatings. “The Cascades Polar box, which we tested for this pilot, stood up to the process quite well,” said Islem Yezza, Technical and Business Development Director at Cascades. “We are proud to be able to provide a variety of more sustainable alternatives to unrecoverable polystyrene foam and wax-coated boxes.”

Jeff Cormier, National Sales and Marketing Manager at Interstate Container, was likewise pleased with the results of the pilot. “We make Greencoat recyclable boxes for a variety of uses, and have seen a lot of success with poultry and produce,” he said. “We are very encouraged by the outcome of this pilot, and look forward to bringing recyclable seafood boxes to New Orleans and beyond.” 

vendredi 19 juillet 2013

Foodservice packaging: The End of a Persistent Environmental Myth

The most persistent environmental myth about foodservice packaging concerns their role in the solid waste stream, and particularly that which ends up in landfills. Year after year, data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that paper and plastic foodservice packaging products make up a tiny portion – under two percent! – of the municipal solid waste discards in landfills in the United States. Compare that to other items that end up in landfills:

Source: FPI

My comments:

  • Food waste is the environmental sleeping giant
  • In the near future the role of packaging will change; we will see packaging as a resource rather than a resource waster.
  • Packaging is part of the solution, not the problem: preventing food waste and saving resources and assuring the safety and security of the food supply
  • A bright future for Smart Packaging (active and intelligent): Increasing health and environmental awareness, rising food prices and food safety concerns and improved purchasing power will drive growth in the smart packaging market.

mercredi 10 juillet 2013

Bright future for Reusable Plastic Containers (RPC)?

According to a study initiated by the Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg (SIM) -a German foundation for reusable systems- carried out by Fraunhofer Institute and the University of Bonn, throughout the whole supply chain for fresh fruit and vegetables from the producer to the retail, around 4 percent of all disposable packaging was damaged, while this figure was just 0.1 percent for reusable packaging.

In the course of the study, more than 78,000 packaging units for transport were inspected at central warehouses and retailers, including 52 percent reusable and 48 percent single trip.

The study determined that if only reusable containers were used in the German market, only 1,100 tonnes of fruit and vegetables valued at two million Euro would have been lost. It was estimated that if only single trip packaging had been used, the lost product would translate to 36,000 tonnes valued at 68 million Euro.

Extrapolating from these figures to the Spanish global exports of fresh fruits and vegetables, more than 1,800 million euros could be saved when using just reusable crates and containers.

The European Commission estimates that approximately 89 million tonnes of food are wasted every year in Europe, with Germany on top of the ranking, with 10.7 million tonnes of wastage and Spain in sixth place, with 7.7 million. Although most of the wastage happens at the end of the food supply chain (retailers and consumers), there are also losses in the production and distribution chain, which is the one under scrutiny in this report.

The UK's leading fresh fruit and vegetable supplier to the restaurant and catering industry has implemented a reusable transit packaging (RTP) crate scheme with Schoeller Allibert, to reduce waste and keep produce fresh. Reynolds estimates that, as a result, over the last year it has sent out 750,000 fewer cardboard and wooden boxes to customers and saved hundreds of tonnes of cardboard and paper.

Reynolds took the decision to move away from single trip cardboard packaging to a returnable crate scheme with Schoeller Allibert. So far, over 1,000 customers have switched to deliveries with the Maxinest crates, which have an average lifetime Product Carbon Footprint of just 26 kgCO2e for each crate, 68% less than cardboard.

Over recent months the company has seen added interest from fish merchants, suppliers and processors who are looking to purchase from PPS East various reusable containers, including plastic boxes, pans, defrosting crates and pallets for internal factory use. For storage and transportation of product to customers, orders are being placed for fish fillet trays, salmon and whole fish boxes, bale-arm crates, baskets, tubs and bins.

Traditionally, PPS East has supplied boxes for the Humber fish auction markets and also rents reusable plastic packaging for fresh fish suppliers in the UK and Europe. The company says that since the recent launch of its direct sales division revenue has increased and as a result, PPS East is now stocking at it Grimsby site a comprehensive range of fish box sizes (6kg, 10kg, 15kg, 25kg, 40kg & 50kg) for direct sales to customers. The company can also source most types of plastic containers as required, along with plastic pallets, wheeled dollies, insulated bins, pallet boxes, dolavs, etc

IFCO SYSTEMS, the global leader in Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for fresh products, today released a study confirming RPCs as a sustainable packaging option. The report shows the IFCO solution generates 82% less solid waste, consumes 92% less water, requires 49% lower energy demand, and lowers ozone depletion by 76% for a weighted average of 10 top produce commodities compared with shipping the same amount of produce in display-ready corrugated boxes. The report was produced by Franklin Associates, a Division of ERG, a leading consulting company specializing in life cycle analyses and solid waste management. 

Last summer (June 2012), Safeway has transitioned to using reusable product containers (RPCs), rather than corrugated boxes, to ship many types of produce from the farm fields, through the distribution channel and to final store destination. This transition eliminated the use of over 17 million pounds of corrugated boxes, , reduced CO2 by 37,518 tonnes, avoided harvest of 114,000 trees.

lundi 8 juillet 2013

Greener Packaging Award

Le Greener Packaging Award, lancé en 2012, vise à récompenser les emballages qui ont été conçus pour réduire au mieux leur impact environnemental. Cette année, grande nouveauté, les emballages industriels rentrent dans la compétition!

La remise des prix 2013 aura lieu durant la Semaine Européenne de la Réduction des Déchets. Ces Awards récompenseront non seulement des entreprises ayant mis sur le marché un produit emballé, qu’il soit ménager ou industriel, dont le contenant a été pensé du point de vue de son empreinte environnementale, mais aussi des étudiants ou des designers professionnels qui ont imaginé un emballage plus ‘vert’.

Tous les dossiers introduits seront minutieusement examinés par un jury d’experts issus du monde académique, scientifique, politique, associatif et entrepreneurial. Les critères retenus porteront, entre autres, sur la réduction du poids/volume, l’origine des matériaux, la prise en compte de la fin de vie, la réduction du gaspillage de produit, l’optimisation du transport/de la logistique, la communication aux consommateurs etc...
Comment participer ?

Les dossiers de candidature peuvent être introduits jusqu’au 1er octobre via le site web, site web qui comprend également le règlement du concours, ainsi que toutes les modalités de participation.