“Some retailers who had embraced the ‘less packaging is better’ mentality for their organics have now come around to wanting packaging due to the large loss of misrings at checkout,” said Greenfield, who added that cashiers often confuse bulk organic products with typically lower-priced conventional product.
“These retailers now want packaging for the organics and naturally turn to the earth friendly options,” he said.
Greenfield said NNZ recently worked with Lakeside Produce, Leamington, Ontario, and Origin Organic Farms Inc., Delta, British Columbia, to provide Loblaws with an earth friendly header bag for tomatoes on the vine.
Greenfield said organic sales have continued to increase despite the recession because some consumers who previously ate out frequently are now eating more meals at home more and tend to buy organic.
“As the organic sales increase,” he said, “the sales of compostable packaging increases.”
Ian Ferguson, vice president of Mississauga, Ontario-based Chantler Packaging Inc., said sustainability isn’t as simple as picking reusable plastic or recyclable cardboard.
“It’s not just a matter of one material over another,” he said. “It’s the total lifecycle of packaging. Companies are trying to reduce packaging and do more with less. People are becoming more aware of their choices and their impact on the environment, and they’re getting smarter about those choices.”
Tindell, however, said buyers should do their due diligence when it comes to a seller’s sustainability claims.
“One of the biggest aggravations we have is that many of the claims being made in the packaging industry are not valid or are meaningless,” he said.
“‘Green washing’ is everywhere. We are committed to confirming the claims of recyclable, biodegradable and compostable, so we are working with our manufacturers and customers to truly lower carbon footprints from raw material reduction, efficient freight, increasing recycling and finding products that are true to the cause.”