“The struggle is that the producers themselves are having a hard time coming up with a packaging that works across many items,” Hardiman said. “We’re trying to get away from petroleum-based packaging.”
L&M Cos. Inc., Raleigh, N.C., also is trying to reduce the amount of plastics used in shipping, said Lon Hudson, organics sales specialist in the Selah, Wash., L&M office.
“Packaging is important. We do a lot of sales through wholesalers to Puget Sound co-ops who want sustainable packaging and organics,” Hudson said.
Additionally, L&M’s organic program under the Disney label includes recycled packaging, he said.
Retailers continue to be abuzz about recyclable packaging, said Aaron Quon, greenhouse category manager for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Oppenheimer’s master cartons are made with a minimum of 50% recycled fibers and use water-based inks, Quon said, adding that the company is looking to increase the amount of recycled fiber it uses, as long as it can do so without compromising product quality.
The company’s organics are sold in EarthCycle packaging made of palm fiber, which can biodegrade in backyard compost in about 90 days, he said, adding that, “Houweling Nurseries, one of our largest growers, uses bleach-free packaging.”