San Antonio-based Worldwide Plastics Co. has entered an agreement to market sustainable produce packaging in North America and South America for Royal Interpack Co. Ltd. of Thailand.
The plan is to manufacture 100% recyclable R-PET containers for fresh vegetables and fruit on forming lines in the Los Angeles area by March or April, said Vincent Mery, president of Worldwide Plastics.
"Royal Interpack is locating a building and we have the machines," Mery said. "It"ll happen by December so we can have production by the spring. Until then we"ll be importing from Thailand."
Afterward, extrusion will continue to be done at the Royal Interpack www.royalinterpack.com site in Chonburi, Thailand. Over time, both extrusion and forming operations could grow in the U.S. and Canada.
"We will convert and form here, but there may be an opportunity for us to extrude here as well," Mery said. "It"s definitely one of those things, that if you have the source it"s a real advantage to make it and sell it here."
Possible expansion sites include south Texas, Ontario and British Columbia.
Both companies tout R-PET as environment-friendly.
"We are proud to be a leader in providing sustainable solutions to plastic packaging and we are committed to improving our environment," Visanu Chawla, Royal Interpack president, said in a news release.
"We"re taking every recycled bottle we can get our hands on and using it," Mery said. "Every tray is going to be made from it. Manufacturing R-PET is a good step for the environment and a big plus in this industry."
Worldwide Plastics provides stock and custom-designed plastic and pulp containers to produce growers, shippers, repackers and other food suppliers. The company has about 400 clients, some in the greenhouse industry. Tomatoes, berries and the full range of fruit and vegetable commodities are represented, Mery said.