( Photo courtesy Ashley Nickle )

The concept of sustainable packaging has been in the minds of both companies and consumers for many years. That being said, in 2019 sustainable packaging hit an all time trending high. Companies all across the U.S. are experimenting with a variety of packaging materials such as: hemp; sprays and applications; sugarcane; etc., to make their packaging reusable, recyclable and compostable. 

Oct. 10
Owyhee plans to grow hemp, use it for packaging
By Chris Koger

Owyhee Produce, Nyssa, Ore., is taking the sustainable packaging trend to the next level by growing its own packaging. 

The company plans to grow 500 acres of hemp in Oregon this year, converting the fibers to compostable bags for onions next spring, according to a news release. CBD oil will also be a byproduct of the process. The company calls the bags Farmed FRESH (Farmed Regenerative Environmentally Sourced Hemp) Packaging.

Oct. 8
Bio-based mesh offers sustainable mesh for packaging
By Chris Koger

A company that makes mesh using resins from sugarcane is promoting its use as a sustainable option for produce packaging. 

JX Nippon ANCI Inc., which has a U.S. headquarters in Kennesaw, Ga., makes the mesh, known as CLAF Bio Fabric, from 96% plant-based materials instead of petroleum, according to a news release. The company says the material is strong, breathable and has a variety of applications. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently approved the material through its BioPreferred Program, created by the 2002 farm bill to increase the use of bio-based products.

Oct. 2
With Apeel, Houweling’s to cut plastic on English cucumbers
By Chris Koger

Greenhouse grower and marketer Houweling’s Group plans to use Apeel Sciences’ shelf life technology to do away with the plastic wrap on its English cucumbers. 

The move eliminates both plastic and food waste, according to the companies, reducing plastic use by the grower by more than 60,000 pounds a year. Houweling’s has a history of investing in green business practices, David Bell, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in the release. 

Aug. 19
Produce industry sees sustainability as future of packaging
By Jim Offner

Produce suppliers are taking hard looks at packaging in terms of costs, materials and environmental concerns. 

Several companies are dedicating time to research sustainable packaging, among them: Rainier Fruit Co.; Monterey Mushrooms Inc.; California Giant Berry Farms; Stemilt Growers LLC; Sev-Rend; and Georgia-Pacific, just to name a few. Packaging manufacturers say they are aware of the evolving landscape for their products, and they’re responding.

Aug. 14
Dayka & Hackett releases eco-friendly grape packaging
By Cristin Shepard

Reedley, Calif.-based Dayka & Hackett is releasing a newly designed Eco-Tote for table grapes. 

The paper used in the Eco-Tote is biodegradable, compostable and recyclable, according to a news release. “Plastic waste is an apparent issue worldwide and its effects on our environment are saddening,” Brett Burdsal, business development/sales for Dayka & Hackett, said in the release. “A healthy environment is important to our industry and for this reason we sought out a way to do our part in making a difference.” 

Feb. 20
Compostable pack wins Fruit Logistica award
By Tom Karst

The 2019 Bronze Fruit Logistica Innovation Award was won by the top-sealable compostable, recyclable strawberry punnet from CKF Inc., Hansport, Nova Scotia. 

The premium Earthcycle pack is made with 80% hardwood fibers and 20% recycled corrugate material. The sealable, compostable and recyclable wood pulp Earthpunnets hold 350-400 grams of strawberries.