The new commitment by major fresh berry growers in North America enables the production of new berry clamshells using recycled content
Major fresh berry growers in North America have committed to using 100% recyclable packaging for all fresh berries by 2025 in a bid to create a closed-loop circular economy.
The producers include the California Strawberry Commission, the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), Asociacion national de Exportadores de Berries (Aneberries, Mexico), and members of the National Berry Crops Initiative.
South American partners such as Argentinean Blueberry Committee, Chilean Blueberry Committee, and ProArandanos (Peru) have also pledged for achieving sustainable packaging goal.
California Strawberry Commission president Rick Tomlinson said: “Berry farming has a long history of innovation and leadership that, once again, came together to make this ambitious pledge.
“Achieving 100% recycle-ready packaging represents the type of continuous improvement that is common among farmers as they strive for ever-improving efficiency.”
Partners plan to develop new label standards
As part of the initiative, the partners have agreed to develop new label standards to help optimise the recycle readiness of all berry clamshells.
In addition to encouraging consumers to recycle clamshells, the initiative will provide packaging manufacturers with new purchase specifications.
The new commitment enables the production of new berry clamshells using recycled content, unlike traditional berry clamshells that have been manufactured using post-consumer recycled content in the US.
Additionally, the initiatives for plastic recycling will generate jobs and economic benefits for local communities. They will also create a circular economy to produce, collect, recycle and reprocess berry clamshells.
NABC president Kasey Cronquist said: “This commitment to 100% recycle-ready packaging reflects a team effort and our continued focus on helping our growers, shippers and industry partners attain a goal that no one organisation could accomplish alone.”
Individual berry companies are also seeking more sustainable and scalable solutions by encouraging material recycling handlers and consumers to recycle more clamshells and supporting the innovation of new recyclable and/or compostable materials.