North American berry growers pledge to use recycle-ready packaging

5 February 2020 (Last Updated February 5th, 2020 10:58)

Major fresh berry growers in North America have committed to making their packaging 100% recycle-ready by 2025.

North American berry growers pledge to use recycle-ready packaging
North America’s berries will be packaged in 100% recyclable packs by 2025. Credit: Flickr / The Pizza Bike.

Major fresh berry growers in North America have committed to making their packaging 100% recycle-ready by 2025.

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.

In addition, South American partners such as Argentinean Blueberry Committee, Chilean Blueberry Committee, and ProArandanos (Peru) have committed to 100% recycle-ready packaging.

As part of the partnership, the companies have decided to develop new label standards that will encourage berry clamshell recycling.

The initiative will also involve encouraging consumers to recycle clamshells, while packaging manufacturers will be provided with new purchase specifications.

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.”

The new commitment will support existing arrangements, where berry clamshells are made with recycled content.

For more than ten years, berry clamshells have been manufactured using the California post-consumer recycled content in the US.

In addition to introducing circular plastic economy, the initiatives for plastic recycling generates jobs and economic benefits for local communities, creating 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.”