23 April 2019
Looking forwards: Packaging solutions
At Organic Herb Trading we continuously work hard to find truly sustainable materials that don’t compromise product quality. Our Purchasing Co-ordinator Caroline discusses the challenges around finding sustainable packaging that meets all of our food standard and food safety requirements.
"At Organic Herb Trading we make a concerted effort with every purchase that we make to reduce our impact on the environment, which in turn helps our customers reduce theirs. Suitable packaging for the organic industry has various requirements; it needs to have a low environmental impact, use few or no fossil fuels in its creation, can be reused or recycled, and be completely free of GMO’s. On top of this, our requirements as a food ingredients provider are specific too - the material can not break down when used to store foodstuffs (which, by their nature are high in essential oils) long-term.
In an ideal world no plastics at all would be better than any plastics, however we do need to protect the integrity of our incredibly carefully sourced stock, so bag liners and stock protection is a necessity in what we do. Smarter, more environmentally friendly plastic is our compromise. We have begun trials with Polylite™ and Polyair™ packaging, which meets our food-grade, organic licence approved (Soil Association) and BRC approved standards.
Polylite™ is a thin, strong, multi-layer laminated film that offers great strength and versatility. This means that we could reduce the weight of our polythene consumption by 20%, and also therefore significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
Polyair™ is the only 100% recyclable, carbon neutral or negative material currently available that meets our requirements, and it is PAS2050 carbon neutral certified. It is bio-based, made from GM-free sugar cane. It is not biodegradable, compostable or oxy-biodegradable (leading to dangerous microplastics), but it is fully recyclable.
The Polylite™ and Polyair™ packaging trials are just one way that we're working to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and we’re very excited to see how we can become even more sustainable. Watch this space!”