“Customers were asking us to explore biodegradable or compostable packaging materials, especially retailers that specialize in organic type products.”That’s how CEO Dwight Ferguson of Willcox, AZ-based Eurofresh Farms explains how his firm recently began using trays made by Earthcycle Packaging (www.earthcycle.com) for specialty products including cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and cocktail tomatoes.
Made from molded palm fiber a waste product left over after the palm fruit is harvested and pressed for oil Earthcycle’s trays are certified compostable (ASTM D6400). The firm asserts that once placed in the home compost in less than 90 days the tray will biodegrade and be ready to make a healthy contribution to the soil.
Compared to the cost of the polypropylene trays used formerly Eurofresh pays a small upcharge for the compostable trays says Ferguson. This gets passed along to consumers he adds.
According to Eurofresh marketing director Brett Burdsal now that a compostable tray is in place next on the list are compostable overwrap and labels.