Superfresh Growers has introduced the apple and pear industry’s first fruit bag made from post-consumer recycled plastic.
Post-consumer recycled plastic is made from things people recycle daily – plastic bottles, milk jugs and other bags – all sourced from USA recycling centers and can be continuously recycled.
Superfresh Growers PCR bag is SGS Global Services certified and FDA food-contact approved. The recycled materials in this PCR plastic originated in the U.S.
This initiative represents one of the efforts by Superfresh Growers to reduce its ecological footprint and conserve resources.
“The PCR Bag was an idea we formed a couple of years ago. We wanted a solution that could utilize recycled plastic resin and give it new life,” said Tyler Weinbender, director of sustainability and packaging for the Yakima, Washington-based company.
“As more products utilize PCR, it will help generate a market for that recycle stream, driving demand and increasing recycling rates.”
The project closed one of the last recyclability gaps for Superfresh Growers.
“There were hurdles, but our local printer was aligned with our concept and helped make it a reality,” Weinbender said.
“We are already using recycled corrugate in our boxes and pulp trays, as well as PET in our cherry and berry clamshells, so the PCR Bag fits nicely into our sustainable packaging goals.”
According to Weinbender, the landscape of sustainable packaging options is extensive and, in some cases, misleading. Companies must be vigilant to ensure they invest in technologies that advance sustainability goals.
“We’ve seen a handful of new paper packaging options for apples recently but ultimately found that they require more energy and water and have a higher carbon footprint than monofilm bags,” Weinbender said.
“Additionally, we can minimize freight emissions by partnering with our local printers. Roughly two-thirds of our bags are made right here in Central Washington State – something I’m really proud of.”
The Superfresh Growers PCR bag can be recycled through current plastic bag and film recycling streams, such as in-store drop-off.
As this design is added to its packaging lineup, Superfresh Growers is planning for continued growth in packaging sustainability and carbon footprint reduction.
About Superfresh Growers
Superfresh Growers is a sixth-generation family-owned grower and shipper of apples, pears, cherries, blueberries and kiwi berries from the Pacific Northwest, including organics in all varieties.
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