A packaging provider for refrigerated dressing specialist Organic Girl has made a big commitment to packaging sustainability.
Union City, Calif.-based Emerald Packaging Inc., the leading supplier of flexible packaging to the produce industry, has become a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.
This requires the company to make firm commitments to reduce the use of plastic by embracing goals in line with creating a circular economy. As such the company has agreed to make its packages reusable, recyclable or compostable in accordance with NPEGC principles, with specific targets to hit by 2025.
The company also announced it has signed the Foundation’s call for a legally binding UN Plastics Pollution Treaty on Plastic Pollution.
Emerald is one of the few flexible packaging companies in the United States to become an Ellen MacArthur signatory. Under its MacArthur commitments, Emerald Packaging will help drive the adoption of post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) in food packaging.
The company says 50% of its volume by weight will contain PCR by 2025. The process will reduce the amount of virgin resin required to make its flexible packaging, while maintaining the same food preservation qualities that extends shelf life and helps reduce food waste, which is responsible for six percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“Emerald Packaging wants to play its part in mobilizing a shift towards a circular economy for plastics. We take tremendous pride to have been welcomed as a signatory, which required making specific commitments to reduce plastic use by 2025,” said Kevin Kelly, chief executive officer, Emerald Packaging. “We believe we will achieve this goal. This is an important step for our company to help combat the worldwide plastic waste crisis.”
As part of its goals, the company agreed to dramatically increase the recyclability of its packaging by 2025. This includes a significant reduction in packages made from mixed plastics in favor of mono-materials with increased stiffness, eliminating the need for non-recyclable materials.
These new goals extend Emerald Packaging’s sustainability initiatives. The company has for over 20 years worked to increase industry efforts to deal with plastic waste, most recently shaping legislation in California addressing the need for better recycling infrastructure. Emerald is one of the few manufacturers to win Green Business certification by the state of California thanks to its waste, water, and energy reduction efforts. It introduced the first compostable packaging in the produce industry 15 years ago and continues to test and experiment with new compostable materials as they become available.
Emerald Packaging has been reinventing packaging for almost 60 years and is the largest plastic produce packaging manufacturer in the U.S. The company specializes in fresh produce and bagged salads for many of today’s leading food companies nationwide. The company works closely with its customers to design packages that reduce its environmental impact and help achieve carbon neutrality.