"We pay for used crates to make new ones that are certified to be used with fresh produce and are therefore suitable to come into contact with food," explains Mariano Magarotto from Plastic Packaging.
"We pay a set amount per kg and then use a Japanese technology to break down, sterilize and recreate the packaging. We salvage, reclaim and produce within a circular economy and are part of Conip."
The law establishes that fresh produce packaging should be used once and then discarded. The company salvages and mills all crates, guaranteeing a new product obtained from recycled plastic.
"Basically we obtain recyclable crates from recycled ones."
There is a parallel market of used crates that are reused multiple times without being cleaned or sanitized. Crates are personalized with the producer's name or logo and often we find crates showing the name of a company but filled with the produce from another. This means buyers think they are buying produce from one company when they are actually purchasing something else almost definitely of a lower quality.
If crates are not managed in compliance with environmental and health regulations, they can cause a real toxicological risk due to the contact with objects and materials unsuitable to be in contact with food.