Copefrut, a company that has produced and exported traditional and organic fresh fruit for more than 65 years, developed a Material Recyclability Index with the collaboration of the Catholic University of Chile's GreenLab.
"This index quantifies the recyclability of packaging by taking into account what type of materials are being used, how they are affected by the products (inks, glues, waxes) that are applied to it, and the effective probability of being recycled in the different countries where the materials are sent,” stated Daniela Quiroga, Project Engineer at GreenLab. The latter, she said, is of vital importance. "It's pointless to use a material that is optimal for recycling but that can't be recycled because a country doesn't have the necessary technology and incentives to do so."
Copefrut has been one of the pioneer companies in innovating and facing the paradigm shift in the fruit industry. "We understand that sustainability is no longer an option, but rather an issue that we must develop for the good of our customers, our employees, and the planet," stated Maria Jose Castillo, the company's Supply Manager.
The company currently carries out different sustainable actions, such as using oxo-biodegradable bags, Macro-Plastic Bins, Pallet Chep, and 100% recyclable boxes and corners, among other things. This year, Copefrut managed the packaging of two containers with 100% compostable bags, made from sugar cane. The bags were developed by the German supplier Bio4pack who, together with a multidisciplinary team from Copefrut, validated the technology to pack organic apples.
This innovative bet was the first action evaluated with the Recyclability Index, prepared with the advice of the Dictuc's GreenLab. The substitution of materials increased the recyclability index of each individual sales format by 1.4%, a value that can have a significant impact on the total recyclability of the company as the proportion of sales in this format increases.
“The use and analysis of this indicator will make it easier for the company to identify where it has to focus to improve the recyclability of its packaging -significantly increasing the probability that they will be recycled- while efficiently helping its customers reach their sustainability goals,” stated Daniela Quiroga from GreenLab.
"The index will allow evaluating and analyzing the recyclability of each of our materials so we can make strategic decisions that push the retail, the market, and the industry forward,” stated Castillo.