Earthcycle launches compostable packaging with increased water resistance

After one year of extensive research, Canada’s largest sustainable packaging company, Earthcycle, is unveiling its improved water-resistant packaging as part of its long line of certified home compostable, recyclable and renewable products. The new highly refined palm pulp formula means retailers, growers and re-packers across North America can now take advantage of Earthcycle’s new packaging for high-moisture produce, especially mushrooms.

“We set out to develop a packaging formula that works especially well with mushrooms, which are one of the most challenging produce items at any store because of the high water content,” says Shannon Boase, Founder and President of Earthcycle. “Through extensive research we’ve now developed a new formula that helps maintain the strength and integrity of our packaging under high moisture environments for even longer, without compromising our environmental credibility of the packaging. Our clients have also found that our new packaging formula extends the freshness and integrity of produce up to 10 days beyond the regular shelf life of 10 days.”

Made from the natural and renewable resource of palm fiber – which is cultivated in Malaysia to produce palm oil – Earthcycle produces its compostable packaging by turning the fiber into a pulp. The pulp is then used to form any shape or size of packaging using standard vacuum-thermoforming tools.

“We’re very excited about Earthcycle’s improved moisture-resistant packaging because our mushrooms will now stay fresh even longer,” says Rick Watters, Manager of Operations for Champ’s Mushrooms, which is one of the first companies to use the improved water resistant packaging. “We love the fact that the packaging offers a consistent message with our organic mushrooms and that the consumer intuitively knows that the packaging is eco-friendly because of the natural look and feel of the material.”

Boase adds, “The packaging provides an emotional connection to the consumer – it makes them feel good for doing their part for the environment.”
The new water-resistant packaging is available across Earthcycle’s entire product line and will also be used to package additional fresh produce items such as avocados, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, broccoli, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

“We continue to see growth opportunities in Organic Berry sales and have explored a variety of ways to improve our merchandising and communication with consumers. Our focus was to better understand and address the organic consumer motivation to purchase organic – especially the core organic consumers, who make every attempt to purchase natural, organic, sustainable, recyclable products. We believe that the Earthcycle packaging will appeal to this core group because the packaging is made from recyclable, natural, agricultural materials, allowing the consumer to “vote with their dollars” for more sustainable packaging. We had to overcome farm operations, harvest and logistics issues and believe that we now have a design that not only meets our rigorous requirements but satisfies today’s organic consumers with a more natural / organic based package.” say Robert Verloop, Executive VP of Marketing for Naturipe Farms LLC, one of the world’s leading berry marketers. Naturipe uses an exclusively designed Earthcycle package for organic blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. “Our clients understand the appeal of having a package that speaks to the core consumers and they like the nostalgic and authentic farm “look and feel” of the overall design. The Naturipe-Earthcycle package was awarded Best New Packaging at the United Fresh Produce Annual Convention in May 2012.
Editor’s note: Earthcycle’s improved water-resistant packaging will be on display by various vendors at the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA’s) Fresh Summit Convention and Expo from October 26 – 28 in Anaheim, California. Journalists wishing to see the product are encouraged to visit Ponderosa Mushrooms (booth number: 2918), Naturipe Farms LLC (booth number 920) or contact company representatives for a list of Earthcycle’s exhibiting clients.

For more information:
Shine Boudreault
Earthcycle Packaging Ltd.
Tel: +1 (604) 899-0928

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