Green USA, Mountaire Farms, and Interstate Container announced
completion of the conversion of the largest poultry plant in the US to
recyclable, wax-alternative boxes, thereby reducing costs and
environmental impact, and assisting its customers in cost-effectively
meeting their environmental goals.
At the International Poultry Expo, Global Green USA applauded Mountaire
Farms and Interstate Container for their pioneering roles in reducing
the environmental impact of wholesale transfer packaging as this
innovation has the potential to influence the design of transfer
packaging for all types of poultry, meat, produce and seafood delivered
to grocers and restaurants throughout the world. Global Green also
called on the food packaging industry to convert to this newly
achievable green standard.
It is estimated that 1.5 million tons of un-recyclable wax-coated
corrugated boxes are discarded in the U.S. each year. If coated
corrugated boxes were designed for recycling and recycled, a greenhouse
gas savings of 5 million mtCO2e, equivalent to removing from
one million passenger vehicles from the road, would be realized, and
U.S. grocers and restaurateurs could save $63M annually in avoided
According to Annie White, Director of Global Green USA’s Coalition for
Resource Recovery, “Converting to transfer packaging certified as
recyclable by the Fibre Box Association, is a readily achievable step
that industry and businesses can take to improve their environmental
performance, enhance their service to customers, and improve their
bottom line. Through dedication and perseverance, Interstate Container
and Mountaire developed a cost-effective, high-performing offering that
enhances service to its customers. Global Green calls on others in the
poultry, meat, produce, and seafood industries, to develop solutions for
all food and packaging types, rapidly accelerating their use.”
Global Green USA’s sentiments were echoed in a statement provided by
Chris Moyer, manager of the National Restaurant Association's Conserve
program, “The delivery of poultry, seafood, and produce in recyclable
boxes helps divert potentially reusable materials from landfills. High
performing, cost-competitive recyclable boxes also provide another way
restaurateurs can improve their bottom line and meet environmental
goals, which is what we advocate through our Conserve initiative. We
encourage the use of packaging made of recycled materials and similar
innovations that assist restaurants in greening their operations.”
"To be competitive in today's world economy, our goal must be the
sustainable use of materials," said Matt Hale, director of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Resource Conservation and
Recovery. "Producing materials that can be recovered and reused at end
of life helps us achieve this goal."
The full conversion of Mountaire’s first facility and the largest
poultry plant in the US, located in Lumber Bridge, NC, was completed in
The switch to FBA-certified recyclable packaging is only one component
of the sustainable packaging transition. The box size was reduced, all
wax was eliminated from the box, reducing the use of corrugated and
petroleum products. If all of the newly designed boxes were recycled,
the greenhouse gas benefit from source reduction and recycling the boxes
would be 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.2
In addition, the switch from ice-packed poultry to modified atmosphere
packaging is estimated to save millions of gallons of water annually.
Combined these innovations also improve efficiency, streamline
operations, and provide a safer work environment.
1 According to the U.S. EPA 2007 MSW Facts and Figures, 31
million tons of OCC is discarded each year. The Fibre Box Association
estimates that 5% of OCC is wax coated. EPA WARM Tool and Greenhouse Gas
Equivalencies Calculator were used to calculate potential greenhouse gas
savings. National restaurateur and grocers savings are based on a
national average tipping fee of $42.08 based on the 2006 data in
BioCycle’s State of Garbage report.
2 Greenhouse gas savings calculated using EPA’s WARM tool.
Saving assumes 100% of the boxes generated are recycled.
Coalition for Resource Recovery
Annie White, Director