02/02/2010 11:00:00

New Recyclable Poultry Packaging Packs a Powerful Climate Punch; Saves Money & Resources


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

disposal fees.1

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




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