Clean Tech Forum 2009: Earthcycle Snaps Up Palm Waste for Paper Products

earthcycle palm husk photo

If you shop at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Safeway or a few similar places, you'll notice that the produce is unnecessarily packaged. Turns out that an eeeensy bit of the frustration felt at that fact can be shaved away by another fact. Many of those stores use Earthcycle for the cardboard portion of their packaging. The story of the cardboard is as neat looking as that odd chunk of palm husk up above. Earthcycle uses a renewable resource for their product - palm fiber. They take the husks that are usually burned after palm fruit is harvested for palm oil. They send it through a process to tun it into pulp and create packaging that is home compostable. Not only is it used for packaging produce, but also plates, pots, and other items to be composted, and they're expanding into the paper business with printer paper.

And as for the plastic part of that pesky produce packaging, the company also offers NatureFlex™ Film, which is made from wood pulp harvested from managed plantations, and is certified compostable to the European OK Home Compost standard as well as to ASTM D6400 and by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). That means stores have the option of offering consumers completely compostable packaging for produce....Problem is, though, most stores still use plastic shrink wrap. And why much of the produce like bell peppers, pears and zucchini is packaged in the first place is beyond us.

Packaging as a whole needs to be ditched in a lot of places, but if stores refuse to adjust their ways, at least they have this greener option.

More on Produce Packaging:
Seven Over-Packaging Sins: Images That Drive Us Nuts!
Nuclear Lettuce? Sidestep the FDA Mess—Buy Local, Bag-Free Salad!
Biodegradable vs. Recyclable: Which is the Better Packaging Solution?

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