This commitment also includes setting new label standards and encouraging consumers to recycle.

Lauren Wicks
February 11, 2020

Last year, major grocery chains like Aldi and Trader Joe's made major commitments to sustainability, and food producers are catching on. This week, the berry industry announced its goal of having 100% recycle-ready packaging by 2025. ("Recycle-ready" means the industry has worked to maximize the recyclability of its packaging.)

The California Strawberry Commission, the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), Asociación Nacional de Exportadores de Berries (located in Mexico), members of the National Berry Crops Initiative and several major South American exporters are all joining forces to optimize the recycle-readiness of berry packaging.

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Related: Walmart and Sam's Club Are Making All of Their Plastic Bags Recyclable

The plastic clamshell packaging currently used by most of the berry industry has been in place since the '90s. These containers are typically made from recycled plastic water bottles and are designed to protect against contamination, damage and food waste. However, the berry industry said it plans to explore novel ways to become more sustainable. This includes using recycled berry clamshells to make new ones and exploring new materials, as well as adding a How2Recycle label to encourage consumers on proper recycling methods.

"Clamshell packaging revolutionized the ability of berry growers to transport their fruit to consumers nationwide," said Henry Bierlink, president of the National Berry Crops Initiative (NCBI) in a press release. "Now, the industry is working together on the next phase of that revolution, one that preserves the ability to safely transport fresh berries to market while minimizing product damage, reducing food waste, and demonstrating ongoing environmental stewardship. "

Related: Banning Plastic Bags Might Not Be the Best Environmental Choice After All

The press release states the high consumer demand for sustainable packaging and changes in laws and regulations means food producers, distributors, packaging manufacturers, material recycling facilities and consumers all need to work together to ensure that recyclable content makes its way through the proper channels to be reprocessed into new packaging. You can learn more about the berry industry's initiative and how to do your part by visiting BerrySustainable.com.

Related: You Don't Have to Go Completely Meatless to Eat More Sustainably—Experts Actually Advise Against It

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