That the impact of plastic packaging on our environment is a contentious issue is beyond doubt and its application to fresh produce is particularly emotive. In Total Produce we are committed to constructively addressing the issue and to working with our partners across the supply chain to remove long-life plastics from our produce and deliver a Circular Plastics Economy.
It is important to note that plastic packaging on fresh produce does serve a purpose. It protects vulnerable produce in global transit, extends shelf life, improves hygiene by warding off microbial threats and substantially cuts food waste and the environmental footprint associated with it. In our sector, the transparent properties of plastic are particularly important when it comes to fresh produce given the importance consumers attach to product visibility when selecting produce while its relative low cost keeps prices down, helping to keep fresh fruits & vegetables affordable to all.
In Total Produce, we recognise it is incumbent on us to offer fresh produce packaging which retains all these properties and characteristics but which is also sustainable.
“Reduce, Replace, Recycle, Reuse, Collaborate“- Our Group Policy On The Use Of Plastic Packaging
Total Produce is committed to reducing our use of plastic packaging, substituting biodegradable and/or compostable alternatives for conventional plastics where possible and replacing conventional single-use plastic packs with reusable packaging where practical. We support the European Union’s approach to creating a Circular Plastics Economy and its recognition that this will require investment in an integrated recycling infrastructure across Europe, the education of consumers in recycling practices and cross-industry collaboration. A collective response from all the players across the fresh produce supply chain is required and Total Produce is constructively engaging with all our stakeholders; our partners in production, our peers across the fresh produce industry, the packaging industry, our customer base globally and legislators to address what we recognise as an urgent and important issue.
In practical terms, in Total Produce we are adopting a three pronged approach to plastic packaging:
- Reduce- An ongoing process, across our operations we are removing plastic packaging which is not absolutely necessary from our products and encouraging our growers and suppliers to do likewise.
- Replace- Where packaging remains necessary we are substituting conventional plastics with recyclable, biodegradable and /or compostable alternatives. Find Out More Here
- Recycle- In conjunction with other stakeholders, we are working towards a Circular Plastics Economy. Find Out More Here