June 15, 2023

NY-based company wins sustainable packaging innovation award

A New York-based produce wholesaler has been chosen as the winner of the compostability category at the second annual U.S. Plastics Pact Sustainable Packaging Innovation Award.

Jac Vandenberg Inc., based in Tarrytown, was recognized for its PackNatur cellulose tube netting by a panel of experts in circularity and packaging engineering from leading retailers and sustainability organizations. The award was announced at GreenBiz Group’s Circularity 23 conference in Seattle on June 6.

Bright orange mandarins in sustainable packaging
Jac Vandenberg Inc.’s PackNatur cellulose tube netting won the compostability category at the second annual U.S. Plastics Pact Sustainable Packaging Innovation Award. Photo: Provided

The award showcases companies that are eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging and working to make 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, according to a news release.

Criteria included improved environmental impact of the product, commercial viability and potential impact in moving the industry toward circularity.

The company’s PackNatur netting is 100% sourced from beechwood from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. It offers a sustainable solution for the fresh produce industry’s standard plastic mesh netting and film wrap bags typically used for citrus, avocados, potatoes, and other products, according to the release.

Plastic mesh netting and films are not recycled, as the mesh netting jams machinery at recycling facilities and the film is a poly-based plastic material. The PackNatur netting is certified home compostable, turning into nutrient-rich dirt within 12 weeks of being placed in a home compost heap.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition from the U.S. Plastics Pact and Walmart,” John Paap, Jac Vandenberg brand marketing and sustainability manager, said in the release. “This award proves that there is an immediate compostable, plant-based solution that gives everyone in the fresh produce industry the opportunity to reduce their plastic and carbon footprints to help improve the environment.”

The company prints a QR code on the netting tag with information including the package’s carbon footprint, guidance on how to compost at home and nearby industrial compost facilities.

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