Jac. Vandenberg wins U.S. Plastics Pact Sustainable Packaging Innovation Award
Jac. Vandenberg, Inc., based in Tarrytown, N.Y., won the compostability category in the second annual U.S. Plastics Pact Sustainable Packaging Innovation Award at GreenBiz Group’s Circularity 23 conference in Seattle on June 6.
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.
Jac. Vandenberg is recognized as a business making strides to advance sustainable packaging solutions that contribute to a circular economy.
Packaging technology awarded
Vandenberg’s PackNatur cellulose tube netting was chosen as the compostability winner by a panel of expert judges in circularity and packaging engineering from leading retailers and sustainability organizations.
The PackNatur netting is 100% sourced from beechwood sourced from FSC or PEFC-certified forests and 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.
Criteria were based on the improved environmental impact of the product, the likelihood of commercial viability, and the level of potential impact in moving the industry toward circularity.
Plastic mesh netting and films are not recycled, due to the mesh netting jamming machinery at recycling facilities and the film being a poly-based plastic material that can rarely be recycled. 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. 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,” says John Paap, Jac. Vandenberg brand marketing and sustainability manager in the announcement.
“There is simply no time to wait, let alone another two years. We know the solution exists today for this particular packaging. It’s time that we as an industry make this switch as part of our collective efforts to tackle the climate crisis.”
The compostability category judges how well a product meets Biodegradable Products Institute's (BPI) composting certification standards.
In addition to being certified TUV Home Compostable, the Packnatur netting is also certified TUV OK Biodegradable in marine, freshwater, and soil environments.
Jac. Vandenberg prints a QR code on the netting tag to provide consumers with information about the package – such as the package’s carbon footprint, guidance on how to compost at home, and where to find an industrial compost facility nearby.
“We need to be comfortable with unlearning and innovating. That means letting go of how things have looked and felt previously and being open-minded to new solutions which may look different, feel different but in the end are bringing value to what’s important to all of us – the health and prosperity of our species and planet,” says Paap. “At Vandenberg, we are deep believers in doing not what’s easy but what’s right.”