International nonprofit Global Green completed a pilot shipping project this week, delivering seafood in recyclable water-resistant packaging to a grocery store in Boston earlier this week.
The shipment carried seafood from Chesapeake Bay 500 miles to arrive at the Boston store on 18 March. Global Green described the packaging, made by Cascades and Interstate Container as "100 percent recyclable with regular cardboard."
"Sustainability goes beyond the seafood harvest – packaging matters," said Global Green USA's Lily Kelly, the pilot program coordinator. "The good news, from an environmental standpoint, is that packaging is available today that protects the seafood, can be recycled after its job is done, and is cost-competitive with the usual unrecyclable expanded polystyrene [EPS] and wax-coated packaging."
Kelly said Global Green estimates that the shipping industry could save grocers and restaurants millions of U.S. dollars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as shutting down an entire coal-fired power plant simply by replacing all unrecyclable containers with the cardboard alternatives.
Not only can the packaging replace plastic corrugated boxes, but they can also replace waxed cardboard boxes, according to Oliver Doiron, sales representative for Cascades Industrial Packaging.
"We use a non-wax coating that keeps the box strong, but make it easy to recycle it with regular cardboard," he said. "Our customers find that it adds value when they use recyclable packaging; what was a cost of getting rid of waste material now becomes a revenue stream for the grocer or restaurant who receives the seafood."