Royal FloraHolland - Reusable plant trays logical choice for market
October 19, 2020
As market leader in transport packaging for flowers and plants, Royal FloraHolland wants to do more with less plastic. Reusable plant trays are a sustainable alternative to disposable packaging and create less waste. The increased demand for reusable trays highlights the fact that sustainability is an important and immediate concern in the floriculture industry.
We joined the Plastic Pact in 2019 as an extra incentive to reduce as much as possible the adverse effects of single-use, disposable plastic packaging on the environment. Various campaigns to this end have in the meantime been launched. In both 2018 and 2019, we reduced the rental rates of reusable plant trays (and flower buckets) to make sustainable packaging more attractive. In addition, we recently conducted independent research into the environmental impact of a number of different plant trays. The results help our suppliers and buyers choose the right packaging for their products from the perspective of sustainability.
C.J. Vianen: "Reusable Plant Trays First Choice"
Robbert Judels (Managing Director): "Green enterprise is one of Vianen Flowerexport's core values. It's only natural to carefully consider and minimise your environmental impact. We work continuously to reduce our impact on the environment and increase our company's sustainability. By striving always to reduce waste flows, for instance, but also by further economising on our water, gas, electricity and fossil-fuel consumption. It's a journey, not a destination. Our efforts and choices in this respect are reflected in the construction of our building, but also in our choice of packaging. Reusable plant trays considerably reduce the amount of waste we generate, and they're our first choice for that very reason. If a grower offers a product in both disposable and reusable packaging, then we'll go for the reusable option. On top of the environmental considerations, the reusable trays are actually more suitable to our processes: they are more stable, have a standard size and perform well both on the conveyor belt and the sorting machine. Labels stay attached to the trays better, too. For us, therefore, reusable plant trays are the logical way to go.
Reusable Plant Trays Gaining Popularity
We have seen an increase in the use of reusable plant trays in recent years. The use of Floratino and the red plant packaging in particular are increasing more rapidly than disposable trays. In the Netherlands, we're seeing growth in use by the large garden centres, but there's also increased interest and focus on sustainability from German customers and consumers.
Which plant tray is the most sustainable?
Nowadays, there's a lot to choose from: reusable, single-use plastic, cardboard... What is the environmental impact of these types of packaging? The reusable tray is the most sustainable. Independent research clearly shows that the reusable tray is the most sustainable solution and has the least impact on the environment. Single-use cardboard plant trays score better than single-use plastic trays.
The graph below shows the results by country. The final score is the total score from all environmental aspects. The most important environmental themes, climate change and water consumption, are shown separately.