Multi-use plant trays score better in terms of sustainability13 April 2017
Multi-use plant trays have a smaller impact on the environment than single-use plant trays. This is the conclusion of independent research commissioned by Royal FloraHolland.
Royal FloraHolland attaches great value to a horticultural sector that is future-proof, in which flowers and plants are grown and marketed with respect for people and the environment. That is why we are working together with Plantion and VBN on a Branch-Specific Sustainability Plan for Packaging for horticulture. As part of this plan, we commissioned Blonk Consultants to conduct independent research into the environmental performance of single-use and multi-use plant trays. This information can help our growers and buyers to choose the right packaging.
Environmental performance compared
Blonk Consultants carried out a life cycle analysis (LCA) based on international guidelines. In this analysis, the environmental performance of plant trays (single- and multi-use) was examined throughout their life cycle (from production to use and waste processing) and compared. The LCA clarifies how the different trays score in terms of environmental aspects like climate change and water use. It also indicates where the greatest potential for improvement lies for both single-use and multi-use plant trays.
Better environmental results with multi-use packaging
The analysis revealed that multi-use trays score better in terms of environmental impact than single-use trays. With single-use trays it is primarily the production of the plastic and the waste phase that have the greatest impact. Possibilities to minimise the environmental impact include reducing the weight of each tray and optimising their recycling. With multi-use packaging the transport and the cleaning process (Floratino) contribute the most to the environmental impact.
More detailed information about the outcomes of this research will be published soon on our website.
What will Royal FloraHolland do with the results?
The research is inspiring Royal FloraHolland to make our packaging use as efficient and sustainable as possible, working together with our chain partners and stakeholders. We intend to take the following concrete actions:
• Market research into multi-use plant packaging: what are the
reasons for choosing multi-use plant packaging? Are there
bottlenecks? And how can we promote the use of multi-use plant
• Research into the reduction of Normpack material: will the implementation of another construction (the bridge) for the Normpack 200 and 400 series lead to a reduction of material while retaining their functionality?
• Research into recycling single-use trays in Germany and the Netherlands: how many single-use trays are recycled at the end of the chain? And how can we increase that percentage?
Naturally, users, suppliers and buyers and their end customers have the final decision of which packaging to choose. By sharing information about the environmental performance of the plant trays, we provide tools to help them make the right choice.
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