Towards a reduction of plastic waste in the floriculture chain29 October 2019
As the market leader in transport packaging, Royal FloraHolland has a responsibility to reduce waste, which includes plastic waste. That is why we, together with 85 other leading companies and organizations, signed the Plastic Pact NL. Yme Pasma (COO) explains how we, as floriculture industry, can make transport and product packaging more sustainable.
The main goal of Plastic Pact NL is to reduce the environmental effects of single-use plastics as much as possible.
The Plastic Pact has formulated four specific objectives for 2025:
- 20% less material for single-use trays (or less usage);
- new trays consisting of a minimum of 35% recycled plastic;
- 70% of the trays will return via recycling; and
- 100% is recyclable.
According to Yme, "we already obtained two of these objectives". "We use 100% recyclable material and the new single-use packaging already contains 90% recyclable plastic. 50% of the new single-use trays is already being recycled. We will surely get to 70%. The first objective, using 20% less material for single-use trays, is the biggest challenge.
Packaging pool systems
Yme explains: "For almost 95% of the flowers the transport packaging is multi-use, for plants it is hardly 10%. It evolved like that and it is hard to change. Plant transport in multi-use trays brings its challenges, which will have to be solved first."
Considering our place in the chain
"The floriculture industry can become more sustainable by considering the packaging," Yme continues. "Each grower and dealer has its own responsibility, which includes the product packaging. Why do the chrysanthemums have covers, when a purchasing bouquet maker directly removes these in the box? A great deal can be done in mutual agreement."
A practical example
Orchid nursery Bamboo Orchid from Bleiswijk, exclusively delivers plants in environmentally friendly packaging, in paper covers. In addition, customers only receive covers when they specifically ask for them. Then, the company packs the plants per tray with paper and secures the paper with sustainable masking tape, of which the glue is biodegradable. The paper is compostable (can be added to the organic waste) and is FSC-certified.