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Alternative produce boxes being tested

Posted: Friday, Apr 20th, 2012

Workers at Lakeside Organic Gardens harvest organic iceberg lettuce Thursday and package the product in new wax-free boxes. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula).

WATSONVILLE Efforts are under way to replace standard wax-coated cardboard boxes used in the agriculture industry for shipping harvested products. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gasses and excessive volume at the landfill.

On Thursday alternative, wax-free boxes were given a field test in Watsonville at Lakeside Organic Gardens in a test run headed up by members of Global Green USA.

Representatives from Green Bay Packaging and Interstate Container had their new cartons, which use a vegetable oil coating instead of wax, filled with iceberg lettuce at a Lakeside Organic Gardens farm. The effort was a way to demonstrate how the new boxes withstood shipment, cooling, water, ice-injection and the final trip to market.

Every year 1.36 million tons of coated boxes are landfilled or burned, releasing 4.5 million tons of gasses, according to Annie White, director of Global Green USA. Half of wax boxes are used for produce, while the rest, around the nation, are used for poultry and meat.

For the complete article see the 04-21-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-21-2012 paper.

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