Compostable Produce Packaging Adds Shelf Life and Sustainability

Good News Notes:

Compostable packaging solutions from Tipa are being implemented worldwide by leading brands in Europe, Australia, and the US. There is a particular focus on food and fashion industries, as these are two key markets that use a high volume of flexible packaging.

In the US, Tipa worked with  Fresh Harvest to deliver effective solutions for its customers. Established in 2012, Fresh Harvest is a thriving ethical food hub in Atlanta, GA. Each week, they deliver fresh produce and groceries from local farmers and artisan producers in Georgia to thousands of customers. All items are delivered no more than 70 miles to customers in the local area as sustainability continues to be one of the company’s core values.

While all Fresh Harvest items arrive in reusable packaging, the produce must be portioned and protected in non-reusable packaging during transport to ensure it does not get damaged. Fresh Harvest desired a compostable solution that would also extend the shelf life of its perishable produce.

Fresh Harvest changed to Tipa’s compostable bags in spring 2021 to protect its produce during transit and to extend the shelf life of its perishable produce, such as salad greens. Tipa bags are fully compostable and are sourced from non-GMO corn, sugarcane, and fully compostable fossil-based polymers.

For customers that don’t have access to composting facilities at home, Fresh Harvest gives customers the option to rinse and return all the packaging in their reusable bin each week to be collected and properly composted by Fresh Harvest.

In the past, Fresh Harvest had experimented with compostable packaging, but faced challenges when customers were dissatisfied with an unpleasant smell from inside the bags.

Tipa’s packaging performs similarly to conventional plastic bags. The bags can be custom printed to feature a company logo and educational instructions on how to effectively compost the product, a successful combination for Fresh Harvest customers.

Tipa’s films combined with PerfoTec’s laser microperforation technology extend the shelf life of fruit, vegetables, and flowers by up to twice as long. Similar findings were reported in two peer-reviewed studies, where TIPA compostable packaging was found to be as effective as conventional plastic and may even outperform it for the shelf-life of fresh produce. Key benefits reported by PerfoTec with Tipa bag films:

  • Balanced O₂ transmission level, just enough to keep the product “asleep”, with low risk of anaerobic conditions;
  • Balanced CO₂ transmission level, which can prevent produce tissue damage, off-color and off-odor;
  • High Water Vapor Transmission Rate prevents condensation, which delays development of fungi and bacteria;
  • Produce weight loss is kept very low….”

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