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Sunrays launches compostable grape bag

New York-based fresh produce importer and distributor Jac. Vandenberg Inc. has introduced a market-first in sustainable packaging for its Sunrays products.

Vandenberg has been a leader in the industry, particularly in citrus, with its sustainable packaging innovations while collecting recognition and awards along the way. Just last year, Vandenberg’s citrus BIO bags won BNCW magazine’s 2021 Eco-Excellence Award in the snack category. Building off that success, Vandenberg is introducing its grape BIO bags via its Sunrays brand, which like their citrus counterpart, is certified home compostable.

The BIO bags are developed and produced by Israeli-based company, TIPA. The company provides fully compostable packaging that is designed to break down within months under compost conditions, just like any organic matter. The bags are made from 20 percent bio-based plastic — derived from non-GMO corn sand sugar cane — and 80 percent fully compostable fossil-based polymers. With an active and healthy compost heap, these bags will disintegrate within six months.

“We’ve been exploring sustainable alternatives for grape bags for some time now,” said John Paap, brand manager at Jac Vandenberg. “We are all too aware of the problems with traditional plastic packaging, so It is critical we begin to move away from this material. In our BIO bags we have a real solution that offers something that looks and feels like traditional plastic but will biodegrade in compost, just like the fruit inside it. We are confident that these bags will help retailers achieve their targets set around zero waste, plastic reduction and overall sustainability.”

Late last year at COP26, the U.S. and the European Union announced a global partnership to cut emission of the greenhouse gas methane by 2030. Although there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere, methane is over 80 times more potent. That’s where composting comes in. Composting is one of the world’s most natural recycling systems — a process where living organisms break down organic matter into compost, or rich soil.

“Composting is really exciting because the benefits are so bountiful,” said Paap. “By composting we can make a significant impact on global warming and create nutrient rich compost soils at the same time. One of the major sources of methane emissions come from each one of us and our trash cans at home. The average household trash contains around 35 percent organic waste, which could be composted. However, this trash gets moved to a landfill which degrades without oxygen and this process generates methane. It goes without saying then that by choosing to compost our organic waste we can significantly reduce our methane emissions.”

In addition to reducing methane emissions, these bags also tackle plastic waste as there are no micro-plastics (or any plastics of any kind) left behind once the package has biodegraded in compost.

Later this year, Vandenberg will be launching an interactive page on its Sunrays website on the hows and whys of composting to educate and help consumers on their composting journey. Consumers will be able to access this page via a QR code on the bags or by visiting the Sunrays website directly. The company said through this experience it hopes to make composting exciting and fun.

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