Seattle's packaging law takes root in supermarkets

John Kalkowski

January 30, 2014

1 Min Read
Seattle's packaging law takes root in supermarkets

Metropolitan Market, a chain of supermarkets in the Seattle, WA area, recently became the first grocer to introduce a completely compostable tray for fish, poultry and other meats. The trays are produced by Pactiv Corp. and are made from 100 percent corn.
Mark Spencer, Pactiv business manager of emerging markets and sustainability, says the trays are part of the company's new EarthChoice line of nearly 80 sustainable packaging products made from polylactic acid (PLA), sold under the brand name Ingeo. Pactiv says all EarthChoice products are either ASTM D 6400 or 6868 certified for full composting.
Metropolitan Markets introduced the compostable trays in response to Seattle's new city ordinance requiring all single-use food-service packaging to be compostable or recyclable. The ordinance takes effect July 1. City officials estimate the law could divert from landfills about 6,000 tons of throwaway containers and food waste Seattle is the first city to pass such an ordinance.
Spencer says that the market for computable packaging currently is being driven primarily by legislation. PLA-based packaging can be slightly more expensive and has limitations on the temperatures. However, such plant-based materials are becoming increasingly popular for sustainability reasons.

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