(Oct. 13) Salinas, Calif.-based NewStar Fresh Foods LLC plans to introduce compostable film bags for spinach and green onions at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2006 in San Diego, Oct. 20-24.

John Killeen, NewStar’s vice president of sales and marketing, said the polylactic acid-based packaging will be used for 10-ounce fresh spinach and 5-ounce green onions packs.

Killeen said the spinach bags were shipped to a distribution center Sept. 1, but the mid-September E. coli outbreak stopped distribution.

He said shipments had not resumed as of Oct. 12.

NewStar plans to release the products for wider distribution at PMA, Killeen said.

The packaging is derived from Midwestern corn. Columbus, Ohio-based Plastic Suppliers Inc. manufactures the EarthFirst polylactic acid film from Natureworks PLA resin, Killeen said.

NewStar views PLA packaging as a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based film, Killeen said, adding that spinach packed in PLA film boasts the same 16-day shelf life as spinach packed in petroleum-based film.

NewStar to unveil environment-friendly bags
NewStar Fresh Foods now uses compostable polylactic acid-based packaging for its 5-ounce green onion packs.