(March 2, 11:14 a.m.) Ocean Mist Farms is the latest shipper to switch from waxed cartons to new recyclable waxless cartons as a way to reduce landfill waste.

The Castroville, Calif.-based company plans to swap out about 200,000 waxed cartons this year and expects to replace more if test shipments go well, said Joseph DeSante, packaging manager.

“About 40% to 50% of all our cartons are waxed and it’s not an environmentally friendly issue that we want to have out there,” DeSante said.

The recyclable waxless cartons have a thin film that makes the cardboard waterproof, and the company said in a news release that side-by-side shipping tests showed the waxless carton maintained the same performance level as the waxed versions during cooling and in transit.

DeSante said Ocean Mist started shipping celery in the new cartons in January and is testing shipments of broccoli. DeSante said the company plans to continue to ship and test other commodities this year to see if the waxless cartons provide the same quality and protection.

The waxless cartons, manufactured by International Paper, Memphis, Tenn., have benefits for Ocean Mist Farms’ retail customers, DeSante said, because they can help increase recycling revenue and reduce waste.

Ocean Mist Farms’ waxless cartons are approved and certified by the Fiber Box Association for their recyclability and repulpability and certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the company said in the release.

Others converting

Watsonville-based California Giant Inc. is also expanding its use of wax-free, fully recyclable containers, said Cindy Jewell, director of marketing.

Jewell said the company’s berries have been shipped in waxless containers since late last year and the company is converting to plastic reusable pallets in time for its spring berry harvest in Santa Maria, Calif. Jewel said reusable pallets are cleaner than the traditional kind, have no nails and are made from molded, solid plastic that does not break.

“It’s a pretty easy transition for anyone to make,” Jewell said.

Mann Packing Co. Inc., Salinas, Calif., has spent the past decade replacing waxed cartons with waxless ones on nearly everything it ships, said Lorri Koster, vice president of marketing. Advances in cooling technology and changing needs of customers led the company to adopt waxless cartons early on, Koster said.

“They’re more environmentally friendly and there’s savings with less waste, recycling, it’s less dangerous and less messy,” Koster said.

The only commodities the company still ships in waxed containers are iced bunch broccoli and broccoli crowns, and bunched broccolini, Koster said. The company offers no-ice and wax-free cartons for all those commodities, Koster said, depending on what customers ask for.

Castroville, Calif.-based Ocean Mist Farms has cut its use of waxed cartons and switched to waxless cartons in an effort to be more environmentally friendly. The new cartons are waterproof and recyclable.

Courtesy Ocean Mist Farms