Already a firm believer in using recyclable materials, the Earthbound Farm brand is taking the next step.

Earthbound Farm converts to recycled PET for clamshells
                       Courtesy Earthbound Farm

Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif., plans to use 100% recycled material to make its polyethylene terephthalate containers.

As it celebrates its 25th year this year, San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based Earthbound Farm, plans to change over all of its polyethylene terephthalate punnets to 100% postconsumer recycled product. 

Instead of virgin PET, which is made from natural gas feedstock, postconsumer recycled PET is made from previously used plastic products such as soda or water bottles — items which otherwise would end up in a landfill.

“It took some time to get the supply chain lined up (for recycled PET),” said Chad Smith, manager of sustainability initiatives for Earthbound Farm. “Virgin PET is a lot easier to source because it is a global commodity. PCR PET is like a niche deal right now, and you have to hunt down the dealers and ensure you have adequate supply.”

Earthbound Farm worked with its current supplier, Packaging Plus LLC, La Mirada, Calif., and recyclers and reprocessors to ensure it had a consistent supply.

The company estimates it will conserve 424 million BTUs and 68,307 gallons of water and eliminate 16,191 tons of carbon dioxide per year, based on its 2008 usage of PET plastic.

It also will divert 1.3 million pounds of solid waste from landfills.