(UPDATED COVERAGE, 4:04 p.m., July 9)

Natural Selection Foods, owner of the Earthbound Farm label, is switching all of its plastic packaging to 100% recycled plastic products.

The San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based company said in a July 9 news release that all of its plastic clamshell packages are now being made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate, which comes from used plastic products like soda or water bottles.

The process to make the packaging uses less energy and water, can reduce waste going into landfills, and eliminate more than 16,000 tons of carbon dioxide, according to the news release.

Chad Smith, manager of sustainability initiatives, said it took the company two years to make the transition to the new type of plastic because the recycled plastic market “is like a niche deal right now, and you have to hunt down the dealers and ensure you have adequate supply.”

Smith said in an e-mail the company is working with its supplier, Packaging Plus, and recyclers/processors to ensure Natural Selection has a consistent supply.

All salad clamshells were switched to the new plastic, he said, as of July 1 and the new labeling will be out later this summer or in early fall. For now, just the salad and mixed greens are in the new clamshells but other products “will convert over the next few months, as existing supplies run out,” Smith said.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary and increase awareness of the ecological benefits of post-consumer packaging, Earthbound Farm is launching a redesigned label on its salad greens packages, highlighting the post-consumer content of the packaging, according to the company.

“We started farming organically because we were concerned about the personal and environmental health effects of farming with chemicals,” said Myra Goodman, co-founder and executive vice president of Earthbound Farm, in the news release.

The company is also launching a web-based contest seeking quotes from children for the inside of its clamshell salad labels, and the authors of those quotes chosen to be printed on Earthbound Farm salad labels will be awarded a $500 U.S. savings bond and a $500 donation will be made in their name to an environmental charity of their choice, according to the news release.

UPDATED: Natural Selection Foods using recycled plastic in packaging