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RESPONSIBLE | FleuraMetz starts pilot programme on sustainable packaging

Environmental awareness is one of FleuraMetz’s core values and the company strives to lower the usage of plastic packing products among other projects. To test the more sustainable alternatives to plastic flower sleeves, we started a pilot programme last November.

In previous blogs from this series, we discussed what elements make a packaging sustainable. What materials can be used and how can you make a change yourself. In this article, no. six of the blog series 'Packaging materials', we will explain the set up of the research.

Together with growers Rodenburg Roses, Kwekerij De Opstal, packaging specialist Koen Pack and FleuraMetz Cash & Carry Venlo, we tested if more sustainable alternatives would still fulfill their primary function (i.a. protection). The pilot programme was conducted with Dutch roses as this is currently the best-selling flower variety.

Last May, intern Dionne Rens (Sustainable Value Chains) presented her thesis on better alternatives for the transportation of flowers. According to her findings, there wasn't a holy grail. More importantly was the conscious thinking that goes into the choice of packaging. Packaging must fulfill its primary function with a minimal use of material, energy and level of pollution.

When we look at the five R's from the international policy on sustainability (reduce, re-use, recycle, replace, rethink, reclaim/recover) limitation – and therefore no packaging – is the best option. Therefore, the first question we should be asking is whether packaging is necessary in the first place; which is not always the case for many product groups. FleuraMetz has therefore chosen to transport part of the roses in this pilot programme without sleeves.

Earlier research had shown that paper would be a good option, which was also confirmed by the research of Dionne Rens. Currently, unbleached paper has the lowest CO2 emission, causes the least environmental pollution and biodegrades fast. Unbleached craft paper has therefore been included as second alternative in the pilot programme.

Would you like to know the results? We will be sharing our findings with you in our next blog

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