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Be Green Packaging to Open U.S. Plant

Be Green Packaging has finalized the purchase of its first U.S. manufacturing facility, in Ridgeland, S.C.

The packaging company, whose customers include Whole Foods, 7-Eleven and Procter & Gamble, says that the $7.3 million factory will be the country’s first for compostable packaging based on Green Products Innovation Institute (GPII) standards. The plant will join Be Green’s China manufacturing base, and warehouses in Boston and Los Angeles.

“We are committed to safety and quality in our plant and adding value to the communities in which we operate,” CEO Ron Blitzer said. “With radical changes happening daily in our industry, now is the time to bring our manufacturing operations to the US.”

Be Green aims to make the new plant 100 percent waste-free, using a water reclamation system alongside extensive composting and recycling operations.

The Santa-Barbara based company, founded in 2007, makes its packaging from wild-harvested plants including bulrush, bagasse and bamboo. The company says it is the only sustainable food packaging manufacturer to achieve Cradle to Cradle certification according to GPII protocols.

Cradle to Cradle certification considers factors such as material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social responsibility.

In other packaging news, Danone has switched to Ingeo plant-based plastic for most Activia yogurts sold in Germany. The change will reduce the product packaging’s carbon footprint by 25 percent and use 43 percent less fossil resources, according to a life cycle assessment (LCA) study conducted by the Heidelberg-based LCA Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

The 4x115g and 8x115g yogurts were previously packaged in polystyrene. Danone has now switched about 80 percent of German Activia products to Ingeo, and has plans to convert the other 20 percent.

Ingeo maker NatureWorks is working with the industry to develop a new method of recovery and reuse for its packaging. It is also working with Danone to achieve International Sustainability and Carbon Certification for the cups.

“NatureWorks worked closely with Danone, not only to supply the material solution, Ingeo, but also to rigorously address questions and provide data around the entire supply chain from field to product,” NatureWorks chief executive officer Marc Verbruggen said.

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