We welcome your interest in our Sustainable Produce Containers! Browse this page for answers to common questions about them!
What is the brown container material made of?
The brown containers are a 0.024 thickness KraftPak. Kraftpak is an unbleached, uncoated virgin paperboard that is commonly used in bakery and beverage boxes. It is a low density, high-yield product which provides outstanding strength and durability while using less fiber. The unique two-ply design offers a consistent surface with an attractive natural brown appearance and good printability.
Why don't you use recycled material?
We wanted to ensure that we had materials that would meet food safety standards with consistent quality standards.
What other materials can the containers be made of?
For high volume requirements of millions of containers where speed of assembly is critical, our containers can be machine formed. For this automated equipment we will use a stiffer .018 Solid Unbleached Sulfate (SUS). SUS is a variation of Coated Unbleached Kraft Paperboard (CUK), that is direct food contact compliant, is strong under moisture issues, and offers a white printable surface created by coating it with a naturally-occurring mineral. For high enough volumes we also can offer a German-produced paperboard that is 50% grass fiber.
What would be the cost and time to create custom dies for larger or smaller containers?
Estimated die costs can range between $2,000 and $15,000 depending on the size, material and quantities desired. Lead time can range between 4 to 10 weeks depending on schedules, material availability and quantities desired.
How many colors can be printed on the containers?
KraftPak and SUS can be printed with full color designs. Detailed graphics will display better on the white while darker, single colors are recommended for the brown KraftPak.
Are the containers recyclable?
100% at any recycling facility or program that takes paper.
Are the containers compostable?
Moisture and heat levels will influence how it will break down. In our backyard compost bins the Kraftpak has completely degraded within 10-14 days. With the Half Pint there is a small percent of glue used to create the easy-open auto bottom that is food-safe.
How long will it take for the product to break down in both aerobic & anaerobic environments?
The KraftPak containers have broken down in an unturned anaerobic compost pile within 10 days.
Are the containers Kosher?
We are not aware if either material has been tested to be Kosher.
Are the containers stackable?
While offering the same volume as a plastic clamshell, the SPC offers a much sturdier package that can be stacked at least double the recommended grocery store standard of 2 clamshells high. This will prevent the bruising that can lead to deterioration. And since they are a solid container except for a few vents, they may also protect your produce from the UV light emitted from grocery stores' fluorescent display lights.
Do the containers fit in master cartons?
Yes, the containers take up the same footprint as their plastic counterparts.
Have you done any testing with produce in the containers?
Third party testing has not been pursued at this time but since 2018 we've sold tens of thousands of containers to a variety of farmers who use them for mushrooms, berries, tomatoes, and a variety of produce with no problems.
Could produce in these containers withstand 10 weeks in Controlled Atmosphere Storage?
That is unknown at this time. In unofficial testing we have kept berries and other produce in the containers for over 2 weeks in refrigerators with no adverse effects.
Do the containers conform to FDA regulations (Regulation and Deregulation of Additives for Use in Food Contact Paper in the U.S.) for direct food contact?
Does this meet BRC Global standards for papermaking and conversion?
Do you have appropriate food safety documentation?
Documentation can be provided concerning both SUS and Kraftpak.
Why is there limited product visibility?
he design accounted for as much product visibility as possible while maintaining the structural integrity of the box.
Why is it more expensive than standard plastic clamshells?
In volumes of 5 million per year or more it is the same price as plastic clamshells. After the capital equipment is paid for the grower would actually save money since it would cost less to ship these containers because they take up less volume. Plastic clamshells have been around since their introduction in the mid-1980s. As the volume sold of our containers increases we expect to be able to lower the cost for the smaller volumes. Presently our container is currently less expensive than any other true environmentally-friendly options currently on the market that have an attached lid.
Why is the Half Pint an auto-bottom assembly?
The Low Profile Pint and Quart were designed to ship flat and be assembled by the farmer as needed.
What options do you have to speed assembly?
A low cost folding jig is available on our website, a heavy duty folding jig that at least doubles speed is available for approximately $400 (https://www.fastpack.net/), and for speeds of 40-50 cartons/minute automated equipment is available for around $100,000.
What options do you have to speed assembly for commercial packing and automated filling and closing?
To form cartons at speeds of 120 cartons/minute in order to keep up with automated filling machines, automated tray formers are available for approximately $200,000. To seal the lid like a cereal box at those same speeds a high quality closer is available for around $210,000. Both machines are available for lease and would qualify for grant money as a sustainable added value endeavor.