The Beauty and the Beast……the plastic waste of the flower bulb industry

For companies like ours, whose business is nature, it is essential to protect it and avoid feeding the plastic soup in our oceans. Van den Bos Flowerbulbs and Beekenkamp Verpakkingen are striving for a cleaner future by making sustainable packaging choices, not compromising resources like food and water.

Van den Bos is shipping nearly 1 million crates around the world filled with flower bulbs, packed in plastic bags yearly. Together with our crate supplier Beekenkamp, we have examined what we can do better to attain sustainable packaging.

The key developments towards sustainable packaging over the past 3 years are:
- For the crates Beekenkamp is using, 100% recycled plastic with no heavy metal contamination.
- With the help of Beekenkamp engineers, Van den Bos has gradually reduced the weight per crate, saving as a result, approximately 300.000 -kilo-plastic annually compared to 2015.
- Exported crates are recycled in the delivery country as much as possible. We are also looking for new options to give the crates a second life in other industries.
- Van den Bos and Beekenkamp are evaluating options to add ingredients such as grass to the plastic mix. This might sound fantastic at first, however, we still need to find out a way to keep up efficiency in the recycling process. We are also looking into the possibility of replacing plastics all together and use a 100% biodegradable alternative, which would decompose with the combination of UV light, water and oxygen.
- In the months to come, when processing the northern hemisphere crop 2018 and with the support of Beekenkamp, we will make a trial run with biodegradable plastic bags. Our clients worldwide will receive test boxes. For easy identification, these will be colored green. Those plastic bags will be compostable and will be part of the green garbage of every nursery.

If you read this news post and feel inspired to help us in our mission to reduce packaging waste, please do not hesitate to contact us directly: Arthur Sitee, Product Manager Beekenkamp Verpakkingen, asitee@beekenkamp.nl & Veronika Paessler, Sales Director South America, veronika@vandenbos.com.

We strongly believe the best ideas come from thinking outside the “lily” box.

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