Murrays launches eco-packaging for poultry

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Environment, Environmentally friendly

Murray's Chickens, one of the largest organic firms in the US,
claims to be the first poultry company in the country to switch to
environmentally-friendly packaging without polystyrene or foam
trays.

The company said it decided to use a new form-fill design for its packaging after discovering that 2.5 million tons of polysterene packaging waste ends up in landfills every year. "As a company that takes its social responsibility seriously, the foam tray was always a thorn in our side and we have long been exploring options",​ said Steve Gold, vice president of marketing for Murray's Chickens. Murray's new poultry packaging, developed by Reiser Equipment, is still effective against pathogens as it features a proprietary leak-resistant seal to protect the product, the company claims. It has be designed using an unspecified single material to be freezer-safe, "eliminating both the need for additional shopping bags at the checkout counter and freezer bags by the consumer,"​ Gold said. The company also said it is reducing the overall amount of packaging used to deliver the product to retailers. Murray's decision to change its packaging reflects the growing pressure placed on manufacturers by regulators and consumers to limit the damage they inflict on the environment. According to a new report by The Nielson Company, nearly one in two global consumers would give up all packing designed to provide convenience if it would benefit the environment. Americans were less prepared to give up packing designed for hygiene and protective purposes, but some 55 per cent said they would give up packs that could be cooked in or kept at home as a re-sealable container, the analysts said. "As global concern and awareness for the environment continues to grow, consumers around the world are demanding more action from retailers and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) manufacturers to protect the environment,"​ said Patrick Dodd, president of Nielson Europe."Eco-friendly packaging is certainly a growing priority the food industry cannot ignore,"​ he added. Furthermore, US food manufacturers may face growing regulatory pressure later this year, as America's Climate Security Act of 2007 is due to be debated in Senate later this year. The bill is projected to reduce total US greenhouse-gas emissions by as much as 19 per cent below the 2005 level in 2020 and by as much as 63 per cent below the 2005 level in 2050. European consumers are similarly concerned over how green their food supply, as indicated by research carried out for the European Commission earlier this year. Research group Eurobarometer said earlier this month that 75 per cent of respondents would at least consider purchasing environmentally friendly products when food shopping.

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