- Betsy Rakola (NOP Director, Compliance & Enforcement Division)NOP, Director, Compliance & Enforcement Division
- Paul Lewis (NOP Director, Standards Division)NOP Director, Standards Division
- NOSBNational Organic Standards Board
- Jennifer TuckerNOP Associate Deputy Administrator
- Miles McEvoyNOP Deputy Administrator
- Devon PattilloNOP Materials Specialist
- Jessica WaldenNOP Materials Specialis
- Kay HolmesNOP Assistant Director, Compliance & Enforcement Division
- Samuel JonesNOP Public Affairs Officer
Ban the use of plastic packaging for organic produce
We're asking the USDA's National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and National Organic Program (NOP) to actively work toward:
- THE PHASING OUT OF PLASTIC AND METAL PACKAGING FOR ORGANIC PRODUCE
- THE OBLIGATION FOR THE ORGANIC INDUSTRY TO INVEST IN TRULY COMPOSTABLE MATERIALS AND HARMLESS TECHNOLOGIES
- THE GOVERNMENTAL AND/OR PRIVATE SUPPORT OF MAJOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN ENVIRONMENTALLY BENIGN PACKAGING.
- NOT "recyclable plastic" (only 8% of plastic gets recycled anyway)
- NOT "recycled plastic" (it's still plastic!)
- NOT "biodegradable plastic" (they are controversial as to their carbon footprint and end result)
WE DEMAND A FOCUS ON NATURAL FIBERS, NATURAL WAXES, NATURAL RUBBERS AND MECHANICAL TECHNIQUES, AS WELL ANY OTHER SOLUTION USING EASILY RENEWABLE, 100% COMPOSTABLE AND NON POLLUTING ELEMENTS.
Background: Organic produce is packaged IN MANY TIMES MORE PLASTIC than conventional produce:
- polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene vinyl acetate, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, polyester, etc. for the meshes, bags, hard shells & labels.
This packaging also often involves METALS:
- steel and aluminum for the staples, wire ties, & coating of cartons and chips bags.
THIS IS A MAJOR ISSUE.
- On a global scale, it participates in the destructive plastic pollution of the environment, and in the dispersion of metals that will never be recovered
- On an individual level, it forces organic consumers to consume more plastic than other consumers, despite their striving towards a healthier, waste-free lifestyle and investing more money in organic produce. It forces organic consumers to spend their own time figuring out how to dispose of these plastics & metals, without any guaranty that their end of life will be a sustainable one (and indeed, it's not). In short, the pollution created by the packaging of organic food cancels out the efforts organic consumers are making for a low-impact, healthy life.
In the words of the Plastic Pollution Coalition:
- "Plastic never goes away
- Plastic spoils our groundwater
- Plastic attracts other pollutants
- Plastic piles up in the environment
- Plastic poisons our food chain
- Plastic affects human health
- Plastic threatens wild life
- Plastic costs billions to abate"
We're calling on the NOSB, the NOP, on producers, packaging manufacturers, handlers, and distributors of organic produce, to seriously take on this issue - which will grow at the same rate as the organic market - before it's too late.
- NOP, Director, Compliance & Enforcement Division
Betsy Rakola (NOP Director, Compliance & Enforcement Division)
- NOP Director, Standards Division
Paul Lewis (NOP Director, Standards Division)
- National Organic Standards Board
- NOP Associate Deputy Administrator
- NOP Deputy Administrator
- NOP Materials Specialist
- NOP Materials Specialis
- NOP Assistant Director, Compliance & Enforcement Division
- NOP Public Affairs Officer
We're in the middle of an environmental crisis.
I am urging you to actively work towards:
- The phasing out of plastic and metal packaging for organic produce
- The obligation for the organic industry to invest in truly compostable materials and harmless technologies
- The governmental and/or private support of major research and development in environmentally benign packaging.
---- not "recyclable plastic" (only 8% of plastic gets recycled anyway)
---- not "recycled plastic" (it's still plastic!)
---- not "biodegradable plastic" (they are controversial as to their carbon footprint and end result)
I demand a focus on natural fibers, natural waxes, natural rubbers and mechanical techniques, as well any other solution using easily renewable, 100% compostable and non polluting elements.
I am calling on the NOSB, the NOP, on producers, packaging manufacturers, handlers, and distributors of organic produce, to seriously take on this issue - which will grow at the same rate as the organic market - before it's too late.
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