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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