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Oppy breaks ground with sweet, sustainable kiwi packs

Committed to sustainability in the industry, Oppy has introduced an innovative first: a plastic-free, tree-free, renewable packaging solution.

As part of its long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation-led approach to sustainable development, the leading fresh produce grower, marketer and distributor has partnered with CanePak to create bagasse-based packaging. Compostable, recyclable, and printed with vegetable-based inks, the pack debuts with one-pound units of green kiwifruit bearing Oppy’s popular KeeWee brand.

Since bagasse fibers are a byproduct of sugarcane production, the new pack utilizes an existing agricultural waste stream so it requires no new materials, no additional cultivation areas and has no impact on existing forest areas. It also leverages the growing consumer emphasis on environmental sustainability in packaging and is home compostable in as little as four weeks under the right conditions.

“Bagasse requires less chemical processing than tree-based pulp which means its environmental impact is reduced even further,” Oppy’s Director of Marketing Services Cathie MacDonald said. “Oppy is dedicated to innovative packaging solutions that place the environment at the forefront of our work instead of as an afterthought, which is aligned with our expect the world from us promise.”

The KeeWee brand, which features a playful and bright kiwi character, was introduced in 2016 to meet retailers’ demands for a product that energizes the consumer and fuels repeat sales. The groundbreaking pack is therefore a natural fit for the fun, youth-focused KeeWee character which aims to resonate with consumers and retailers alike.

“CanePak Paperboard is proud to support Oppy’s commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation by advancing the use of 100% bagasse fiber packaging,” CanePak Paperboards Co-Founder Minto Roy said. “Tree-Free packaging that aligns with the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly packaging that is recyclable, minimizes landfill waste, greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.”

Oppy’s other sustainability initiatives include partnering with the How2Recycle label program to inspire families to recycle produce packaging, in addition to introducing a Top Seal machine in its Vancouver, BC warehouse for repacking bulk items, reducing necessary plastic by 30% in comparison to traditional packs. Oppy also supports the work of the BC Marine Trails Network Association by donating to their plastic clean-up initiatives.

“Innovation is at the heart of Oppy’s continued success over the years and this is just one of a series of developments that underscore our deep commitment to sustainable business practices across our value chain,” Oppy’s Senior Manager of Insights & Innovation Garland Perkins said. “At Oppy, innovation is more than a product or a package, it is a framework that guides all of our work on a fundamental level and we expect to launch even more developments on this front in the coming years.”