Did you know that for many years now the agriculture industry has used a mix of of boxes made of recyclable materials and wax-lined boxes? Farmers also ship with wood pallets or plastic containers that can be reused. Circumstances do occur where a wax-coated box or a fully cascaded box is required.
Coating the outside and inside, as well as the medium (this would be the flutes in between) of a box completely in wax, is what is known as a cascaded box. This application is mainly used when ice is involved. For example the type of box is primarily used in the shipping of broccoli. To preserve the freshness of the produce, it is shipped with a liquid ice mix which ensures the product stays cool during shipping. The coolness is needed to dissipate the heat given off by the broccoli. As the ice melts, without the wax coating, it would turn the box into a pile of mush.
Other fresh produce such as peppers, chilled and wrapped lettuce, and strawberries don’t require the same level of protection and wax alternatives can be used. Many millions of tons of waxed boxes end up in landfills every year. The end users such as grocery stores etc… want to see the change to wax alternatives that can be recycled easier. This will help cut down on their costs as far as having to dispose of the boxes.
With that being said, the farm industry is more reluctant to change due to the extra cost that may occur. Also, operators of farms already have packing systems in place. The non wax alternative is still new and still developing. The farmers main concern is getting his produce to the end user fresh and looking as good upon arrival as when it left the farm, for the least amount of money. It is a very diverse and difficult market.
We at Lovepac continue to work with our clients in the agriculture sector to come up with new alternatives and solutions to both help our client and the environment.