Behind the scenes at Purple Carrot: Recycling

by Purple Carrot

We know our customers want Purple Carrot’s packaging to be as environmentally friendly as possible. (We do, too!) So we talked to Senior Procurement Manager Christine Heiser about our ongoing mission to find eco-friendly options.

In what ways is Purple Carrot’s packaging currently eco-friendly?

  • Boxes that are 100% recyclable
  • Insulation liners that are 100% recyclable
  • Kit and portion bags that can be recycled at the grocery store along with other plastic bags & wrapping
  • Gel pack contents that are non-toxic and can be safely disposed of in the trash, and a plastic bag that can then be recycled at the grocery store along with other plastic bags & wrapping

Why do people have to bring materials to the grocery store for recycling?

No plastic bags and films (not just Purple Carrot’s) are approved for residential recycling because they get tangled up in the machinery at recycling facilities, endangering workers and holding up the recycling process. Grocery stores work with local recycling plants specifically set up to recycle plastic bags and films.

What’s one of the biggest challenges you face in trying to achieve fully recyclable packaging?

“Green” packaging is not readily available and is up to three times more expensive than our current packaging. In many cases, the packaging is not really more environmentally friendly because the resources to dispose of the “green” packaging is not accessible to the majority of the country. An example of this is that most green packaging is marketed as “compostable,” made from natural materials (starch) that can decompose fully into “compost” without producing toxic residue as they break down. But compostable packaging is not suitable for home composting and requires an industrial composting facility. Compostable and biodegradable plastics are not recyclable and can contaminate the recycling process if they are placed into a standard recycling bin.

Why are there so many plastic containers, and is there a plan to replace them?

Portioning containers are an industry issue that Purple Carrot is committed to improving and helping to solve for. I am currently working with our vendor partners on changes we can make both short- and long-term to lessen the impact of our packaging.