Independent grocery store chain New Seasons Market, which serves the Pacific Northwest region, has unveiled a major shift toward sustainability: The retailer will transition its private label Partner Brand Fresh Pasta packaging from plastic clamshells to a greener option, the Paperseal MAP tray.
The PaperSeal modified-atmosphere packaging trays are produced by Graphic Packaging International (GPI), a global manufacturer of paper-based packaging, and New Seasons will be the first retailer in the United States to use this innovation. Each PaperSeal MAP tray uses 91% less plastic than the fresh pasta’s current clamshell packaging.
By upgrading, the grocer will eliminate more than 120,000 clamshells from the waste stream annually. The company plans to continue reducing operational waste from its stores, striving to achieve a 60% landfill diversion rate.
“Packaging is a complex environmental problem, and we actively work to balance the tradeoffs required to ensure food preservation while limiting unnecessary excess and waste,” said Athena Petty, senior sustainability manager at New Seasons. “By upgrading our Partner Brand Fresh Pasta packaging to PaperSeal MAP trays, we’re drastically reducing plastic from the waste stream and extending the shelf life of the product, combating the negative climate impacts of food waste.”
The PaperSeal MAP trays are made from FSC Certified fibers and are fully recyclable once the food-safe liner is removed. In addition to reducing material impact, the packaging extends product shelf life from 12 to 20 days. New Seasons shoppers can expect to find the new packaging at their local store throughout starting in April.
“PaperSeal has received numerous international sustainability awards and has become a preferred choice for brands around the world who seek to develop more sustainable packaging solutions,” said Ricardo De Genova, SVP of global innovation and new business development at Atlanta-based GPI. “We are delighted that New Seasons will be adopting this innovative packaging solution, as well as proud that we can help a business with such a socially responsible approach to reduce its plastic waste.”
Portland, Ore.-based New Seasons Market employs nearly 3,500 staffers at 19 stores in Oregon, Washington and Northern California, serving a unique mix of locally sourced and organic items, classic grocery favorites, and chef-made grab-and-go meal solutions. As the world’s first certified B Corp grocer, the company has committed 10% of its after-tax profits to the communities it serves. New Seasons and its sister banner, Santa Cruz, Calif.-based New Leaf Community Markets, an organic and natural grocer with five stores along California’s Central Coast, are independent operators within the Good Food Holdings family of brands. A subsidiary of Emart (which is part of The Shinsegae Group, a global retailer in Seoul, South Korea), Carson, Calif.-based Good Food Holdings is also the holding company for three other food retailing brands: Bristol Farms, which just opened a new-concept market in Irvine, Calif.; Metropolitan Market; and Lazy Acres Natural Market.