Recyclable Grocery Boxes: An Alternative to Plastic Shopping Bags

Supermarkets can offer Carriers as a sustainable solution for hauling groceries
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
DS SMITH solution
DS Smith has launched the Carriers recyclable box solution for transporting groceries.

Sustainable fiber-based packaging provider DS Smith has launched Carriers, a line of recyclable, reusable boxes enabling supermarkets to offer consumers a more sustainable and convenient packaging solution for everyday grocery shopping. The stackable boxes feature the company’s patented, food-safe and water-resistant Greencoat coating technology, giving consumers an affordable alternative to hard-to-recycle plastic shopping bags. Carriers are reusable, moisture-resistant, modular, 100% recyclable and made from renewable resources.

To date, 18 U.S. states have enacted legislation to ban plastic bags, and several major retailers have joined the Beyond the Bag initiative, a group seeking to identify, test and implement viable design solutions and models that more sustainably serve the purpose of the current retail bag. 

[RELATED: California Grocers Association Backs Reusable Plastic Bag Ban Bill]

“The Carrier product line gives consumers the ability to help remove the billions of plastic bags used across the United States each year while at the same time delivering convenience and sustainability to consumers’ day-to-day shopping experience,” said DS Smith Global Customer Business Unit Director Steve Cooper. “This kind of innovative, sustainable packing solution is what more communities need to stem the tide of hard-to-recycle plastics and move away from single-use plastic bags.”

According to DS Smith, its first user, a regional U.S. supermarket chain, is on pace to replace up to 100,000 plastic bags in its first year of selling the boxes in its stores. Supermarkets can create custom branded boxes, as well as incorporate sponsored logos and messaging from other partner brands. The company said that individual Carrier boxes sell at retail price points similar to reusable plastic totes, with each box having the capacity to replace between five and seven plastic bags. Along with having them at checkout, supermarkets can use Carriers as a loyalty program benefit in online curbside pickup orders.

DS Smith’s North America Packaging and Paper (NAPP) division produces Carriers at its U.S. specialty packaging plants. Company designers developed the shopper-friendly box product line by reworking industrial packaging solutions that DS Smith NAPP uses in the poultry and produce industries.

By creating 100% recyclable or reusable packaging and helping its customers dispense with hard-to-recycle plastics, the company is keeping materials in use longer and supporting its commitment to leading the transition to a circular economy. DS Smith has created more than 30,000 circular-ready projects for its customers through its Circular Design Metrics, a design analysis tool that helps customers drive sustainability performance.

Based in London, DS Smith operates in 34 countries, employing around 30,000 people. Its North American operations are based in Atlanta, with 15 manufacturing, paper and recycling facilities employing approximately 2,000 workers.

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