Reducing plastic use at Peter Nyssen
Reducing Plastic at Peter Nyssen
Our gorgeous Apricot Foxx tulips in their new non-plastic packaging
In July 2018 we announced we swapped the majority of our plastic packaging (around 1.5 tonnes!) for a GM free, fully compostable, plastic replacement made from potato starch in Finland.
Since then we have managed to reduce our plastic output by 6.5 tonnes
Hassle free packaging
When you’ve finished planting your bulbs dispose of the packaging
With your food waste
In your garden waste
Or pop it in your general waste bin.
(Don't put it in your recycling: it will contaminate the plastic processing!).
Our story with Plastic
We are all horrified about the ever growing plastic pollution problem. Influenced by Blue Planet II and the BBC documentary "Drowning in Plastic" with its harrowing shots of a seal strangled by plastic, sea birds so heavy from eating plastic they can't fly and other aberrations of the natural world. Like many of you, we're despairing of what can be done to turn the tide on the world's plastic addiction.
At Peter Nyssen we have been pondering this question for some time. We wanted to reduce the amount of plastic we were putting out into the world but it was not an easy journey.
Initially we investigated the idea of more widely recyclable plastics. This was a complete minefield! We deliver to customers all over Europe and each country, and even different regions in the same country, have different recycling capabilities. Add to that the fact that currently only 11% of plastic is recycled in Europe we quickly realised this would not be the right solution for us.
Our next port of call was a biodegradable alternative to plastic. Again, this was not a straightforward quest. Our first inquiries resulted in materials that broke down during industrial composting but still used petroleum based ingredients. This would mean that while the bags would break down, they'd leave behind non-biodegradable microplastics which would wash out into the environment. Clearly NOT the solution we were looking for.
Finally, we came across Bioska Plastiroll.
- It's a fully compostable,
- GM free,
- A potato starch based plastic replacement
Made in a Finnish factory that uses only renewable energy. It sounded too good to be true! We were heartened to find that they already had a track record in packing vegetables but no one had used it to pack bulbs yet.
We were in uncharted waters as to whether the new material would be suitable for our packing machines or whether it would maintain the high quality Peter Nyssen is known for. What's more, it's quite a lot more expensive than plastic so, for our small, family run company, it was quite a gamble.
So, we ordered a few rolls and the great day of testing arrived. There were a few bitten nails but, with a few minor adjustments, Plastiroll was whizzing through our packing machines as though they were made for each other. Have a look at our packing machines in action here!
We are deliriously happy with this small success on the path to de-plasticising our operations but we know we can go further. We're already looking for good alternatives to the P9 black plastic pots we use for our plants and for a durable alternative in which to pack our narcissi.
Although we did the hard work in finding a viable solution to packing bulbs we don’t think it is right to keep it to ourselves. Many more bulb packing companies have taken our lead and began using it for their own products. Which is great news.
If you would like to know more get in touch to test it on your own packing machines.