European industry solution to replace single-use plastic plant trays
Under the guidance of the German SIM, various parties are investigating the possibility of a sustainable multi-use European solution for the current single-use plant tray. This will not only substantially reduce the CO2 emissions caused by single-use plant trays, which are mainly released during the production process, but it will also save on raw materials and will reduce plastic waste. According to the SIM, in Germany alone, single-use plant trays account for over 100 million units per year.
In the meantime, 70 European industry representatives are working together in several virtual working groups to find a sustainable solution. The most important issues that are being discussed concern the necessary technical specifications of the new multi-use trays, the number of pot sizes and how the trays can be integrated into the current supply chain. In the coming six months, various pilots will be held in Germany and the Netherlands to collect data. The SIM aims to introduce a Pan-European multi-use plant tray concept by the end of 2022.
The fact that the project is being financed by the sector itself shows that there is strong awareness and support within the sector for arriving at a common European solution.All the more so because national and company-specific solutions, despite efforts by various parties (including Royal FloraHolland) to develop them further, have in the past 30 years only managed to achieve a limited market share. SIM estimates that the share of single-use plant trays is around 90%.
The Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floriculture Products (VGB), Royal FloraHolland and Container Centralen are represented in the working groups.