A plastic free horticulture tray that cuts CO2 by up to 80%
Together with Stora Enso, Mester Grønn has developed a plastic-free transportation tray for plants
The new PureFiber™ Horti tray is made from formed fiber and reduces CO2 emissions compared to plastic alternatives. And they're hoping the new tray will have a positive effect on the entire industry’s environmental impact.
Mester Grønn is Norway's largest wholly owned flower chain with over 143 flower shops. PureFiber™ Horti tray is available to order now.
The flower industry has been lagging behind when it comes to reducing plastics
The reason is that they are dependent on water to nurture plants, this means they need water resistant material to hold and grow plants. Plastic works well for that as it withstands moisture.
The problem is that a massive amount of plastic is used and many times it is carbon black plastic which is often rejected during sorting at recycling facilities because black is hard to detect.
Switching out plastic transportation trays
With an ambition to replace plastic where they can, Mester Grønn set sight on the single use plastic trays used for transporting plants from growers to flower shops. They discussed with Stora Enso about finding a new sustainable option. It should be plastic-free but still had to meet three criteria:
1. Stiffness and Resilience: The tray needed to retain its rigidity in both dry and humid conditions.
2. Efficiency in Logistics: It needed to follow industry standards to fit the existing logistical chain.
3. Water Resistance: The new material had to be able to withstand exposure to water.
Meeting the criteria
Looking for alternative materials for the transportation trays is not a new idea, it has been done before with mixed results. The biggest challenge is to keep the necessary stiffness. Trays made from carton and paper lose their integrity when exposed to water, making them soft and impossible to carry plants in.
Stora Enso suggested PureFiber™ which is a molded fiber that can produce various shapes with the strength needed to transport plants in humid conditions. Unlike previous paper-based attempts, the formed fiber tray meets all criteria requested.
“It’s plastic-free and made from formed fiber, yet it’s a completely different product than the paper trays we have tried in the past. Working with Stora Enso on this has been fantastic, they know how to make an idea a reality. They are thorough, have resources and go the extra mile.”
The critically reviewed Life Cycle Analysis
A critically reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) comparing PureFiber™ Horti tray to the other trays on the market, also shows that it is a climate-friendly choice. When produced, PureFiber™ Horti tray extracts 45-80% less fossil resources from nature than the single-use plastic trays. Even when comparing with trays made from recycled plastic.
The study also shows that PureFiber™ Horti tray is cutting CO2 emissions by 56-81% in comparison. The variation in percentage is related to differences in logistics and waste handling in the four countries studied.
Giving growers a better price with reuse
Growers send plants to flower shops. When the plants arrive, they are taken out of the transportation trays. In the past, the trays were thrown away after being used one time. Now, Mester Grønn is reusing the trays. They also offer growers a lower price for this.