How a Food Packaging Company is Changing the Industry for the Better

Sambrailo Packaging—a 94 year old family-owned agriculture packaging company based out of Watsonville, California—pioneered the very first plastic clamshell used in the berry industry.

“Our design and innovation took off not only in the berry industry but paved the way for others to design plastic packaging for various fruits and vegetables in a rigid container,” explains Juana Ramirez, Director of Sales and Marketing for Sambrailo Packaging.

But the story doesn’t end there. “As we continue to see the damaging effects of plastics in our oceans, landfill, and on our Earth, we at Sambrailo Packaging are in a stage of re-inventing who we are,” says Ramirez.

VP of Innovation Tom Taggart began creating the new packaging category ReadyCycle, made from corrugated cardboard without wax, labels, or plastic coatings, and designed for the existing cardboard recycling stream.

“We recognize and believe that we are at a point where change is desperately needed,” continues Ramirez. “Introducing ReadyCycle as a packaging alternative to plastic for agriculture is our first step leading the charge.”

ReadyCycle hit the market in 2017, and has been adopted by farms and markets throughout the Western U.S. and Mexico.

Durst Organic Growers, in Esparto, California, wrote about their switch to ReadyCycle on their blog: “This adjustment is a costly one, but represents a huge shift for us as we bring the same principles we use for growing our crops to our packaging. We believe in producing clean, organic produce for our consumers and in the same vein, believe that treating our planet with respect and keeping it clean is equally important.”

While the benefits of using ReadyCycle are numerous, including the ability for markets and growers to print logos/branding on the containers, the Sambrailo team says the cost is more than the traditional plastic clamshells, and ultimately, the demand for ReadyCycle will be driven by the consumer.

“Anytime you see plastic packaging, there is an opportunity for ReadyCycle to step in and become a viable non plastic solution,”  said Sara Lozano, Marketing Manager for Sambrailo.

By all accounts, the change is happening. Using ReadyCycle has been voted as one of the top 30 seed ideas in Plastic Pollution Coalition and A New Mission’s Drastic Plastic Mission to reduce the amount of plastic on supermarket shelves.

Can ReadyCycle change the entire industry? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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23 responses to “How a Food Packaging Company is Changing the Industry for the Better”

  1. Fantastic concept! We hope more and more companies will take responsibilities for their environmental costs of production and adopt ReadyCycle.

  2. veliu@iinet.net.au says:

    Brilliant, hope. This comes to Australia soon!

  3. suzanalbright@gmail.com says:

    I search for food products that are not in plastic. We purchase milk in glass bottles. If two similar products are available and one is in cardboard, metal or glass, I will choose that. Even with bar soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, and paper products I choose items that are not in plastic. I bring cloth shopping bags into the store, and I have no intention of filling them with plastic to carry home. I can’t solve the immense problem of plastic pollution, but I try hard not to contribute to it.

  4. lizanneliz@gmail.com says:

    Thank you from Australia. Many consumers are looking for fruit and vegs that are not plastic-wrapped. Producers must start using cardboard packaging straight sway.

  5. alizoned@icloud.com says:

    This is excellent! I hope it is the beginning of change away from plastic packaging. Companies that use non plastic packaging should recieve tax breaks and those that don’t should have to pay more taxes.
    There is a great need for indoustries to use all the plastic that has been and is still being produced. Ideally this would be a national government subsidized part of waste management.
    I am interested in being actively involved in this effort at a local level. Being new to where I live makes it difficult to make this happen. How could on the ground info and alternatives be provided within communities?

  6. Great idea although I am sure this was what all packaging used to be made of before we decided plastic was better.
    If I remember correctly, the plastics industry convinced us, at that time, that it would stop deforestation by switching over to plastic.
    Pretty sure that there is still an issue with deforestation!
    The issue is and has always been single-use packaging. We need to use these things multiple times – Plastic or not.

  7. Tessa Barras says:

    Wish you could get the UK supermarkets to use these, starting with the organic fruit and veg. When shoppers see the new packaging they will demand it for ALL fruit and veg. I would rather buy less without plastic than throw away excess produce wrapped in plastic.

  8. Bbrown@gmail.com says:

    The public may be generally naive but let’s just have a logical moment.. Recycled papers for cold store use ? I think this is a potential recipe for disaster. With all that condensation and moisture in and around the cold storage chain…Unless of course the base papers are fully impregnated with waterproofing chemicals or “size” or, the papers are made from virgin or kraft paper materials (I.e. taken directly from trees), these packs will be delaminating and failing all over the Country..So how is this, coupled with a lack of transparency to ensure all the packaged contents are not spoiled prior to purchase, yes, how is this deemed an “improvement” from the status quo ? I think plastic sucks and poisons the environment but why on earth is this cardboard alternative seen as better when ALL things/details are properly considered. Are people in 2018 still sheep who cannot think for themselves and identify the spin and self promotion being peddled?

  9. I hated that I had to package my cherry tomatoes in plastic clamshells because our area does not recycle them. I came up with this container that is made of an even lighter cardboard and better design in terms of protecting the product (but still holds up great under temperature changes):
    https://www.cresbicrate.com/special-pricing/sustainable-clamshell
    Just not sure how to market it against a huge packaging company…

  10. Top 6 Players in the Food Packaging Industry

    Food packaging assists in preserving and transporting food products to their desired location without affecting their taste or quality. It also aids in protecting food products from bacteria, spillage, moisture and toxins. At present there as both small and large players in the food packaging industry across the globe. The profiles of the leading players are discussed below:

    Amcor
    Crown Holdings
    Owens-Illinois
    Tetra Pak
    American Packaging Corporation
    Ball Corporation

    Read More: https://www.imarcgroup.com/top-players-food-packaging-industry

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