California legislators were busy the past few days trying to get bills approved before the legislative calendar ended Aug. 31. One bill, which would require 50 percent recycled content for plastic bottles, passed easily and is on its way to the governor's desk.
The other, which would have focused on all single-use plastics, failed to garner enough support in the Assembly.
But changes in packaging are not just big issues for government leaders. Changes are going on at a number of points in the consumer supply chain. Yuma, Ariz.-based Datepac LLC has just launched a 100 percent post-consumer plastic package for its Natural Delights Medjool dates in a green-tinted PET, supplied by CarbonLite subsidiary PinnPack.
The packaging comes from green PET bottles such as those used for 7-Up, Sprite and Perrier.
"Green-colored recycled plastics have been hard to find a home for because they are unconventional. People are used to seeing clear plastic packaging," David Baxter, Natural Delights' brand manager, said in a news release.
If consumers start seeing more green packaging for food — especially if they connect the color with sustainable products — then there will be a greater market for green PET, said Ira Maroofian, CarbonLite president.
"Ultimately, higher demand for higher recycled content will translate into better and more recycling, which will mean less plastic pollution," he said.