Peterborough organic farm scraps plastic packaging

Riverford founder Guy Singh-Watson.
Riverford founder Guy Singh-Watson.
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Peterborough based organic farm Riverford is aiming to get rid of single-use plastics from its vegetable boxes.

The farm at Sacrewell hopes to achieve its goal by the end of 2020.

The move comes after the farm spent six months researching sustainable alternatives to plastic.

Founder of the employee-owned farm Guy Singh-Watson said: "We deliver to more than 8,000 homes across Peterborough and the surrounding areas and around 82 per cent of our customers compost at home, either on a compost heap or in a food waste bin.

“So we wanted to find a home compostable solution.”

Riverford’s new packaging will be made from renewable, sustainable materials and will break down within 12 weeks in a home compostable environment, as well as marine environments in the event it ends up in the ocean.

Mr Singh-Watson said: “Our research suggests that we already use 77 per cent less single-use plastic in our veg boxes than major supermarket equivalents.

“This is predicted to be closer to 90 per cent in the winter, when produce is typically less perishable.”

He added: “We still need to use plastic for the likes of salad, spinach and herbs, which would otherwise dehydrate in paper, causing food waste.

“So, although the new packaging is not a perfect solution, it is a huge improvement.”