TrayC – another step closer to complete recycling
New returns system in Germany
Modiform and Landgard are promoting the recycling of transport trays. To support this, Landgard has set up a returns system for used trays for some German DIY chains, with Modiform recycling the trays that are returned. Five different models in size 56x31 cm for 9-13 cm pots have been selected under the name TrayC. Growers supplying certain German DIY chains have been using TrayC, which is made from uniform polystyrene material (PS), since the beginning of 2021, which has made recycling considerably easier to organise. John van der Maarel (Sales Director Modiform): ‘TrayC is a great example of our Closed Loop Commitment, where we are working with the entire horticulture supply chain to close the material loop. We are proud that we produce and recycle the trays and that the loop is now fully closed.’
TrayC is an open-loop system from Landgard, a German marketing cooperative of producers and supply chain partner of Modiform. Working with Landgard, Modiform is committed to developing, producing, and taking back products for recycling so that the material loop remains closed. TrayC includes a number of tray versions— all are made from 100% recycled PS, with no new plastic at all. Modiform recycles the returned trays internally, and uses them to produce new trays. This helps to minimise the ecological footprint and prevents material from being lost.
Every TrayC can be identified by its special logo, black base, and top in cool grey. As the trays are uniform and easy to stack, they can be collected and sorted with relative ease. By using TrayC, growers can automatically operate more sustainably and help to contribute to a comprehensive circular system.
Horst Vier (Head of the Horticultural Supplies Department at Landgard): ‘Landgard is delighted that Modiform has assisted in developing TrayC and is participating as an important player in an open-loop system. Modiform taking back and recycling the used trays was an important pre-requisite for this project getting off the ground. By standardising the trays, we have been able to create a monostream of used material, thus supporting the recycling process. We are pleased that this is being properly guaranteed.’ In addition, some of the used trays that are still clean and intact are pulled out of the process and made available to growers for reuse. The TrayC system will be expanded in the future so that other DIY chains and retail partners are able to participate in the project.
Closed Loop Commitment
The focal points for sustainability come together in Modiform's Closed Loop Commitment. The material loop must and can be closed. By using the right materials and production techniques, the pressure caused by products on the environment is reduced. The Closed Loop Commitment consists of many building blocks: from sharing knowledge to producing recyclable products made from recyclable materials (like plastic or alternatives like cardboard) for the EcoExport range. Modiform focuses on the various links in the supply chain and is always looking for ways in which the various parties can collaborate, from breeder and grower, to trade and retail. Modiform supports, facilitates, and develops a whole spectrum of solutions – from simple to complex – for packaging needs and consequently adds value for the client. Thinking and acting sustainably is in the genes of this family company. Modiform collects materials from wider society and upcycles these into high-quality and unique products as well as innovative concepts.
TrayC as part of the Landgard sustainability strategy
The idea behind the new TrayC transport packaging is based on the development of material loops with recycling, rather than linear processes with elimination of materials as a clearly defined end to single use. To this end, the tray loop also includes the return transport of TrayC trays to a central point of collection where the trays are then sorted and prepared for reuse, or defective trays are transferred to the recycling loop as unmixed polystyrene. This process is the pre-requisite for unmixed polystyrene trays being recycled and re-entering the material loop in the form of new trays made from recyclables.
Development of the TrayC loop is part of the company-wide Landgard sustainability strategy with the four pillars of ‘green products’, ‘climate, energy, and environment’, ‘employees’, and ‘society’. As part of this strategy, the cooperative of producers has been working with member companies since 2015 to translate sustainable commitment into specific, lived practice.