“Our research has shown that PET products do not get recycled well by the consumers in many countries. With the recent rise in online plant sales, we started with the development of more sustainable and strong packaging solutions,” explains Arie den Hertog, Product Manager at Modiform. As a result, the company introduced a new product category to their assortment: the online packaging. “Not only is this product sustainable, a top priority is optimally protecting the plant.”

Sustainable without damage
So what is the first product Modiform is introducing to this new line? “We have created a ‘clampack’ packaging out of recycled paper and cardboard. The pot plant sits in the middle of the packaging, after which the sides are closed to ‘clamp’ around the pot. The plant itself then sticks out of the opening at the top. Importantly, you are able to press a piece of the surrounding carton box into the slits of the clampack. This is an essential aspect of the packaging as it provides optimal protection. During shipment, the box could be put upside down without damaging the product.”

Research leads to cardboard
According to Den Hertog, it is Modiform’s goal to make sure that their products get recycled by the consumers. Therefore, the company has been doing research on how different materials get recycled in European countries. The results of the research can be seen in this infographic. “The majority of the previously available mail order packaging is made out of PET. However, our research has shown that this material does not get recycled well by consumers in many countries. Cardboard, on the other hand, is a much more recycled material.” According to research done by the European Paper Recycling Council, the European recycling rate of paper and cardboard in 2020 was as high as 73.9%. In The Netherlands this number is even higher, at 89%, according to the PRN (Papier Recycling Nederland). “Therefore, we decided to work with pressed pulp as a sustainable alternative,” Den Hertog explains. “In addition, this material is more coarse and thick, meaning that it provides extra protection.”

A growing market
“Especially since the pandemic, the market for online plant sales has been on the rise. Therefore, we are excited to fill a need for sustainable online packaging for online platforms, growers and e-tailers. It is a user-friendly product, which is efficient for the sender as they just have to close the sides. This means the time for packing a plant safely is limited with the clampacks,” Den Hertog says. To start off, they have introduced five models of their patented clampack, in different sizes for the most used pot sizes. With this introduction, Modiform now provides a sustainable ‘total package’ for plant shipments. “A carton box, with our clampack in it, which carries an ecoExpert pot. It doesn’t get much easier than that for the consumer to recycle everything in one go. The material is also biodegradable and a natural wax is applied to them, making them strong and water resistant.”

Later on, new models of the clampack are planned to follow. But that is not all there is to the line. “We are also introducing different products for our online packaging line, such as an in-box tray.” An in-box tray is a packaging solution that enables plants to be placed horizontally in a tray so that they can subsequently be shipped to the consumer in a matching shipping box. Plants of different pot sizes (10.5, 12, and 13 cm) can be sent in an in-box tray. Thanks to the smart design, multiple trays fit in a single shipping box. 

For more information:
Arie den Hertog