Volm SustainabilityFor our planet. For our customers. For the future.

Volm is actively committed to environmental sustainability — striving to understand and reduce our own environmental footprint while partnering with our customers in their efforts to do the same.

As a complete design, equipment and consumables supplier, we believe we have a unique and exciting opportunity to provide thoughtful solutions that help to reduce landfill waste and meet the demands of a more environmentally conscious world.

As we learn and grow, we seek to provide industry leadership by sharing our knowledge, inspiring others, and helping to educate consumers.

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Illustration of types of bags and products

Sustainable Product Lineup

Building on our history of design and delivery, we are constantly working towards the development of innovative and affordable sustainable materials and packaging technologies that don’t compromise quality or performance.

  • Paper Consumer Bags

    1.5# to 20# paper bags (unlined, no mesh, no film) making it a fully sustainable package.

  • Paper Sleeves & Trays

    Paperboard folding carton trays and sleeves made from recycled paper and also certified compostable plant fiber.

  • Bag-2-Paper

    Patent-pending new technology developed for a vertical packaging machine: a new closing system to make paper bags.

  • Eco-Friendly Header Bags

    Header labels are made from recycled paper with cotton thread.

    • PLA 100% Degradable Bag Made from PLA (Polylactic Acid) and complies with ASTM D6400 standards.

    • Oxo-Degradable Bag Made from regular HDPE plastic with a special oxo-degradable additive.

    • 100% Recycled Bag Made from 100% recycled material.

  • CLAF® Bio Fabric

    CLAF® Bio Fabric contains 96% USDA Certified Biobased content. Biobased products help us increase our use of renewable resources while decreasing our use of non-renewable resources, such as petroleum.

    Biobased products are derived from plants and other renewable, agricultural, marine and forestry materials.

  • ESR (Environmentally Sourced Resin) Poly & Half-N-Half®

    These bags are made from up to 25% plant-based ESR and polyethylene, which helps reduce fossil fuel-based plastic use and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Ultratech® Mesh

    Volm’s proprietary mesh which answers the call for sustainability through source reduction while providing the breathability produce requires.

    It performs as no other mesh by offering a unique combination of strength, stability, flexibility, and an appealing diamond design.

Ultratech® Mesh

In 2010, Ultratech® Mesh was developed as a solution to consumer and retailer demand for produce packaging with a reduced carbon footprint.

Made in the U.S.A., Ultratech Mesh is lightweight but strong, delivering capacity, breathability, and stability while using less material and consuming less fossil fuel in production and transportation.

Ultratech Mesh is the answer the produce packaging industry has been looking for. It’s not just a greener product, it’s a smarter product. It performs the way you need a mesh to perform, but it does so by using fewer resources with substantial downstream benefits.

It provides advantages in manufacturing, transportation, storage, and merchandising – all while running on existing equipment. This combination makes it a truly sustainable, green packaging alternative for all parties, from grower to consumer.

Any cutting-edge technology is only as good as the company behind it. Ultratech’s revolutionary packaging technology comes from Volm, the produce industry’s leading innovator and packaging supplier for 65 years.

What is sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging strives to meet the functional and economic needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability is not necessarily an end state, but is a continuing process of improvement.

This involves ongoing analysis of material life-cycles to help guide the design and use of packaging for reduced environmental impact. It considers the whole supply chain: from processing, to marketing, through to end of life and rebirth through reuse or recycling.

Sustainable packaging considerations may include:

  • Is beneficial, safe and healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle

  • Meets market criteria for performance and cost

  • Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy

  • Optimizes the use of renewable or recycled source materials

  • Is manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices

  • Is physically designed to optimize materials and energy

  • Is effectively recovered and utilized in biological and/or industrial closed loop cycles

Common Terms in Sustainable Packaging

  • Bio-Based

    Material derived from a renewable biological resource.

    Bio-based plastics, or simply bioplastics, can be either recyclable, compostable, or sometimes both. “Bio-based” is not the same as “biodegradable”; miscommunication can lead to incorrect disposal of the package.

  • Biodegradable

    Material capable of decomposition through the action of microorganisms.

    To make this claim, brand owners must be able to prove that the entire product or package will completely break down and return to nature within one year or less.

  • Carbon footprint

    The total emissions caused by an individual, event, organiza- tion, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent.

  • Oxo-Degradable

    Oxo-degradable plastics are neither bioplastic nor a biodegradable plastic, but rather a conventional plastic mixed with an additive in order to imitate biodegradation.

  • Compostable

    Material capable of decomposition under specified composting conditions. Composting is human-controlled biodegradation with the aim of faster decomposition and agricultural use of the resulting biomass.

    To claim “compostable”, packaging must meet qualifying standards, such as those set by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) or the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM). Specifying if the package is intended for industrial or home composting facilities is also required.

  • Material Identification

    Words, numbers or symbols used to designate composition of components of a product or packaging. Material identification symbols do not indicate whether an item can be recycled.

    The following Resin Identification Codes (RIC) provide a consistent national system to facilitate recycling of post-consumer plastics.

    #1 PET Polyethylene Terephthalate
    #2 HDPE High-Density Polyethylene
    #3 PVC Polyvinyl Chloride
    #4 LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene
    #5 PP Polypropylene
    #6 PS Polystyrene
    #7 OTHER Acrylic, Nylon, etc.

  • Recyclable

    Material that can be reprocessed and remanufactured into new goods.

    Recyclability goes beyond just being technically recyclable. There must be consumer access to a recycling program, a recycler must be able to process the material, and there must be an end market.

    Under a proposed global definition for recyclability, a recyclable product must meet the following four conditions:

    1. The product must be made with a plastic that is collected for recycling, has market value, and/or is supported by a legislatively mandated program.

    2. The product must be sorted and aggregated into defined streams for recycling processes.

    3. The product can be processed and reclaimed/recycled with commercial recycling processes.

    4. The recycled plastic becomes a raw material that is used in the production of new products.

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Interested to learn more about how Volm Companies can help you operate more sustainably?

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