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RE: enviro friendly packaging


I don't know much about packaging either but the press release that follows below may be something of interest.  I don't know whether the product mentioned may be applicable to your client or whether it is environmentally preferable to your client's current packaging.


Rodney Sobin
Air Permitting Program Coordinator
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Postal: P.O. Box 10009, Richmond, VA 23240-0009
Street:  629 E. Main St., Richmond, VA 23233-2429
Tel. 804-698-4382	fax 804-698-4264  Rsobin@deq.state.va.us
DEQ Innovative Technology http://www.deq.state.va.us/innovtech
Chesapeake Bay Program Innovative Technology http://www.chesapeakebay.net/innovative.htm <http://www.chesapeakebay.net/innovative.html> 
Virginia Environmental Services Network http://www.vesn.org

	-----Original Message-----
Corn-Based Deli Packaging Makes its North American Debut 

Corn has always been a staple in grocery stores, but it is catching customers' attention like never before as Wild Oats Markets, Inc., (Nasdaq: OATS) replaces their petroleum-based plastic packaging with a corn-based alternative at their Nature's/Wild Oats Portland locations. Called NatureWorks(tm) PLA, this natural-based material is allowing the company to pioneer a fresh approach to in-store delis. 

NatureWorks PLA is the first commercially viable, annually renewable resource-based biopolymer to be used in large-scale, North American commercial grocery applications. Nature's/Wild Oats is using packaging made with NatureWorks PLA in 11 locations throughout the Portland metropolitan area, with plans to expand the campaign nationally into all 77 Wild Oats stores. Currently, they are serving fruit, salads, cheese, deserts and other deli items in the corn-derived containers. 

"Customer response has been terrific to this new packaging," said Kurt Luttecke, Nature's/Wild Oats Area Director of Operations. "Not only are these new containers 100 percent natural, they're as functional or better than the plastic tubs the industry uses as far as strength, clarity and sealing in the flavor and aroma of our deli products." 

Research indicates that more sustainable products, such as those made from NatureWorks PLA, are highly sought after by consumers for their unique raw material source and ability to be fully compostable in municipal systems at the end of its useful life. According to a Gallup poll that looked at consumers' attitudes about the environment, 74 percent of them have specifically bought products because they were better for the environment than competing products. Additionally, more than two-thirds of Americans claim to avoid using products that harm the environment. 

Nature's/Wild Oats is also currently in negotiations with a local vendor who can collect the returned containers, and after a 47-day biodegradable process bring back commercial compost that customers can buy and use as all-natural plant food for their gardens. 

NatureWorks PLA technology produces the renewable resource-based resin by "harvesting" carbon from that has been removed from the air by corn plants during photosynthesis and stored in grain starches. This is achieved by breaking down the starches into natural plant sugars and, through a simple process of fermentation and separation, using the carbon and other elements in these natural sugars to make the plastic polylactide (PLA). NatureWorks PLA is 100 percent matter derived from corn. 

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