Video of Recyclable Boxes Used to Ship Ice-Packed Seafood from New Orleans Fish House

April 21, 2014 (New Orleans, LA) -- Global Green USA released a video today that documented a test of recyclable coated corrugated boxes for ice-packed seafood shipped through the summer heat of Louisiana at the New Orleans Fish House. The boxes were shipped to Baton Rouge to some of the New Orleans Fish House's more distant customers.

This box test builds on Global Green's success to date in working with the private and public sectors to transform commonly wasted items into assets. In this series, Global Green USA and members of their Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) tested alternatives to paraffin-coated boxes. These boxes are commonly used in the seafood industry and cannot be recycled. The boxes tested by Global Green USA are those that have passed the Fibre Box Association's recyclability and repulpability protocol for coated corrugated packaging.

"Grocers and seafood packers are increasingly interested in recyclable boxes that are strong, effective, and cost-competitive," said Lily Kelly, Senior Program Associate at Global Green USA and coordinator of the pilots. "We are excited to share our findings, which can help encourage more grocers and food packers to ask for recyclable packaging from their suppliers."

Seafood, greens, vegetables, and meats are often transported in paraffin-coated cardboard, generating 1.45 million tons of solid waste that must be sent to landfills or burned. If designed for recycling and recycled, retailers and restaurants could realize a net benefit of combined cost savings and revenue generation of $200 million nationwide. CoRR has worked since 2008 to accelerate the industry adoption of alternative recyclable-coated packaging and recycling it, which could reduce America's annual carbon emissions by 4.5 million mtCO2e -- emissions equivalent to driving across the United States 4.3 million times.1

Fish and seafood packers can benefit from being able to bring their seafood to their customers in a way that won't jeopardize their customer's sustainability goals or waste bills. "From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense," said Eddie Gonzales, sales representative at the New Orleans Fish House. "Our customers don't want to bear the costs of landfilling boxes, so recyclable packaging is an added value that we can offer. It's the next step in our evolution."

1. The Fibre Box Association estimates that 5% of OCC is wax coated. EPA's 2010 Solid Waste Facts and Figures, EPA WARM Tool and Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator were used to calculate potential greenhouse gas savings. Savings assumes 100% of the boxes and packaging generated is recycled. National restaurateur and grocers' savings are based on a national average tipping fee of $44.09 based on the 2010 data in BioCycle's State of Garbage report. A spot market price of $100/ton of OCC was assumed.

The video is on the Global Green USA YouTube Channel, and can be viewed here.

About Global Green USA:
Global Green USA is dedicated to helping the people, places, and the planet in need through catalytic projects, transformative policy, and cutting-edge research. In addition to facilitating greater resource recovery and recycling, Global Green USA's signature programs include greening affordable housing, schools, neighborhoods, and cities as well as rebuilding communities -- such as New Orleans and areas of New York and New Jersey -- that have suffered from the impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and environmental degradation. Global Green USA is the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International, which was founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. For more information, visit and follow us at @globalgreen.

Lily Kelly
[email protected]