WESTERN'S PRODUCTS OFFER A SUSTAINABLE ADVANTAGE,
but our company offers something more. We are constantly striving to reduce our impact on the environment and share our progress in a transparent manner. We are pushing toward the day our entire product life-cycle will have a net neutral or positive impact on the environment. We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it. Each step of the way, we reduce our environmental footprint and move closer to our objective.
JUST THE FACTS
MADE WITH RECYCLED PAPER
Western has a 50+ year history of making great products with post and pre-consumer waste paper and is proud to use material that might otherwise be headed for the waste stream (landfills, etc.).
RECYCLABILITY, BIODEGRADABILITY, AND COMPOSTABILITY OF OUR PRODUCTS
At Western, we produce an array of useful molded fiber products some of which can be recycled or composted. One thing all of our products have in common is they are made with recycled paper and are designed to biodegrade and decompose in the natural environment. The support products used with our nursery hanging baskets, such as the metal and nylon hangers as well as the brass eyelets incorporated into the baskets, are not biodegradable but are recyclable.
U.S. LACEY ACT
The Lacey Act is a conservation law first passed in 1900. In 2008 the Lacey Act was amended to prevent the illegal harvesting of wood and plant products from entering the commerce stream in the United States. As part of its dedication to principles of responsible manufacturing, Western Pulp Products has incorporated Lacey Act compliance efforts into the sourcing and sale of all of our product lines.
TOXICS IN PACKAGING
Western supports the proper recycling, recovery, and handling of waste associated with packaging. Our molded fiber packaging components are designed to reduce environmental impact and to comply with laws designed to reduce toxics in packaging. This includes California’s 2006 Toxics in Packaging Prevention Act and the European Union’s 1994 Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste including the 2004 and 2005 amendments. In addition to its certification of compliance with these laws, Western’s testing shows that our packaging is substantially below the 100-ppm threshold for aggregate metals concentrations.
Our paper recycling reflects a commitment to conserve natural resources and recognition that recovered paper is an important raw material in producing innovative molded fiber products. The use of recovered paper keeps it out of landfills and ensures we get the maximum value out of wood fiber.
EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines
Recycling is more than just dropping off your cans, bottles, and newspapers at the curb or at a local collection facility. Diverting recyclables from the waste stream is only the first of three steps in the recycling process. The second step occurs when companies use these recyclables to manufacture new products. The third step comes when consumers purchase products made from recovered materials.
Buying recycled products results in many environmental benefits. It supports local recycling programs by creating markets for the collected materials that are processed and used to manufacture new products. This creates jobs and helps strengthen the economy; conserves natural resources; saves energy; and reduces solid waste, air and water pollutants, and greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Western uses both pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled paper in our products. Pre-consumer recycled paper is generally defined as material that is diverted from the waste stream during or from the manufacturing process. Post-consumer recycled paper is considered end-use material generated by households or by commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities.
Recycling Carbon Benefits over Disposal
One of the key benefits of paper recycling is that there are carbon savings available from simply diverting paper products from alternative disposal routes such as landfill and incineration. Paper is biodegradable and when landfilled creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, which has been recognized as contributing to climate change. Paper is also a carbon-based product and when incinerated releases carbon dioxide, again recognized as contributing to climate change. However, paper is a readily recyclable product, and through recycling the carbon is retained in the product longer and contributes to reducing the primary fiber requirements in the industry. This allows forests to be managed over longer periods and contributes very significantly to the sustainability of the overall paper industry.
WESTERN'S NURSERY & GREENHOUSE CONTAINERS
CONDITIONS REQUIRED TO BREAK DOWN WOOD FIBER
The paper media must become wet and stay moist for a period of time. Without adequate moisture, the biodegrading process will not take place.
Aerobic (oxygen exchange) conditions are needed to support the bacteria, yeasts, and fungi that “eat” the containers. Without the presence of oxygen (anaerobic) the organisms cannot live and organic matter (paper) will not break down.
The soil temperature must be a minimum of 50–55 degrees Fahrenheit to support organism growth. At soil temperatures lower than 50 degrees, the organisms which consume paper are not active.
Nitrogen is needed to balance the carbon content of the paper. Good soil fertility is not only helpful for plant growth but will also speed the breakdown of our paper containers.
USING CONTAINERS WITH ORGANIC CROPS
While the molded fiber products Western produces are considered biodegradable, they are not considered to be organic. We recommend consulting with your organic certifying organization before using Western’s molded fiber nursery containers for organic applications.
PLANTING CONTAINERS "POT' N ALL"
Western’s fiber nursery containers offer the unique benefit of being biodegradable and can be planted “pot n’ all”. Bare Root Shrubs and Trees that are not fully rooted may be safely transplanted when grown in Western’s nursery containers by planting the pot directly into the soil. Before planting the pot, Western recommends slicing the sidewalls and bottom of the pot to aid the rooting of the newly planted specimen into the native soil.