Jul 8, 2021
Wood pulp resin used for new bio-based hort containers

The HC Companies, a manufacturer of horticultural containers, recently debuted a new biobased resin material for its products.

The Twinsburg, Ohio-based company is marketing its BioPax-brand growing containers as “a technological marvel for the industry and help support the organization’s environmental initiatives.”

BioPax 4.5 inch container bottom

The use of container systems by organically-certified farms is allowed, while regulated. The National Organic Program Deputy Administrator, Jennifer Tucker, clarified the rules for organic container growing in a 2019 memo.

By incorporating a sustainably sourced wood pulp material with no harmful PFAS or heavy metals in the production process, BioPax growing containers are manufactured “using over 50% of renewable biocontent that does not compromise the performance and integrity of the containers growers know and trust,” according to a news release from the company.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, BioPax offers a new, fit-for-purpose alternative to the customers we serve,” Bob Mayer, president and CEO of The HC Companies, said in the release. “Plastic containers are still the standard for many growers. However, to better serve our industry, we also believe it is our responsibility to offer our customers an assortment of choices when it comes to growing containers.”

The new products are non-GMO and non-toxic, and the material is part of the USDA’s BioPreferred Program, which focuses on developing and expanding markets for biobased products, according to the news release.

“HC is proud to offer its customers a comparable and more sustainable alternative to the plastic containers so many growers are familiar with,” Jessica Benoit, Director of Sustainability Solutions at The HC Companies, said on the release. “Consequently, consumers can feel positive knowing that their purchase is not contributing to the problems of overburdened landfills.”

Currently available in 3- and 4.5-inch rounds, BioPax growing containers are designed for reuse. In addition, they can be more responsibly disposed of with other waste products as the material naturally breaks down with the aid of microorganisms without leaving behind any harmful microplastics.

BioPax 4.5 inch container profile

“Our sustainable focus revolves around four core themes: biodiversity, water use, waste reduction, and education and engagement,” said Benoit. “We recognize that each grower and customer differs as to their product requirements. Therefore, BioPax expands our commitment for a full portfolio of containers to accommodate the entire industry with products inspired by one or more of these environmental themes.”

To help further differentiate BioPax growing containers in the market, they are offered in what is known as “EcoGreen” coloring. The containers have a unique swirl-like pattern caused by the material being blended into the bio-based color.

“Rather than try and conceal the sustainable composition of our BioPax containers by adding colorants for consistency, this unique design, with no two containers looking the same, creates an earthy, untainted appearance which will undoubtedly appeal to today’s consumers,” adds Benoit.

BioPax growing containers will be presented at the upcoming Cultivate’21 trade show held in Columbus, Ohio on July 10-13. If you plan to attend, you can visit The HC Companies at booth #1809 to see BioPax containers firsthand.

Above, 3- and 4.5-inch BioPax growing containers. Photo: The HC Companies

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