SAM’S CLUB presents results of partnership
with NatureWorks PLA
Phildadelphia, PA— At the
2005 Sustainable Packaging Forum, NatureWorks LLC and SAM’S
CLUB, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., co-presented the results
of a year-long program to introduce the use of NatureWorks PLA®
in fresh cut produce packaging at SAM’S CLUB and Wal-Mart
Super Centers. The clear, thermoformed packaging will begin to
appear in stores nationwide beginning in November 2005.
After a year of research and
test marketing, replacing conventional packaging with NatureWorks
PLA for just four items, it would translate to more than 100 million
containers per year for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
“With this change to packaging
made from corn we will save the equivalent of 800,000 gallons
of gasoline and reduce more than 11 million lbs. of green house
gas emissions from polluting our environment,” said Matt
Kistler, vice president product development and private brands
NatureWorks PLA and its ability
to provide a price stable product as the price of oil needed to
produce conventional packaging keeps climbing higher and higher
is attractive to all clients.
Made from Midwestern field corn,
NatureWorks PLA is a bio-based plastic that can be used in a wide
range of packaging applications from clear food containers to
beverage bottles. The material provides the convenience, look,
feel and performance of petroleum-based plastic packaging —
while being made from a 100 percent annually renewable natural
The relationship between Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc. and NatureWorks began in the fall of 2004. Wal-Mart
will be replacing existing packaging with NatureWorks PLA products
in a series of phases through the supply chain. Phase One will
roll out the first week in November 2005 with four products in
the fresh produce aisle. Phase Two includes approximately eight
million more packaging items with cut vegetable containers. Phase
Three, just in time for the holidays, will be new NatureWorks
PLA gift cards.
The final phase scheduled for
2005 will include bread bags, donut boxes and select tomato packaging.
The technology to produce NatureWorks
PLA essentially harvests the starch stored in corn into natural
plant sugars. The sugar is then fermented into lactic acid, which
is used to create a clear plastic called polylactide (PLA) that
can be shaped into a variety of bottles, containers, trays, film
and other packaging.
NatureWorks PLA offers many other
environmentally preferred benefits. From cradle to resin, its
production uses 68 percent less fossil fuel resources than traditional
plastics and it is the world’s first greenhouse-gas-neutral