Biodegradable Container Hits Costa Rican Shelves

August 24, 2007

A new, 100% biodegradable plastic container now lines the shelves in supermarkets throughout Costa Rica, thanks to the efforts of Milenio Tres, a Costa Rican company that brought the technology to the country.

The plastic container currently houses Monteverde-brand cream cheese and is said to disintegrate 495 years faster than regular plastic, according to a report in the daily La Nación.

“This is the beginning of the end of plastic contamination in our country and I hope it can be used in other containers as well,” said Silvia Vega, general manager of Milenio Tres.

Dairy products manufacturer Monteverde estimates that roughly 400,000 units of the cream cheese are sold each year. Eventually, the company hopes to extend the use of biodegradable plastic containers to sour cream, cheese dips and ice cream, according to the company’s commercial manager Ernesto Murillo.

“Each one that is sold helps the environment,” he said.

The plastic decomposes at a rapid rate thanks to a special additive that breaks down the carbon bonds that hold the material together.

The plastic container looks the same but adds roughly 5-8% to the total cost of the product it houses. In the case of Monteverde, Murillo said, the company didn’t raise prices, as part of its show of commitment to a healthy environment.

 

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