Reducing the use of plastic for fruits and vegetables is possible, and Sicily's M.T. Reti, which has been producing net bags for citrus fruits and vegetables for more than 20 years, is taking important steps in this field.
Antonino Testa and Giuseppe Martorana of M.T. Reti
"We have long been looking for alternatives to replace plastic packaging, and we developed and launched net bags made of cellulose in 2014. Compared to plastic nets, ours allow us to keep the same packaging size with a lower environmental impact, thanks to the use of raw materials of natural origin. This is a production process with reduced emissions compared to the processing of plastic, and a part of the waste that can be disposed of naturally, thanks to the compostability of our packaging," explained Giuseppe.
Citrus packed in net bags (Giuseppe Martorana)
"The raw materials for the production of our natural nets are obtained from beechwood from Central Europe. Our raw material is sustainable since it does not come from the other side of the world, which significantly reduces travel and emissions. The nets are plastic-free, biodegradable, and compostable, decompose in eight weeks, and can be disposed of along with biodegradable waste."
Onions, garlic, and potatoes in net bags. Apples, pears, and other crops can also be packed this way (Giuseppe Martorana)
The nets are dyed with a technology that offers efficient ecological benefits, with significant water and energy savings from start to finish. M.T. Reti guarantees up to 50% energy and water savings and a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions, resulting in a lower environmental impact than conventional dyeing.
"Our mesh bags are safe and certified for food contact and are produced according to European food packaging standards. The fruit and vegetable sector is becoming increasingly aware of this packaging, which is necessary to keep the ecological footprint low. M.T. Reti is also engaged in exports to Europe and to new markets looking for alternatives to plastic."