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"Plastic is still plastic no matter how you look at it"

Hortiware, known for their plastic ring clips (Tom system), is taking another step towards sustainability with their new focus on metal brackets—a good choice, as the first millions of brackets have already been sold.

The best thing about the product? The metal truss brackets do not pollute. The metal breaks off and enters the ground and then either rusts away or it is removed with a magnet and then remelted into steel. Thus, no residue remains in the soil and waste, something that still happens with plastic products.

"The plastic truss brackets currently on the market are so small that they can't really be removed from the ground in a good way. Especially during the shredding of the waste product where plastic remains and is shredded along with it. It then goes through a sieve to take out the plastic, they leave the bio rope. All those plastic shreds that get in between the crops, you just can't get them out. You can say, 'the plastic is recycled plastic,' but plastic remains plastic no matter how you look at it. As long as you keep putting it in, it will keep occurring," says Dirk-Jan of Hortiware.

Hortiware's sustainability campaigns do create some resistance in the market here and there.

"I also sold plastic clips in the Netherlands in the past. That was common in the market then. When I started for myself, I wanted everything to be biodegradable, and I started working with the ring clips. This also encouraged us to develop the crop curv. That is a metal truss bracket that has now been patented. Through the combination of bio-twine, the Tom system's ring, and the metal truss bracket, we managed to get a 100% recyclable tomato residual stream."

But what about further sustainability in the Dutch market? According to Dirk-Jan, it is important to also look at their neighbors here. In the countries around the Netherlands, such as France, Belgium, and Germany, the move to metal is already much more advanced than with us.

"There, you already see much more interest in metal brackets than we have in the Netherlands. Surely, they are further ahead than us with their policy in terms of plastic, and it is, therefore, something to respond to in the future in the Netherlands as well."

For more information:
Dirk-Jan Haas
Tel.: +31 (0)6 59695654
[email protected]

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