Hi Good People

Here are the answers to to yesterdays question. Interesting  responses are
posted below, and thanks. This will help in our struggle to  determine how
we will go forward.

1) one suggested recyclable packaging. Green Herc 1/6 Size Biodegradable
Plastic T-Shirt Bag - 500/Case

Green Herc 1/6 Size Biodegradable Plastic T-Shirt Bag - 500/Case

Take a green step forward with this Green Herc 1/6 size biodegradable
plastic t-shirt bag! Made from high-densit...

*This certainly is  a better solution than the plastic choice.*

2) ps:// <> (website
has a lot of science based plastic reduction info) suggested a deposit
system for reusable bags that are dumped in a hamper upon return in order
to be cleaned and reused. I’m not that into it but it’s an idea. Maybe
something for a Unifirst type service to get into :).  Alternately it’s
still plastic but we’ve been sourcing 100% post consumer recycled
clamshells from a company called Placon. At least they are providing an
incentive to recycle PET by making something with it... tough row to hoe,
interested to hear what other share. Thanks!

*I am skeptical about this but certainly bears some investigation. We have
been in contact with Casella over the years because of our significant
contribution to the waste stream--greenhouse plastic, containers, etc. I
have a friend who  owns a business that deals in waste stream management
worldwide. He says 90% of plastic that is stamped with a number is not
recycled.  Bottom line is that currently the only things recyclable  are
boxboard and a certain hard plastics. We have been mislead  by the PET
stamping to believe that much is  recycleable when it is not. Most of  what
it is sorted in Rutland at Casellas Rutland facility  ends  up in a
landfill. That means all of the greenhouse pots and  plastic. We can thank
the petroleum industry for that. Cleaning  plastic clamshells is something
that makes sense to me...not sure about the bag thing.*

We’ve been allowing folks to bring their own bags and containers to pick
out their CSA veggies. Our theory is that the likelihood of the virus
surviving on bags and such is very low. Meanwhile, getting folks through
the stand quickly is key, and many folks have their own bagging systems
that work well for them.

We have been pre-bagging loose greens though, like mesclun and spinach, to
speed things up and eliminate the need for weighing, but it’s a huge
expense. Hoping to find a workaround there - might be cheaper to buy a few
dozen sets of tongs that get sanitized after each customer.

*This is a model that makes more sense to me, and is reinforced a bit by
our own state's stance*

I would say the bag issue would be the same for the farm stand as the
farmers’ market.  As long as the farm staff does not touch or handle the
shopper’s bag, or load the purchased items for the shopper it would be ok
(the shopper bags their own).  The shopper needs to understand this and any
individual items purchased that need to be bagged (multiple of items),
would have to be bagged in single use bags.

*Howard mentioned  that reuseables  can be filthy, and there can be an
element of truth to that  if folks (l ike me in the past) dont wash their
cloth bags rregularly .  But we are  still offering  single use packaging
if they want, and prepackaging as well, but those folks whom want to
participate in waste stream managemnt would be allowed to, and would be a
significant saving all around if we dont have to supply single direction
boxes from the  counter to the car*

Jun 1, 2020, 8:10 AM (23 hours ago)
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I don't know about Vermont, but in Massachusetts, reused bags are not
allowed.  We are prepackaging people's online orders and using a lot of
boxes.  We isolate the boxes that people return for at least 2 days before
using them again

*This is where  we all might end up. I dont want to,  but there is some
question about food safety that FSMA might  address. Two days  standing may
or may not solve some sort of C-19 issue, but what about e coli? FSMAS
ruled single use packaging, I thought. Remember the deal about recycvling
 waxed bushed boxes?    Are all boxes rotated  and marked, going back to
the CSA member whom had ownership before?  How far down the line of reason
do we allow ourselves to go with pandemic paranoia? Not sure, I find myself
spinning down a rabbit hole as well. *