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

This certainly is  a better solution than the plastic choice.

2) ps://www.upstreamsolutions.org (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)
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.