Metro was one of the grocery stores that I came to audit and as we can see, they carry a variety of brands of eggs that are encased in either plastic or cardboard. Burnbrae Farms in particular, offer 12 different types of eggs ranging from original shell eggs, extra large eggs, omega 3 and many more. At Metro they sold large omega 3 brown eggs as well as original extra large brown eggs. The packaging difference was what I inquired about. I asked them:

  1. Does the company’s environmental value truly consider “reduc[ing] the amount going to landfills”?
  2.  What is the deciding factor in which some of your eggs such as the Naturegg Omega 3 eggs are placed in plastic containers compared to cardboard boxes? Does the cardboard not protect the eggs as equally as the plastic containers? Are the plastic containers 100% recyclable?

Burbrae Farms response:

Due to the complexity of our business, the transition may take several months to implement across Canada. You will start to see our shell egg products transition into fibre cartons as early as August 2019.  Please know that we share your concerns for the environment and that is why we choose to use PET 1 plastic to package our specialty eggs. PET 1 has already been used before as a pop or water bottle, and we use it again for our egg cartons. More importantly, this plastic is 100% recyclable. We have paid a premium to get a higher grade PET (recycled polyethylene) to ensure its acceptance in the curbside collection program. At Burnbrae Farms, we continually review all our packaging materials and make choices we feel are best suited for our products, our consumers and the environment.We hope this adequately addresses your question and we appreciate your patience as we work though this packaging transition.

Fibre vs Plastic

  • shock-proof effect to eggs, minimizing cracks

  • increased air permeability

  • hygroscopic ability (absorbing moisture)

  • resistant against mould

  • cheaper than fibre

  • washable

  • protective cushioning

The packaging market for eggs is increasingly growing and companies are looking to use trays that are ergonomical. A fantastic innovating brand called Huhtamaki makes biodegradable, 100% recycled cardboard fibre, with 50% grass fibres, FSC certified (mixed materials from responsible sources) and compostable egg cartons! The water consumption is 50% reduced and a 10% reduction in carbon footprint relative other manufacturing processes. Their packaging can hold 6,12 and even 30 eggs in various sizes and have expanded these materials for other food packaging. They stand by this quote:

When your customers demand a green choice, give them the greenest one of all…