Hickman’s Family Farms, an egg producer in Buckeye, Arizona, has made the switch to egg cartons made from 100% recycled PET from water and soda bottles thanks to the help of California-based recycler Global Plastics Inc. The company recycles four million bottles a day, and one of the issues to which it needed to find a solution was what to do with the green and amber bottles that they pick up for recycling. And that’s where the idea for a recycled egg carton was hatched. Dan Bahou, whose father started Global Plastics, pitched the idea to Hickman’s, who were receptive to the concept of the egg carton.
Five bottles are needed to make an 18-count egg container, and a 12-count egg container can be made from three bottles, with a 24-egg carton on the way, too. Aside from being eco-friendly, the carton is also carefully designed to reduce egg breakage and to ensure convenience for customers.
Working with a packaging designer, along with Billy Hickman and his brother Glenn from Hickman’s, Bahou developed the 100% post-consumer RPET egg carton. The innovative design for the egg carton includes “lock-in” support pillars that offer protection for the eggs by allowing them to be fully beneath the lid of the package. Additionally, the bottom of the egg rests in a perfectly formed raised indentation for added protection. Additionally, the transparent package eliminates the need for the customer to open the carton to inspect the eggs. These features have reduced egg breakage as well as damaged packaging. Read more.
Given that Hickman’s is able to break, pasteurize, and package 100,000 eggs per hour, and that they donate truckloads of eggs to food banks throughout the state and even to Korea, they’re definitely bound to use their new egg cartons quite a lot and help save the planet in the process.