A Sustainable Solution to the Agricultural Mulch Waste Problem

by Jackie Deacutis

Plasticulture, or the use of plastic materials in crop production, has become an important tool for farmers around the world. It is used in row crop farming to reduce weed growth ECOgrade filmand warm the soil for earlier planting and greater yields. The most commonly used solution is plastic mulch, but its use requires additional labor and costs, and is not a particularly sustainable solution for the environment. At the end of the season the plastic strips have to be carted away to a landfill or burned leaving behind toxic residue and smoke. It costs about $100/acre to remove the plastic and produces over 143,000 tons of plastic waste in the United States alone, enough to circle the earth over 100 times.

100 x globeOne solution that has been explored is to use a bio-degradable mulch film. This solution is more sustainable, since it would not need to be removed at the end of the season because it degrades before the next growing season. This reduces costs for the farmer and the environment. However, most existing bio-degradable or oxo-degradable films are 5-6 times more expensive than plastic and are difficult to use because they tear easily. Some of them also leave behind residue that may negatively affect the soil.

ECOgrade™ mulch film from GXT Green, brings new technology which addresses both the cost and sustainability problems, making it a viable replacement for plastic mulch without making the farmer sacrifice price or quality. ECOgrade film is made from an entirely new compound called Calcium Olefinic Glucosate (COG), It costs about the same as plastic, has the same high strength as plastic, is not brittle, and if left on the ground will photodegrade in 240 days, and then biodegrades, leaving behind no toxins in the soil. It can be left to degrade in the soil, or can also be burned safely, emitting low smoke and producing calcium rich ash which has been tested and certified as a safe a soil conditioner adding up to 9% growth.

Furthermore, ECOgrade mulch contains more than 50% natural and plentiful materials and produces nearly 50% less greenhouse gas in pre-production. At the same cost of traditional plastic mulch, without the end of season expenses, ECOgrade mulch is a truly sustainable and cost savings alternative benefitting both the farmer and the environment.

Jackie Deacutis is a student at The College of William and Mary, and an intern at GXT Green.

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GXT Green COO and SVP of Sales Michael Vanin Featured in TV Interview

GXT Green COO and SVP of Sales Michael Vanin was featured on a recent TV interview.  He talks about the award winning benefits of ECOgrade Degradable bag, the market need for this product, and the underlying mission of GXT Green, including our 4 tenets of success, where “Economics meets Ecology”.

 

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GXT Green Recognized on the Shortlist for “The 5th Annual Responsible Business Awards”

GXT Green has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 5th Annual Responsible Business Awards. The Responsible Business Awards are sponsored by the Ethical Corporation in the UK to recognize international companies that are “agenda-leading in corporate responsibility”. GXT Green has been recognized for their groundbreaking ECOgrade™ degradable bag, as well as their corporate commitment to “Economics Meeting Ecology™”.

Billerica, MA USA – July 21, 2014 – GXT Green has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 5th Annual Responsible Business Awards. The Responsible Business Awards are sponsored by the Ethical Corporation in the UK to recognize international companies that are “agenda-leading in corporate responsibility”. GXT Green is a finalist in two categories: “Sustainability Commercialized” and “Best Small to Medium Enterprise”.
Responsible Business AwardsThe Sustainability Commercialized Award is for a company that most clearly demonstrates how they have incorporated responsible business and sustainability thinking into commercial objectives. GXT Green’s success with the ECOgrade Degradable bag is the impetus behind this recognition. ECOgrade bags solve the plastic bag pollution issue, as they photo-degrade from sunlight if littered or lost, and then subsequently biodegrade to a non-toxic residue. They cost the same or less than plastic bags, so they offer a commercialization win/win/win solution to retailers, consumers, and the environment.
The Best Small to Medium Enterprise Award is for a company with under 250 employees that has clearly innovated on sustainability in 2013. GXT Green was recognized for its portfolio of sustainable products that solve critical needs, without any negative tradeoffs in cost or performance. This charter is encompassed in the GXT Green tagline “Economics Meeting Ecology”™
Last year’s winners of the Responsible Business Award include such companies as GE, Mars, Western Union, and Timberland. The winners for 2014 will be announced on September 29th in London.
GXT Green’s charter is encapsulated in their tagline “Economics meeting Ecology”. They help clients achieve their sustainability goal through a focused set of products that includes:
• ECOgrade™ degradable bag, which replaces plastic and paper bags with bags manufactured with GXT Green’s patented Calcium Olefinic Glucosate, a non-toxic, cost-competitive, sustainable alternative that solves the plastic pollution problem.
• ECOgrade reactive agent, the underlying ingredient for ECOgrade bags, which is a low-cost, sustainable alternative to plastic resin, with significantly reduced environmental impact.
• ECOgrade Agricultural Mulch and Row Covers which offer farmers a cost-effective non-toxic option to extend their growing cycles and mitigate the use of chemicals on their crops.
• ECO-R3SP™ suspension packaging which replaces expanded polystyrene and rigid foam packaging with a “zero-waste” sustainable alternative.
Manas Chatterjee, CEO of GXT Green commented “We are excited to be recognized by the Responsible Business Award judges for our initiatives, as we continue to support the global community with our economically viable sustainable products”.
For more information on Ethical Corporation and the Responsible Business Awards, please visit http://events.ethicalcorp.com/awards.

About GXT Green
gxt greenGXT Green, where “Economics Meets Ecology” is a leader in creating products that help the corporate community meet their economic and social sustainability needs. GXT Green is committed to manufacturing and marketing products that are both sustainable and are economically viable.
Every product that GXT Green offers stands muster to 4 key criteria:
• They solve a critical problem for the user. They address real-world issues with viable solutions.
• They are sustainable. After their use they must leave our environment with as little negative impact as possible.
• They perform as well or better than the product they replace.
• They cost the same or less than the product they replace. Everyone wants to save the world until they find that it costs too much… then it’s not such a big priority.”
GXT Green and the ECOgrade bag have received recognition as Runner-up International Sustainability Consultancy of the year from BusinessGreen, 2011; Consumer Product of the Year from MassTLC, 2012; Innovation of the Year Finalist from SBANE, 2013; Silver Award Winner as Consumer Product of the Year and Most Innovative Product of the Year, Best in Biz Awards International, 2013; Business of the Year from the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, 2013, and Innovation All-Star Winner in the product category from Boston Business Journal/Mass High Tech, 2013. Learn more at http://www.GxtGreen.com

Posted in Business of the Year, degradable bags, ECOgrade, Ethical Corporation, green business, green marketing, GXT Greem, GXT Green, Responsible Business Awards, sustainability, sustainability news, sustainable business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Inspiration Behind GXT Green

by Ed Weisberg

The tagline at GXT Green is “Economics Meeting Ecology.”   To us, that’s more than just a clever phrase. In fact, it’s a mantra that runs through the fabric of our management team, and is a driver in everything we do.  GXT Green is committed to manufacturing and marketing products that are both sustainable and economically viable.

Every product that we offer stands muster to 4 key criteria:4 criteria of GXT Green

  • They solve a critical problem for the user. We are solving real-world issues with viable solutions.
  • They are sustainable. After their use they must leave our environment with as little negative impact as possible.
  • They perform as well or better than the product they replace.
  • They cost the same or less than the product they replace. Everyone wants to save the world until they find that it costs too much… then it’s not such a big priority.”

Depending on the perspective of the buyers of our products, they can be viewed either as sustainable products that people can afford, or money saving items with sustainability “baked in”. Either way, our products fit the bill for what’s needed in today’s business and consumer eco-system.

The evolution of sustainable (or as some people refer to as “green”) products has been a rocky road. People assume that sustainable products cost more and do not perform as well. Perhaps the buyers’ mindsets have been influenced by the organic food and farming industry where it does, in fact, cost more to grow sustainable produce vs. using commercially efficient but not necessarily sustainable practices. Historically, products which address the same markets as those from GXT Green have been more expensive. Biodegradable plastics and paper which are considered an alternative to plastics bags, cost more than plastic.   They also may require special handling and tend to be less durable. This is not the case with ECOgrade degradable bags or any of our products.

At GXT Green our products are critically evaluated against our four point business driver and when they measure up, they are a home-run. GXT products include:

  1. ECOgrade degradable bags – the only viable alternative for plastic bags that is less expensive, more sustainable, and better performing.
  2. ECOgrade agricultural mulch –extends the crop season, saves farmers time and money, reduces water consumption, fertilizer use and run-off, reduces and in certain cases eliminates herbicide and pesticide use, and is non-toxic and sustainable.
  3. ECOgrade resin – a low-cost replacement for plastic resin used for manufacture of plastic products.
  4. ECO-R3SP zero-waste suspension packaging – a replacement for Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam Packaging which not only protects products for shipping, but also uses 60% less space, 40% less labor, fewer resources, and ultimately costs less than foam and other packaging methods.

We continuereduce, reuse, recyclee to build on our success and are developing new exciting products that meet our tests, increasing sustainability while remaining viable in the market. We are dedicated to doing our part with economically viable sustainable products.

Edward Weisberg is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, GXT Green

 

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ECOgrade Bags are Enjoying Success at Roche Bros. Supermarkets

by Ed Weisberg

GXT Green is excited to partner with Roche Bros./Sudbury Farms Supermarkets to provide ECOgrade bags to their retail customers. ECOgrade bags have been tested in 6 of their stores so far, and we are retooling to move forward. No longer is the choice “Paper or Plastic”! Now, consumers have a better option: ECOgrade degradable bags. GXT Green ECOgrade bags provide a win-win-win solution for our environment, retailers, and consumers.

The environment wins big:

  • If littered or lost, an ECOgrade roche bros bag croppedbag will photo-degrade to a non-toxic residue in 240 days or less and the residue then further biodegrades.
  • The ECOgrade bag does not use toxic materials and does not leave behind any toxic residue which could be dangerous to animals and plants.
  • It is compatible with recycling chain
  • It produces 50% less greenhouse gases when compared to plastic, 4-6 times less energy compared to paper, and eliminates the health risk of dirty reusable bags
  • If incinerated, they leave behind a benign ash that can be used as a soil additive

 The retailer wins as well:

  • The ECOgrade bag performs as well as plastic in strength
  • It fits seamlessly into existing dispenser wickets, eliminating any need for transition or additional training
  • It has a long shelf life, the same as plastic
  • Demonstrates the retailer’s commitment to sustainability and the environment
  • Costs the same as plastic bags

 And of course, the consumer wins:

  • The ECOgrade bag is convenient, just ECOgrade Bagslike a plastic bag
  • It is as strong as a plastic bag, does not tear like paper
  • It can be recycled with plastic bags
  • It is sanitary, with no risk of bacteria residue as with reusable bags
  • Enables the consumer to also share in a commitment to our environment.

ECOgrade bags will be coming to a retailer near you in the future. For now, please consider shopping at Roche Bros. to do your part for the environment with these amazing bags.

Edward Weisberg is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, GXT Green

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Posted in bag ban, consumer packaging, degradable bags, ECOgrade, green business, grocery bags, GXT Greem, GXT Green, photodegradable, plastic bags, recycling, Roche Bros, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GXT Green Announces 2014 Earth Day Honor Roll Finalists

by Ed Weisberg

Every year, in celebration of Earth Day, GXT Green recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions to sustainability efforts in their individual companies, their GXT Green Honor rollcommunities, or to the global community. Below are the finalists for 2014. All individuals who nominated candidates in 2014 received a free WheelSeal Medallion for their car, which indicates that GXT Green has offset the carbon footprint of their vehicle for the year.

For 2014, The GXT Green Honor Roll Nominations were open to companies, individuals, worldwide town, county, and state government and public agencies, and environmental organizations.

The 2014 GXT Green Honor Roll Finalists Include:

  1. Roche Brothers/Sudbury Farms Grocery Chain: For innovation and implementation of sustainable solutions for their consumers.
  2. Scale (Society to Create Awareness towards Life and Environment), India: For promoting sustainable solutions.
  3. Blue Ocean Innovative Solutions: For evangelizing an alternative to plastic bags and other sustainable solutions to Wal-Mart.
  4. Zoo New England (Franklin Park and Stone Zoos): For promoting appreciation of wildlife, educating, and practicing sustainable behavior.
  5. Debra A. Boronski, President of the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce: For orchestrating solutions to improve the Massachusetts economy with a focus on clean tech and sustainable manufacturing.
  6. Expressway Toyota: For developing local programs that expand on Toyota’s initiatives to mitigate carbon pollution from vehicles.
  7. Austin Foam Plastics: For adopting new solutions for packaging, including zero waste solutions, as a sustainable alternative Expanded PolyStyrene and similar products (i.e Styrofoam).
  8. Get-it-Going: For organizing efforts to clean up the environment and promote sustainable solutions.
  9. Heather Smith, 6th Grade Teacher at the Central Gaither School, Yuba City California:  For promoting sustainability education to her 6th grade science class.

The champion winners will be announced in time for Earth Day, on April 22nd, 2014.

You can learn about previous year’s winners by following the links below:

GXT Green 2013 Honor Roll Winners
GXT Green 2012 Honor Roll Winners
GXT Green 2011 Honor Roll Winners -

Edward Weisberg is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, GXT Green

 

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Sneak Preview of the Video: Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Video on GXT Green

The Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce has shared a sneak preview of the video about GXT Green to be shown at the Business of the Year Presentation.  If you’d like to attend the event, please visit http://massachusettschamberofcommerce.com/ to learn more.

Posted in bag ban, biodegradable, Business of the Year, carbon footprint, carbon offset, consumer packaging, Consumer Product of the Year, degradable bags, ECOgrade, environment, green business, green marketing, Mass Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, plastic bags, sustainability, sustainability news, sustainable business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment