photo graciously shared by @purposefulyou
Millstone Farm and Organics’ reusable egg carton program, launched in 2021, allows shoppers in Victoria, BC a new way to bring home pasture-raised, farm-fresh eggs.
Finding ways to reduce our dependency on single-use packaging is always front of mind for us on the farm. At Millstone Farm, we are committed to and engaged in purposeful living that encompasses sustainable and zero-waste living practices. These intentions led us to develop the recently launched reusable and washable egg carton program.
Introduced in 2021, the reusable egg carton program is the latest in our growing line of products designed to help Millstone Farm, and the community, cut back on single-use packaging.
We are especially grateful to Pepper’s Foods, a local grocery store in Victoria, for partnering with us on this groundbreaking initiative. We are now offering our re-usable egg carton program out of their storefront, in addition to our North Saanich farm store.
Single-Use Egg Cartons: A Wasteful Staple
The single-use egg carton is a kitchen staple in the modern-day home, and was developed by a Canadian over a hundred years ago. We believe it is time to apply the modern-day environmental needs to that egg carton design as it’s the responsible thing to do.
Many can relate to memories of waking to the sounds and smells of a hearty breakfast sizzling in a pan, every pop and sizzle wafting a sense of comfort throughout the house. Then the sight of a pyjama-clad parent, standing over a grease spattering grill, an open carton of eggs close at hand.
Or, the wholesome feeling felt when gathering an egg carton from the fridge, full of farm-fresh, eggs. Gentle hands moving carefully to keep paper-crated eggs intact before preparing nourishing food.
Soulful associations such as these can make it easy to overlook the impact this single-use staple is having on our environment. When we take a moment and look beyond the carton’s borders, we can easily see that single-use egg cartons may be taking an unnecessary toll on our land and community.
Viewing the Problem
A quick look at a kitchen’s food packaging waste makes it easy to see that we can do better to curtail our garbage production. A few other reasons why single-use egg cartons aren’t in line with our farm’s sustainable living goals include:
- In 2009, over 4 billion egg cartons were consumed in the USA alone.
- Egg cartons are not all locally produced, lots are manufactured internationally. This means international shipping is required for each egg carton that adds to the carbon footprint of each egg our hens produce.
- In areas with limited access to proper composting and recycling facilities, egg cartons still end up in landfills.
With a common egg consumption of one egg a day, that works out to be about 2.5 cartons a month, per person. With pulp cartons being made of paper pulp originating from trees, surely we can do better for our environment.
An Egg-citing Tipping Point
Recent events (COVID!) impacting local and international shipping of resources recently led to a shortage of single-use egg cartons on Vancouver Island. Without egg cartons, it suddenly became very challenging to distribute and sell our eggs!
After being caught in an “egg-carton frenzy,” - in which our desperation for egg cartons found us paying three times the usual price, it became crystal clear that a long-term solution for sustainable egg carton inventory simply had to be realized. Our farm’s dependency on single-use pulp egg cartons needed to change.
Single-Use Egg Cartons: It’s Time to Say Good-bye
The egg carton shortage was the final push we needed. It fueled the final resolve we needed to push forward and focus on developing a re-usable and washable egg carton.
Our goal to procure an egg carton that could replace single-use options and be used by farm shop visitors and local grocery store customers was firmly set in motion.
We started looking for alternative egg cartons that could provide the following:
- Be a re-usable option for customers at the farm store and in local grocery stores.
- Support sustainable living.
- If possible, made locally.
- Produced with recycled or re-purposed materials
- Be of good quality that’s safe for handling food
- Can be labelled appropriately.
- Durable enough to withstand frequent use and last a lifetime.
Millstone Farm’s Re-Usable Egg Carton Solution
Finding a product that could meet our egg-carton wish list was no easy task. We had to compromise on a few of our wishlist items in the process. For example, finding a local supplier proved not to be feasible. Product options made from recycled materials couldn’t be used for storing food.
After months of research, discussions with local health authorities and consultations with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, we finally had a viable solution to replace single-use egg cartons.
In the fall of 2021, Millstone Farm officially became the first farm in Canada to sell eggs in reusable, washable egg cartons.
The Final Product
At Millstone Farm & Organics Inc., we are passionate about every aspect of a product and packaging. It is our responsibility to consider the long-term environmental impact of each product we offer and its packaging. This is important for today, tomorrow and long into the future.
It is our hope and determination to create less waste and offer a healthier alternative - One Carton for Life.
Our new egg carton has an abundance of eco-responsible features that include:
- Made from food-grade plastic.
- BPA free.
- Is a net-zero product
Additionally, the following features make this egg carton convenient and lovely to look at (at least we think so!)
- Sturdy construction
- Dishwasher safe
- Stays closed
- Stackable cartons with lockable lid
- Transport eggs easily and safely store in a cooler while camping
Millstone Farms’ One Carton for Life Initiative: Available Now
Victoria, BC residents now have the option to switch from single-use pulp egg cartons to a more sustainable, lower waste option. The One Carton for Life initiative is readily available at Peppers Foods in Victoria and the shop at Millstone Farm & Organics in North Saanich, BC.
How it Works
Simply purchase a reusable carton where available and fill it up with Millstone Farm’s bulk eggs. Pay for the carton and the eggs at the cashier. When you need more eggs, bring the empty carton to Peppers or Millstone Farm. Then, simply refill your carton and only pay for the eggs.
Local initiatives lead to global impacts. Let’s be the change.