DFL Importers embracing plastic ban with eco-friendly products


DFL Importers embracing plastic ban with eco-friendly products

Monday, December 23, 2019

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DFL Importers, once the largest local supplier of polystyrene (Styrofoam) food containers, has retrofitted its operations and is now offering a range of eco-friendly products made from materials such as cardboard, bagasse, minerals and paper in conformity with international standards.

Sales Manager Mark DeCasseres tells JIS News that the change is in support of the Government's ban on single-use plastics and polystyrene foam as part of the drive to preserve the environment.

“We are fully behind the efforts to go green. We love Jamaica and we are enthusiastic about the ban on single-use plastics. The company actually started out in farming so we know how important it is to protect the environment,” he says.

DFL Importers was established in 1976 as a livestock farm, 20 miles out of Kingston, supplying some of the island's top supermarkets, restaurants and hotels.

In 1995, the company expanded into distribution, supplying a range of products, including polystyrene food containers.

DeCasseres tells JIS News that after hearing the Government's announcement of a ban on single-use plastics and polystyrene foam “the DFL management team knew the company had to make big changes for the good of the environment and live up to its tag line 'The Team That Cares'”.

“Prior to the ban, we were the single largest importer of polystyrene because of the demand for the product. As we became more aware of what the ban meant for the environment and consumers, we were looking to offer a solution and not just sell a product,” he explains.

Food Service Manager Richard Gordon says that as the company went about retrofitting its operations, extensive research and consultations were held.

“To ensure that the company could satisfy the demand for durable and practical alternatives to polystyrene food containers, we worked closely with our customers. Initially, many businesses were unclear about how they would proceed with their operations and we found that these consultations greatly helped them,” Gordon says, adding that the team attended trade shows and used supply models from other countries, which have implemented similar bans.

“We offer multiple eco-friendly food container options and all of them have passed the necessary regulations and are Food and Drug Administration-approved. The designs have improved to better hold gravies, soups and stews. For example, the cardboard is lined with a wax coating, which protects against liquids seeping out,” Gordon explains.

He notes that the products are subject to in-house testing as part of the company's commitment to delivering quality food containers.

“It is inspiring that a number of Jamaicans are making the switch, so we take pride in providing them with quality eco-friendly alternatives,” he points out.

“We are happy to assist business operators, who are looking to fully make the switch to eco-friendly products,” Gordon shares.

Meanwhile, DeCasseres is encouraging more local manufacturers to create environmentally friendly substitutes for plastics and Styrofoam in order to lower the cost of these items.

“This is a national initiative. The price for eco-friendly food containers will drop as they become more available on the market. Support the ban and what the Government is doing to protect the environment because this will benefit all of us in the long run,” he says.

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