VEG box supplier Riverford Organics is branching out into totally green compostable packaging.

The company supplies over 50,000 veg boxes a week from four farms across the country including Home Farm at Newby Wiske near Northallerton. They say while single use plastic is kept to a minimum, and is 77 per cent less than most supermarkets, they have had to use it to stop some salads and herbs drying out. After a survey of customers they're now determined to get rid of it all by 2020.

Founder of Riverford Guy Singh-Watson said: "The packaging will be made from renewable, sustainable materials and will break down within 12 weeks in a home compostable bin and also in marine environments, should it accidentally end up in the ocean.

“Although not a perfect solution, it is a huge improvement; we are doing our best in the world as we find it."

He said they had spent months researching sustainable packaging after 82 per cent of cusotmers reported they compost at home. Anyone who cannot compost the new packaging can return it in the Riverford boxes so it can be composted on the farms. Mr Singh-Watson is now calling for a long-term national policy on what materials will be recycled, composted and incinerated or go to landfill so producers can use suitable packaging.