Life extension of wooden fruit boxes through reuse, dismantling and recycling
The UNENDING project investigates how to extend the lifespan of wooden fruit boxes and their components. By implementing reuse, repair and recycling throughout the chain, the project partners aim to make the fruit growing sector more circular.
In Flanders, an estimated 8-10 million wooden fruit crates are used in the fruit sector every year. However, due to their composition and design, the current lifespan of these crates is very limited and they are burned after use, at home and abroad.
From a broad partnership across the value chain, UNENDING's partners aim to develop an improved design, a low-tech disassembly setup and an optimised collection model to extend the lifetime of these crates, their components and their materials. At the same time, the techno-economic feasibility of different scenarios of reuse, recovery and recycling of the fruit crates and their components will also be evaluated. Indeed, these form the basis for the long-term rollout of a sustainable circular business model. In this way, they aim to anchor the transition from using fruit boxes as a disposable product to a circular product on a larger scale within the entire chain of fruit box producers, buyers and users.