Bedford Industries’ TagBack Initiative Seeks to Close Sustainability Gap in Produce Supply Chain

Worthington, MN – Each year, billions of produce items move from grower to retailer to consumer. While each member of the supply chain makes a conscious effort to improve sustainable practices – from land use to packing efficiencies to food waste reduction – there is no uniform solution for reusing or recycling the small but essential produce tag or twist tie.

With this gap in mind, Bedford Industries has launched the TagBack™ initiative, a first-of-its kind program aimed at recycling retail produce tags and ties.

Bedford Industries is a global leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and distributing tag and tie products for the produce, bakery, coffee and medical markets. Within the fresh produce industry, each year, the company manufactures millions of produce tags and ties for hundreds of growers.

The TagBack program will allow produce growers, retailers and consumers to return Bedford produce ties and tags back to Bedford, which will then sort and recycle all qualified returns through its in-house equipment.

“Within the produce industry, most sustainability goals don’t match the capabilities of the American recycling system due to varying local recycling parameters,” said Jay Milbrandt, president of Bedford Industries. “At Bedford, we have spent years searching and perfecting the best recycling equipment to reuse our own waste and target a zero-landfill goal. Now, with TagBack, we want to make our recycling systems available to growers and their retail partners.”

Bedford is unveiling TagBack this week at Booth #2603 the PMA Fresh Conference in Anaheim. The new website features simple instructions for individuals to collect and return produce closures, including:

•    For growers: Bedford will encourage producers to place a “Recycle this tag at” mark on its produce tags to encourage consumer participation.

•    At retail: Bedford’s newly designed TagBack bins can be placed alongside other grocer recycling bins for consumers to return tags and closures. Bedford will work with its grower-customers to secure retailers to trial the bins, which are designed for easy shipment back to Bedford.

•    In home: In addition to returning to participating stores, consumers can mail their produce ties and tags directly to Bedford.

“This is an ambitious undertaking for our organization,” Milbrandt added. “We look forward to taking this new service to market to help all those along the supply chain check an essential box in achieving their sustainability goals.”

About Bedford Industries

For more than 50 years, Bedford Industries has been a global leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and distributing twist ties, bendable components, and packaging reclosures, along with CloseIt® and ElastiTag® for the produce, bakery, coffee and medical markets. Headquartered in Worthington, Minn., its 400+ employees also provide services such as printing expertise, elastomer integration, adhesive technology, and custom product development. For more information, visit