With Earth Day almost upon us, it got me thinking about the
impact of foodservice packaging on our world. Here’s what I came up with:
- While the manufacture of foodservice packaging uses water,
it can also help foodservice operators conserve water, since no dishwashing is
- According to the Earth Day Network, energy use is the #1
cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Tied
to the first bullet, using foodservice packaging reduces an operator’s energy usage
as dishwashing is not needed.
- Foodservice packaging contributes very little to today’s
landfills. In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
foodservice packaging represents less than 2 percent of discards in the
municipal solid waste stream.
- Some paper, plastic and aluminum foodservice packaging can
be recycled, helping to divert valuable resources from landfills and support
the growing demand for recycled content in a variety of products.
- As technological advances mean that more recycled content can
be added to foodservice packaging, we’re lessening the need for virgin
materials. This is being done while following strict regulatory standards and meeting
foodservice operators’ performance expectations.
- Some paper and plastic foodservice packaging is a benefit in
the composting stream, as composters need both “green stuff” like food scraps
that are high in nitrogen and “brown stuff” like packaging that is high in
carbon. Composting foodservice packaging can provide both the “green” and
“brown” materials composters need to produce their end product – compost (by
the way, the use of compost has all kinds of additional benefits for the earth
like reducing the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides; promoting higher
yields of agricultural crops; and reducing the amount of material sent to
landfills, thereby reducing methane emissions.
- According to the last litter study done by Keep America
Beautiful, fast food packaging represented just over 5 percent of the total
litter they found. But even that’s too much, which is why we’re working with
partners like KAB and the EPA to change consumer behavior to not litter (yes,
the vast majority of litter is a result of human behavior).
Everything on Earth has an environmental impact, both
positive and negative. And while Earth Day may be just one day of the year,
please know that FPI works every day to strengthen the positive impacts
of our products, and lessen the negative ones. Want to learn more? Check out
the “Stewardship” section of our website!
Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 4/19/2016 3:23:18 PM