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 required.
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 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, 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 some of our work:
- FPI's efforts to recycle and compost foodservice packaging are showcased here.
- FPI helped to develop and sponsor Keep America Beautiful's "How Will You… End Littering" video contest for high school students. Take a look at the creative, award-winning videos here.
- Speaking of videos, check out FPI's videos on the environment and many other topics on our YouTube Channel.
Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 4/11/2017 2:20:18 PM