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The Importance of “Or” and “And”

The small little words “or” and “and” may seem inconsequential, but in the world of foodservice packaging, these are very important words.

When it comes to materials, “paper or plastic” is not an uncommon question, especially when it comes to bags. I like that question because it means that consumers have a choice in what type of packaging they would like. If you know FPI at all, you know that we fully support the consumers’ (or operators’) right to make a selection based on what’s important to them. BTW, the good news is that when it comes to many foodservice packaging items, it’s not just “paper or plastic” but “paper or plastic or aluminum or [insert the next material].” Competition and innovation are a good thing in any industry.

When it comes to recovery options, we are hearing more requests for recyclable or compostable foodservice packaging. Again, this is good in that it is keeping the options open. Where a product can be recycled or composted is very much a local issue, and keeping the options open is something FPI certainly supports. Mandating one over another is not. That’s why the work of FPI’s Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastics Recovery Group are working on increasing both the recycling and composting of foodservice packaging, and why Natha and I go to both the Resource Recycling Conference and U.S. Composting Council Conference each year (among other conferences in the recovery arena).

When it comes to packages, rigid or flexible is a growing area of interest. There is no question that flexible packaging is gaining market share in a number of packaging sectors. Whether this is true for foodservice packaging remains to be seen. Either way, they are both great options to meet the needs of foodservice operators and their customers.

Of course, in FPI’s world, it’s not “or,” but “and.” We’re here to support paper AND plastic; recyclable AND compostable; rigid AND flexible. It’s an important doctrine we live, eat and breathe every day. Yes, this can be challenging sometimes for us, but I think we do a pretty good job with protecting the “ORs” and supporting the “ANDs.” I hope you’ll agree.

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 3/4/2015 9:49:12 AM