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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Innovation Key to Zero Waste Packaging

BPI Certified = Compostable
With zero waste initiatives becoming common place across the nation, the foodservice packaging industry is striving to develop packaging options that fit three requirements: 1> 100% recyclable or compostable 2> effective for their intended use 3> cost neutral.  In the last five years the first two requirements are met by a wide array of products.  Increased demand will bring prices in alignment with traditional packaging choices due to savings inherent within quantity of scale manufacturing.

The major strides in packaging choices are the result of industry leaders embracing product innovation and staying ahead of the demand curve.  Along with the largest packaging companies, a new leadership is emerging from smaller companies filling the compostable packaging niche.  Asean, the holding company for StalkMarket, Planet+ and Jaya products, is one of the smaller companies leading the innovation charge as a recognized industry leader.

Buzz accepting his award
In November, Buzz Chandler, Asean President, accepted a Sustainable Business Oregon  Innovation Award as a finalist in the Product Category. Twice a year, SBO honors organizations that are innovating new ways to implement sustainable practices as part of a successful business strategy. These recipients are worthy of attention for their contributions to Oregon's sustainable economy, as well as their work to better integrate economic, environmental and social benefits.  The SBO article, StalkMarket rising fast on sugar cane, has more details on the award.

In addition to product innovation, Buzz shares his expertise as a Sustainable Food Court Initiative Team Member and an active POWER - Perishable Organics Waste to Energy Recycling - participant.  As a Biodegrable Products Institute Board Member, Buzz is a wealth of information on industry standards and certification.

marquee @ green game
The Portland Rose Garden stadium called on Buzz's expertise when ready to shift to compostable packaging for their foodservice operations throughout the facility.  Along with Doug Kunnemann of NatureWorks, Buzz worked closely with stadium management to develop an effective program for their 2010 Green Game launch.  

Prior to initiating zero waste efforts, the Portland stadium filled two 40 yard compactors every 1 to 1.5 event days for landfill destination.  With strong recycling and organics collection systems in place, the stadium now fills ONE 40 yard compactor every 4.5 to 5 game days.  The zero waste practices saved the stadium significant dollars by eliminating a good portion of their landfill hauling and tipping charges.

Industry leaders working closely with communities and operators is essential to develop the emerging sustainable paradigm. It is an honor to include Buzz as an active Ei Sponsor and SFCI Team Member.  

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