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Sunday, July 10, 2011

CCC: Clarity to Composting Confusion

The foodservice industry is ready, willing and confused about how to begin the journey of  organics collection for composting.  There are so many variables at play as the foodservice packaging industry offers new compostable lines in addition to their traditional products.

MeadWestvaco answers the call for clarity with a new website GreenToGo dedicated to helping foodservice operators make their businesses more sustainable.  GreenToGo shares resources about how commercial composting and compostable foodservice packaging can lend a hand in developing a more environmentally conscious business.

According to John Sanfacon, president, MWV Food Service. “MWV’s GreenToGo campaign is an ongoing effort to share our knowledge about how composting can work for foodservice operators who want to be on the forefront of change and green practices in the industry.”

GreenToGo encourages foodservice operators to explore composting as an option to reduce food waste and single-use foodservice packaging going to landfills. The site features educational resources, videos, a case study that shows composting in action, and information about how to start a composting program. MWV plans a full series of informative videos that will be introduced on the site during 2011.

Besides educating on what is compostable packaging, the videos emphasize understanding the amount of post-consumer material included in the packaging to ensure maximum environmental stewardship.  Note the most post-consumer material permitted via regulations and product effectiveness is between 30 and 35%.

For more specific information, Brenda Platt with the Institute for Local Self Reliance, authored an excellent Compostable Products FAQ document with simple answers to complex questions.  Sustainable Food Court Initiative Team Members from the Foodservice Packaging InstituteNatureWorks and MWV contributed with invaluable input and comments.  Note the document is evolutionary with frequent revisions anticipated to reflect industry growth and technical advances.

The Zero Waste Zones are working with MWV on creating the fourth video featuring a foodservice operator who has a successful organics collection operation in-place where the consumer is responsible for packaging disposal.  Over the past few years, organics collection programs for seated, full-service establishments were developed and protocol is now established.  Front-of-the-house collection in quick and fast-casual dining is in the toddler development stage with many challenges ready to be addressed.

The Sustainable Food Court Initiative will address organics collection program development in the pilot projects almost ready for announcement.  MWV joined the SFCI Team this spring and is stepping forth with active participation.

Thank you MWV for your commitment to educating the foodservice operator on the important role composting programs play in an organization's sustainability business model.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sanrio - thanks for your comment and reading the blog post. there are many influencing factors to creating an economically sound composting operation. landfill tip fees are a strong influencer - the higher the tipping fees the easier it is to make composting economics work. Also, you do not mention if your question is from the composting or food waste generator standpoint. Again, thanks for taking the time to write a comment. Holly