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News BPI Compostable

News BPI Compostable BBQ, a great success! On January 23rd, as part of the US Composting Council’s (USCC) Annual Meeting, the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and its members hosted the “All Compostable Barbeque”. Under the warm skies of Orlando, FL, 325 meals were served, successfully. All the foodservice items carried the BPI symbol, including the plates, hot and cold drink cups, and cutlery. Then all the leftovers were put in compostable bags and destined for Reedy Creek’s composting operation. Participants were pleased to attend the first “Zero Waste” meal, hosted by the BPI in conjunction with the USCC. Moreover, this event has helped to set a new commitment on the part of the USCC to hold its meetings in areas that practice food scrap diversion. For example, next year’s meeting will be in Oakland, CA, which is implementing food scrap diversion programs, along with San Francisco. “This event demonstrated the feasibility of source separated food scraps diversion programs in hotel operations”, stated Dr. Stuart Buckner, the USCC Executive Director. Studies show that large restaurant operations annually generate approx. 1,995 kg (4,400 lbs) of waste per employee in the USA. Of that, 66% are food scraps, another 6% are plastics and 5% are compostable paper items. By implementing a diversion program and substituting compostable food service items for its disposable plastics, restaurants could divert over 75% of its wastes to composting facilities. “Organic waste streams from hotels, grocery stores and restaurants represent new revenue and profit opportunities for the composting industry,” Dr. Buckner added. One of the goals of the “All Compostable” BBQ was to highlight the growing array of certified compostable foodservice items. “The industry has grown significantly and can now set the table,” said Steve Mojo, BPI Executive Director. All the participants were impressed with the sturdiness of the cutlery and plates. According to the US EPA, the United States generates approximately 26 million tons of food waste annually. Diverting these materials from landfills has many benefits. First, the resulting compost can be applied to farms to feed the soil and grow more food; second, the creation of methane in the landfill, a powerful greenhouse gas, is reduced. In fact, countries that have signed the Kyoto protocol are promoting the diversion of food scraps from landfills as a way of achieving their overall reduction goals. “Once consumers and businesses understand the numerous environmental benefits of composting, I expect to see more residential and commercial food scrap diversion and composting programs where the diverted food scraps, ultimately are used in the vineyards and farm fields to produce food locally,” stated Matt Cotton, USCC President. This event would not have been possible without the contributions and support of the “Gold Sponsors”, including BASF, Huhtamaki Foodservice (Chinet ® ), NatureWorks LLC, Northern Technologies International, Novamont NA and Poly-America. bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

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