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Bottle Applications

Bottle Applications Green at The first decade of the 21 st century has witnessed a steady growth and evolution in consumer interest in products with demonstrated ‘green‘ benefits. This trend toward environmental responsibility has also influenced governmental policy-making in the United States. For example, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the BioPreferred Vendor program (bM 02/2006) gives preferential vendor status to those organizations and products which fulfill the requirements of the program. A good measure of the growth of the BioPreferred program was the recent GSA Expo 2009 in San Antonio, where over 8,000 government purchasing directors and agents met with BioPreferred and other government vendors. The BioPreferred products were among the most popular and wellreceived items at the show. Article contributed by Clark Driftmier, President of Fairhaven Strategy Group, Boulder, Colorado, USA Another positive development at the Federal level is the new ‘Green the Capitol‘ initiative which is a broad program to bring mainstream environmental responsibility to government, specifically to the U.S. Capitol building and the many offices of the House of Representatives. Recycling stations have been placed everywhere. Café’s and food service venues serve bottled water in bio-packaging. There is even a composting program for food waste, bio-packaging and other compostables. This program, under the direction of Perry Plumart, is growing rapidly and will expand into other areas of Capitol operations over the next several years. 20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/09] Vol. 4

Bottle Applications Bottles (Photo: iStock) Capitol Hill Naturally Iowa, a publicly-traded company from Clarinda, Iowa, USA is one innovative company taking advantage of these positive trends. Naturally Iowa was the world’s first beverage company to use PLA bio-packaging exclusively for its organic and natural dairy products (bM 02/2007). The company’s new Green Bottle TM Spring Water, made with water that recently won the world bottled water tasting competition, is made with PLA bio-packaging (bM 06/2008). Company founder and CEO Bill Horner, a farmer and agricultural entrepreneur, has been successful securing BioPreferred vendor status and subsequently gaining distribution with several governmental agencies, including USDA and the US Capitol. Green Bottle Spring Water is now the exclusive bottled water supplier to the ‘Green the Capitol‘ initiative, is served to Congressional representatives and staff in House offices, and can also be found in the commissaries at USDA headquarters in Washington DC. Green Bottle Spring Water was also featured recently at the GSA Expo 2009 and was the exclusive bottled water provider for the Expo. Bill Horner sees several important initiatives as he builds the business for Green Bottle Spring Water. According to Horner, “Our business for Green Bottle Spring Water will grow as we expand into a greater number of venues where consumers are oriented in favor of environmentally responsible products that also have superior taste. It’s also important that disposal and ‘end of life’ issues are resolved, which for traditional PET packaging presents a major hurdle. As many are aware, there is a significant backlash against PET or PC packaging, both for the disposal and waste issues and also due to increasing concerns about the potentially harmful health impacts of BPA (in the case of polycarbonate water bottles). Bio-packaging offers an excellent solution and is the environmentally responsible packaging for bottled water and many other products.” Horner continued, “Fortunately for us, the governmental agencies and food service providers that we have contacted have shown an understanding of these issues and a strong desire to create greener options for their agencies and staff.” Horner noted several important trends which will drive the growth in sales of products using bio-packaging. “Governmental interest will continue to grow rapidly,” said Horner. “I believe that there will be a rapid acceleration of bio-plastics adoption by governmental agencies, and they will use the BioPreferred program to help demonstrate a positive commitment to environmental stewardship. As a result, this support will significantly reduce the use of petroleum-based plastics for foods and other products sold at these agencies. City governments will also adopt similar policies, as evidenced by the recent actions in San Francisco and other U.S. municipalities to restrict or even prohibit the use of PET bottles. There will also be an increased push in school systems, especially at the Primary level, to reduce or restrict the use of PET bottles for environmental reasons. The alternative, beverages and other foods using bio-plastics, will see greater acceptance and adoption by the food service providers who work with school systems and other institutions.” Looking to the future, Horner was sanguine about the prospects for bio-packaging. “When I founded Naturally Iowa” said Horner, “the company based its mission on the benefits of bio-packaging and committed ourselves fully to environmental responsibility. Starting with our dairy products, and continuing with Green Bottle Spring Water, every product we have introduced has shown both the promise and the practicality of bio-packaging. Other companies have followed a similar path, and I’m very encouraged by what I now see in the stores, in food service and institutional sales. From bottled water to trash bags to shampoo to baby spinach, products with bio-plastic packaging are growing in both breadth and depth. The next five years will be a period of significant growth for our industry. We plan for Naturally Iowa and Green Bottle Spring Water to fully participate in this growth. We will continue to be a good partner in the promotion of bio-plastics as the best, most environmentallybeneficial way to package products.” bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/09] Vol. 4 21

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