Earth Day is coming up soon! I love that we have a day to remind us to focus on the environment and the importance of our planet. In our industry, though, we think about it all year-round as I suspect most people do these days. No longer are the terms green, eco-friendly or compostable only used by those living off-grid. They’re words we hear all the time, especially as interest in the environmental attributes of foodservice packaging continues to grow.
For the foodservice packaging industry, we aim to align a company’s products with their sustainability goals. We start by looking at how our products are made. Are they manufactured with bio-based or renewable materials? Do they have recycled content or are they sustainably sourced?
Then, we explore how it’s handled after use. Is it recyclable or compostable?
When making any environmental marketing claims, you need to follow local regulations and guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. and the Competition Bureau in Canada. It’s critical that you know what can — and cannot — be said about a product. (You can read more about this here.)
At the end of the day we are each a business, and sustainability must match our company strategy. We can’t do any good for the bottom line or the environment if we don’t balance the two. So, how do you approach this?
Companies should consider whether packaging is part of their broader sustainability strategy, or is sustainability part of their packaging strategy? Use Earth Day as your annual reminder to review your internal policies to better align your packaging and sustainability goals. Mother Earth will thank you.
Want to learn more about what FPI is doing to help our planet? Check out the “Environmental Stewardship” page on our website.