Packaging the Green Footprint

Are you taking care of your carbon footprint?

Food companies are quickly learning that one way they can save the planet is to reduce their carbon footprint and that’s easily accomplished through packaging.

Consider Starbucks and Quiznos, each of which has launched programs that aspire to reduce, reuse and recycle.

For Starbucks, the obvious place in which to focus was its paper cups – the company’s goal is to use 100 percent recycled paper for all of its cups by 2012. Starbucks also offers a 10-cent discount in the U.S. and Canada to encourage customers to use their own reusable mugs or tumblers for their beverages. Customers staying in a store may request that their beverages be served in a ceramic mug.

In addition, last year, 70 percent of Starbucks’ stores recycled at least one type of waste where commercial recycling was available. The company also began offering front-of-house recycling in several test markets in 2009 and in the U.S. and by 2015 plans to have recycling available in all stores where the company controls waste collection.

Quiznos has rolled out new packaging made from renewable or recycled content to reduce the chain’s environmental footprint. With takeout comprising 50 percent of the chain’s business, Quiznos produces a whole range of disposable items that contribute to the waste stream.

Its new packaging includes 100 percent compostable wax-coated paper cups; pulp salad bowls made from renewable sugarcane; plastic lids made of 30 percent post-consumer recycled PET bottles; napkins made from 100 percent recycled material and fibers and catering lunch boxes made of 100 percent recycled paperboard.

With such initiatives in play by two QSR giants, GreenDustries believes the time has come for a major push in all directions to use sustainable packaging. We believe it’s the year for QSR chains around the world to revolutionize their packaging that will also fit nicely into any company’s sustainability plan.

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