Hi everyone, it is great to be here!
I recently started at Compass Group USA and come to the sustainability team with deep knowledge of the packaging value chain. I hope to bring a renewed lens to helping clients reduce their reliance on single-use plastics. In foodservice, packaging plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and quality of the delicious food we serve our guests daily. However, packaging waste has become a major contributor to climate change through landfill emissions, pollution, and marine debris.
Packaging waste has become a major environmental challenge; however, technology and solutions exist to eradicate waste from our supply chains, homes, and environment.
To help kick off my journey working on sustainable packaging solutions at Compass Group, I’ve put together three high-level learnings from my experience in the packaging industry and tips for any individual who wants to be a part of the solution.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 9,800 county or municipal recycling systems, each with its own rules about what can and cannot be recycled, leading to endless consumer confusion. What you can recycle at home is also different than what you can recycle in your office, on the street, or if you live in an apartment building. By educating yourself on what your local hauler accepts, you can reduce contamination and ensure that more materials are getting recycled. Don’t let “wish-cycling” be an enemy of good!
- Packaging is much more high-tech than one may think. The type of packaging used for hot foods is different than what is needed for frozen foods, shelf-stable foods, or food that goes into the microwave. Packaging helps reduce food waste by providing a longer shelf life from the farm, to distribution, to retail, and eventually in the home. If you store your food properly, in the right packaging and environment, you will preserve the food you buy and all the resources that went into getting that food to you.
- Packaging waste is fueled by convenience. We all live busy lives and need to fuel ourselves on the go. However, there are ways we can get the nutrients we need without adding to the waste that ends up in landfills, or worse, the environment. Prior to COVID-19, we saw great momentum for the reusables movement, and understandably safety took a priority when we didn’t know how the disease spread. We’re starting to see the momentum build again and encourage you to take part. Consumers are gaining confidence in their safety while companies are working to reach their climate goals. Collectively, these actions will drive the demand for reusable packaging solutions forward.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or opportunities to reduce packaging waste.