Compostable Packaging

February 11, 2015 by dev_team

by Lara Jackle Dickinson, Co-Founder & Executive Director of OSC²
Original Post: Feb 2-6, 2015 

Developing a response to the mountains of plastic pollution is a top priority for all of us… one way to reverse the tide of trash is to go after the source — PACKAGING.

When we dispose of conventional petroleum-based plastic, it is most often sent directly to the landfill—there is no potential for recycling or reuse with this kind of packaging. This is a very big problem. And people are beginning to take notice.

Eco-packaging is on the rise, due to such consumer awareness, but the sad truth is that most recycling facilities are not set up to accept plastics; particularly flexible plastic pouches. And “biodegradable” packaging does not go away like home compost would. The OSC² Packaging Collaborative is bringing together leading mission based food companies dedicated to solving this problem, and reducing our industry’s plastic footprint. It is up to companies to drive innovation, retailers to support a new kind of package, and consumers to use their purchasing power to push for change. The problem is too big for any one company to address…luckily it has become a movement.

As you will learn in this week’s Food List, it’s important we search for plant-based compostable material that can degrade in our own backyards, and not pollute our soil and watersheds.

As Grist reports, while you’re probably eager to find alternatives to land-filling packaging, don’t be fooled by marketing schemes of “compostable” and “biodegradable.”

OSC² identifies packaging as the “Achilles heel” of our food system and gathers progressive business leaders to tackle the problem.

From the homefront, Susie Wyshak of FoodStarter shares with us her quest for sustainable packaging and some tips to keep in mind to lower our carbon footprint.

Civil Eats outlines the external costs of many typical packages and motivates us to demand better alternatives.

Chef Kelsie Kerr applies an alternative and thinks outside the box at her Standard Fare Kitchen and Pantry in the Bay Area. Alter Eco takes us on a journey in understanding what it means to be an eco-friendly food producer for flora, fauna, and fields. And In.gredients are pioneering the possible and pursuing zero waste as a food retailer in Austin.

Learn how you can lower your carbon footprint and practice reducing your waste with these three simple lifestyle tips.