The Biodegradable Products Institute sponsors “Zero Waste” Barbeque at the US Composting Council’s 2007 Annual Conference & Exhibition
New York, NY - The Biodegradable Product’s Institute (BPI) will host the “All Compostable” BBQ at the US Composting Council’s (USCC) Annual Conference and Exhibition, January 21-24 in Orlando Florida. This marks the first time that the USCC has held a “zero waste” event at its annual meeting. The goals of the “All Compostable” BBQ are to highlight the growing array of certified compostable foodservice items and the feasibility of incorporating source separated food scraps collection into hotel operations. The BBQ will be held on the evening of January 23rd and the food scraps and compostable items will be processed at the nearby Reedy Creek Energy Services composting facility. Efforts will be made to recycle all the non-compostable cans, bottles and jars, making this a true “zero waste” activity. The BBQ will be open to all attendees of the USCC Annual Conference.
“This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the feasibility of source separated food scraps diversion programs in hotel operations”, stated Dr. Stuart Buckner, the USCC Executive Director. Studies show that large restaurant operations annually generate approx. 4,400 lbs of waste/employee. Of that, 66% are food scraps, another 6% are plastics and 5% are compostable paper items. By implementing a diversion program and substituting compostable food service items for its disposable plastics, restaurants could divert over 75% of its wastes to composting facilities. “Organic waste streams from hotels, grocery stores and restaurants represent new revenue and profit opportunities for the composting industry,” Dr. Buckner added.
BPI member companies will provide all the items needed to serve the BBQ to hundreds of attendees. Items include glasses and cups, plates and bowls, along with cutlery, which will be collected in compostable bags and taken to the nearby composting facility. All compostable items used at the BBQ meet ASTM D6400 or ASTM D6868 and will compost effectively in a professionally managed facility-such as the one at Reedy Creek. “It is exciting to see the growing availability of BPI approved products, which make food scraps diversion programs easier and more effective,” stated Steve Mojo, BPI’s Executive Director. Special recognition will be given to the event’s “Gold Sponsors”, BASF, Huhtamaki, NatureWorks LLC, Northern Technologies Int. Novamont NA and Poly-America.
According to the US EPA, the US generates approximately 26 million tons of food waste annually. Diverting these materials from landfills has many benefits. First, the resulting compost can be applied to farms to feed the soil and grow more food; second, the creation of methane in the landfill, a powerful greenhouse gas, is reduced. In fact, countries that have signed the Kyoto protocol are promoting the diversion of food scraps from landfills as a way of achieving their overall reduction goals. “Once consumers and businesses understand the numerous environmental benefits of composting, I expect to see more residential and commercial food scrap diversion and composting programs where the diverted food scraps, ultimately are used in the vineyards and farm fields to produce food locally,” stated Matt Cotton, USCC President.
BPI is a multi-stakeholder group, involving people and organizations that produce, use or recover biodegradable plastic products. It promotes the growth of biodegradable plastics through education, use of scientifically based standards and cooperative efforts with organizations in Europe and Asia.
The US Composting Council is a national organization dedicated to the development, expansion and promotion of the composting industry based upon science, principles of sustainability, and economic viability. The US Composting Council is involved in research, public education, composting and compost standards, expansion of compost markets and the enlistment of public support.