Q2, 2018

Guest Editor, Bob Lilienfeld

Publisher, The ULS (Use Less Stuff) Report

Here's a quick review of current sustainable food service packaging news, with details in the articles listed below:

  • Consumers, the media, and regulators are focused on reducing the use of foodservice packaging that can only be landfilled. Reuse, recyclability, compostability, and sourcing from plant-based materials are all considered to be viable sustainability strategies. Product lines such as EarthChoice should thus see enhanced interest and growth in the near future.

  • Outside of the foodservice and packaging industries, functional value of packaging continues to be little understood. This especially true for EPS and items like coffee cups, where the need to both maintain beverage temperature and a moisture barrier are little understood. This is a prime area for consumer education efforts by the entire foodservice industry.

  • Millennials of all political persuasion are concerned about climate change. Helping to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promoting this benefit are both viable strategies for foodservice packaging functionality and differentiation. Foodservice operators should consider following McDonald’s lead in this area by setting GHG reduction goals and educating their customers about their efforts in this regard.

  • Interest in bans is increasing from simply material type to chemical composition. This is evident by the recent Washington State ban on fluorinated chemicals (PFAs, PFCs) in food packaging. Keep in mind that these bans are based on whether or not these chemicals are present, not on whether their presence poses a health hazard.


McDonald's plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 36% by 2030 (USA Today)

How Food Businesses are Taking the Lead to Reduce Food Waste (Waste Expo)


Consumers think they’re recycling. It’s ending up in a landfill: Trash-tracking project in Denver highlights problem with Starbucks cups (Denver Post)


Starbucks and Cloosed Loop Partners to develop recyclable, compostable cup solution (Starbucks)

Food Safety Alliance for Packaging Releases New Guidelines (Environmental Leader)


Baltimore council votes to ban polystyrene foam (Waste Dive)


What it Means to Go Green in 2018 (QSR)

Annual Survey Indicates Sustained Progress in Foodservice Packaging Industry (FPI)

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