Conversations around recycling and the perils of landfills at capacity are now mainstream for both consumers and businesses. But it’s not all negative – in fact, a lot of productive conversations are happening around opportunities in this space.
Around the world, businesses and governments are seeking out real solutions, leading many of them to start speaking more about the circular economy.
Recently, Forbes’ Erik Kobayashi-Solomon featured companies making major strides for a more sustainable economy, including Sustana Fiber and our sister company Rolland. During his recent trip to GreenBiz’s Circularity ‘19 conference – the largest circular economy event in North America – Michele Bartolini, Senior Marketing Director, sat down with Erik to share more about how we help companies move toward a more sustainable supply chain and economic system.
Forbes rightly points out that an estimated 60 billion single-use containers, such as coffee cups, end up in landfills each year. However, the article goes on to explain how innovation is meeting this troubling challenge head on:
“One company I met, Sustana Fiber, is working to change the use-and-discard paradigm and develop a circular solution by discovering a way to economically recycle plastic-coated single-use cups.
Sustana’s process mechanically separates the plastic coating from the paper, cleans and treats the pulp, and forms it into sheets that can be combined with virgin fiber to create food containers that are FDA-compliant for direct contact with food under all use conditions. As a way of demonstrating that single-use cups can be recycled, in 2018, Sustana worked on a successful pilot program to recycle 25 million Starbucks cups and turn them back into perfect, FDA-compliant disposable coffee cups.”
For food and beverage brands struggling with how to reach their sustainability goals, it’s clear that packaging doesn’t need to be a limitation. In fact, it’s a strength. Forbes even points out that a cup made with 32 percent EnviroLife™ recycled fiber, is indistinguishable from a typical non-recycled paper cup, even though it has three times the recycled content of the industry standard.
Check out Forbes’ full coverage on fiber innovation and how the circular economy is poised to change the food and beverage industry for the better.