Packaging firms and waste disposal groups need to build on the momentum produced by the widespread use of plant-based compostable packaging during the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games, officials have warned.
Any gains made in bringing this renewable packaging into more widespread use just have to be followed up, according to bio-economic consultancy NNFCC.
When the London Olympics gets underway in late July, there'll be a host of food outlets present in the Olympic Park area, many of them equipped with fully-compostable packaging. It's essential, says NNFCC, that fast food is permanently paired up with this 100% compostable packaging long after the last athletes and spectators have departed the 2012 Olympics site.
London Olympics Packaging
NNFCC's London Olympics packaging urge coincides with the launch, today, of a new non-compulsory food and packaging waste agreement, which already has the support of McDonald's, Domino's Pizza and Greggs.
"Compostable packaging is ideal for events like the Olympics, because packaging contaminated with food can be composted together, helping to cut waste and generate valuable revenue", NNFCC's materials head, Doctor John Williams, explained in a statement.
Compostable Food Packaging
London 2012 is striving to become the first Olympic Games to produce no waste at all. Part of this goal involves the adoption at fast food outlets of compostable food packaging used in sandwich boxes, food wrappers and drinks cartons - all of them complying with the EN 13432 standard. That means, once they're disposed of, they can be transformed into low-carbon compost and, potentially, become a renewable energy source too.
"By sharing our experiences from London 2012 and developing guidelines which can be applied to other events in the future, we will create a lasting environmental legacy for the fast food and catering trade long after the Games have finished", Williams concluded.
Image copyright Jeff Owen Photos - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons