Synaptic Connections Newsletter 2019 Week#40
September 30, 2019 www.Synapticpackaging.com Image - Vintage Photo, Lake Superior Sunset, Michigan
Week#40 of 2019
Hi good morning! Today is the last day of September, we're rolling forward into the fall. I hope you had a nice weekend.
For those up north, the leaves will be changing soon and it won't be long until you are outside raking the yard. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, this is a fond memory with the smell and the sights of the seasonal colors. It is alway fun jumping in the leaves, at least until you land on a stick. Anchored in this fun seasonal image, let's discuss an important topic of organic recycling.
Food - we would like to think that our harvesting and processing of food is 100% efficient. Actually, there is a tremendous amount of food waste in the world. From losses in the field, losses in transportation, spoilage before consumption, to improper sized serving portions - food harvested that is not consumed is waste. As a quick data point, the WWF estimates that 45% of all the fruits, vegetables, roots, and tubers that are grown are wasted. That is a lot of food. As a personal starter experiment at home, separate all of your family food waste into a different container for a week. This might be a bit of an eye opening experience.
A zero waste model for food is a worthy pursuit. The realization of a zero waste model does not happen as a light switch. You don't go from on to off. The pursuit of a zero waste goal is something you progressively get better at, one step at a time.
Our packaging systems provide a key part of the solution for capturing and processing food waste. Food and packaging have always been closely associated. If you reflect on the origins of consumer packaging to the most ancient of days - it was to protect food. The pursuit of natural, renewable, and compostable packaging systems are intended to mirror the products which they contain. As previously discussed in Synaptic Connections, the packaging system is the delivery vehicle for food waste. From the time food is harvested to the time it is in consumed, it is most often found in a package. When there is loss in that system, the food is most commonly still in, or closely associated to the package. The proper end-of-life solution for this organic waste is composting. Having food packaging systems that are compostable makes good sense to capture and properly processes this organic waste. Simply put, compostable packaging is the right tool for the right job when it comes to food. Designing an effective packaging system for composting is surprisingly complex and can technically be very challenging. Out of respect for your time, this will need to be a conversation for another day - however, the key to success is the systems approach. Like the zero waste vision, it often takes a series of small steps to help your company realize and activate the solution.
Have a great week everyone and enjoy the news articles below!
The purpose of this newsletter is to stimulate innovative thoughts and constructive dialogue through the lens of sustainability. New subscribers can send an e-mail to the link below to sign-up.