McDonald's, Starbucks Cited for Packaging Leadership
March 1, 2012
Some of the world’s top fast feeders have been recognized as leaders in sustainable packaging in the Dogwood Alliance’s "Greening Fast Food Packaging" report.
“Leaders in this category are investing time and money in the development of environmental paper packaging policies and creative stakeholder partnerships to achieve sustainability goals,” according to the report. “For example, as part of the Starbucks’ goal to ensure 100 percent of its cups are reusable or recyclable by 2015, the company brought together diverse stakeholders to find solutions to make hot beverage cups more broadly recyclable.”
McDonald’s is recognized in the report for, among other actions, converting to unbleached paper carry-out bags, coffee filters, Big Mac wraps, and napkins. It switched from polystyrene foam “clamshells” to paper-based wraps for sandwich packaging. McDonald’s UK saved 84 tons of paper in 2010 simply by reducing the size of bun tray liners by 10 centimeters.
Additional examples of corporate leadership on sustainability include Chick-Fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, cited for their membership in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and other environmental packaging forums, and Starbucks, Tim Horton, Yum! Brands for their investment in multi-stakeholder efforts like the Paper Recovery Alliance, which aims to create solutions for the recovery and processing of used paper food service packaging.
The Dogwood Alliance’s report includes guidelines, such as ways to reduce overall packaging and increase efficiency by right sizing and light-weighting. These are two key themes in packaging efficiency, and investments in this area tend to pay off with reduced costs and transportation benefits, the report stated.
McDonald’s and others have found ways to re-imagine and reconstruct basic paper-based components to reduce the amount of fiber used in the packaging product by incorporating design elements such as fluting and corrugation to provide strength to packages made with lighter basis weight paper grades. In addition, small strategic nips and tucks to tray liners and napkins can significantly reduce fiber use as well.
McDonald’s Environmental Scorecard and Starbucks’ Supplier Social Responsibility Standards provide a way to encourage competition within supply chains to meet rising sustainability standards, according to the report. The Dogwood Alliance recommends that retailers request that suppliers provide information on their carbon footprint, materials reduction, etc.
Another example of corporate leadership, according to the report, is the fact that Quiznos’ CEO initiated an industry-leading environmental paper packaging policy which dramatically increased the use of recycled fiber and is the main public spokesperson for the policy.
The Dogwood Alliance, based in Asheville, N.C. works collaboratively with industry leaders to put innovative business solutions to work that result in more protected Southern forests.
« View All Articles
Areas of focus included making the business case for sustainability, leadership development and radical collaboration.
Source: Food Marketing Institute
A new FMI toolkit offers concise, customizable strategic language to help executives effectively articulate the business case for sustainability in less than 60 seconds.
Source: Food Marketing Institute
FMI, GMA and the National Restaurant Association are developing an aggressive strategy that will direct more edible food to the hungry and waste away from landfills.
Source: Food Marketing InstituteSee All Guest Columns »
Source: Avery Dennison
Source: Port of Seattle
In Our Spotlight
Send a News Tip