ILSR co-Director, Brenda Platt attended this year’s USZBC conference, hosted in Atlanta, Georgia at the beginning of May. Elemental Impact’s online magazine highlighted Platt’s keynote presentation in their blog:
For the 2014 USZWBC Conference – Creating Value Through Zero Waste, the superb program topics substantiated the zero waste industry’s continued evolution. Hosted in Atlanta, GA – a city entrenched with zero waste roots via the 2009 Zero Waste Zones launch – the conference sessions addressed the far-reaching impacts of zero waste practices.
Brenda Platt – Institute for Local Self-Reliance co-director – opened the second day programs with her keynote presentation, Pay Dirt: Composting in America to Reduce Waste, Create Jobs, and Enhance the Soil. Brenda educated the attentive audience about the vital role food waste collected for composting plays in soil, water and air quality. In addition to environmental impact, Brenda emphasized composting facilities create jobs and contribute to the local economy.
Food and beverage packaging plays a critical role in food waste collection for composting programs. Plastic contamination, whether from plastic foodservice items or plastic-coated paper plates, cups and bowls, is a serious concern in composting operations. In her presentation, Brenda shared EcoCycles‘ Microplastics in compost is a BIG potential problem website page, which explains why plastics in soil are as dangerous to our environment as plastics in our oceans.
Composting is a local venture and Brenda gave examples how many communities, including Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Austin, address food waste via public policy and regulations. Seattle incorporated packaging requirements within the city regulations.
As an Ei Advisory Council Member, Brenda worked closely with Elemental Impact on the Atlanta Airport‘s compostable packaging requirement provision in the 2011 concessionaire contract. Brenda featured the Atlanta Airport work in her presentation.
Along with support from the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Team, ILSR | Ei issued theAtlanta Airport Compostable Foodservice Ware Packet that explains the contract provision, defines compostable packaging along with an explanation of its role in food waste collection programs, and includes a frequently asked questions section. The ZWA Blog article, Atlanta Airport Makes Bold Sustainable Statement, announces the contract provision.
Following Brenda’s keynote presentation, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company sustainability coordinator Cheri Chastain moderated the Businesses Lead the Way to Zero Waste plenary panel.
Click here for a full recap!