News & Views

CHANNELS    |    Behavior Change      Leadership      Products & Design      Supply Chain      Marketing & Comms      New Metrics    |    MORE

Starbucks, Yum! Brands, Georgia-Pacific Help Found Paper Recovery Alliance

Today, most foodservice packaging items are thrown in the trash and destined for landfills primarily due to limited infrastructure and lack of end markets for recovered materials. Image courtesy of guardian.co.uk

Starbucks, Yum! Brands and Georgia-Pacific are among the founding members of the Paper Recovery Alliance, which aims to create solutions for the recovery and processing of used paper foodservice packaging.

Today, most foodservice packaging items are thrown in the trash and destined for landfills primarily due to limited infrastructure and lack of end markets for recovered materials, says the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), the trade association representing the foodservice packaging industry in North America.

To address these issues, the group plans to:

  • Develop the necessary collection infrastructure
  • Expand the end use markets for recovered fiber
  • Educate consumers to increase recovery
  • Collaborate with government officials

The PRA, which is a member-funded project within the Foodservice Packaging Institute, plans to set up pilot projects that include all parts of the value chain to understand the existing challenges to paper foodservice packaging recovery. "Through these pilot projects, we hope to identify best practices and ultimately develop economically viable recovery strategies for all used paper foodservice packaging in North America," said FPI President Lynn M. Dyer.

PRA's founding members include:

  • Eco-Products, Inc.
  • Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP
  • HAVI Global Solutions
  • International Paper
  • MeadWestvaco Corporation
  • Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging
  • RockTenn (Recycling and Waste Solutions)
  • Solo Cup Company
  • Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Tim Hortons
  • YUM! Brands Inc.

Additional members are sought from and will include other paper recycling mills; fiber raw material suppliers; manufacturers of foodservice packaging products; retailers; foodservice operators; waste haulers; material recovery facilities; composters; and waste-to-energy facilities. In addition, PRA says it will collaborate with other associations, non-governmental organizations, colleges/universities and governmental officials with valuable knowledge on the subject of paper and packaging recovery.

A similar initiative related to plastic foodservice packaging is planned for launch in early 2012.

Starbucks and Tim Hortons are piloting separate projects for closed loop recycling of paper coffee cups.

Bart King is a PR consultant and principal of Cleantech Communications.


Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also an associate editor for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_kingGoogle+

[Read more about Bart King]


User login

  Sign up for SB Newsletters
Get the latest personalized news, tools, and virtual media on a wide range of sustainable business topics in your inbox.

Engage the community

Most Recently Viewed in the Library